Hike to Twin Falls

Sunday May 6 2007

My brother Ed came to Seattle on company business. He flew in a couple of days early so he could spend the weekend visiting us before attending to his work functions during the week. We decided to hike to Twin Falls.

Twin Falls is an easy hike. It less than 2 miles to the bridge that spans the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. The bridge is probably the point where most hikers turn around, at the bridge there is a grand view of the stair-step upper falls. The lower falls are not visible from the bridge, but there is an excellent viewing platform earlier on the trail. We hiked all the way to the end of Twin Falls trail, to the point where it intersects with the Iron Horse bike trail. (It looks to me that the bike trail is really a service road for the power lines, it was wide and paved with gravel. That would be a fun place to try mountain biking some day. I have heard that the Iron Horse trail follows an old railroad route, including a long tunnel at one point.)

The first portion of the trail is flat, it runs along the shore of the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. The trees here are covered with moss. Ferns on the ground. It is a wet landscape. The species of trees change when the trail ascends the first hill (the climb isn't that steep or that long, but apparently the change in elevation or the proximity to water results in different types of trees growing along the path.) Up on the ridge, we got our first view of the Lower Falls.

After a bit more hiking, we came to a series of stars that led down to the viewing platform for the Lower Falls. This is a marvelous spot, the Lower Falls are impressive. We visited in spring, when the water in the river is high, so the falls looked quite nice.

A little bit further down the trail is the bridge over the river. From the bridge we could see the Upper Falls, which is actually a two step falls, but you have to go beyond the bridge to see the upper half of the Upper Falls.

Not too many people hike beyond the views of the Upper Falls. There certainly isn't anything as dramatic as the Twin Falls further down the trail, but we did see more forests and got a glimpse of a mountain or two. I-90 runs below the Twin Falls trail, and at some places you can hear traffic noise and spot vehicles through the leaves. This is not a difficult hike, the trail is well maintained, and the falls are quite nice, the Lower Falls is especially pretty.

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