25 May 2015 – Using a great book, Central Cascade Day Hikes, Sherrie found a nearby hike 45 minutes away to Franklin Falls in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
The hike is 2 miles in and back along the ravine of the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. The views of the river and ravine along the way into the falls is quite nice with several look out opportunities. However, because of the accessibility of the hike it is quite crowded on a nice spring day. This makes the trail a bit less enjoyable.
Lucas, Isabella, and Aurelia stand around a very large hemlock tree
Some lower falls along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River as seen along the Franklin Falls hike
Isabella, Aurelia, and Lucas along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River
A small scramble down some rocks – which were not as slippery as I expected – brings you to the base of the 70 foot falls (further upriver the river falls another 65 feet in two separate but those are not visible from the trail). The falls produce a small splash pool and quite a lot of mist and water vapor.
The family at the base of Franklin Falls
The trail cuts along the rocks down to the splash pool of Franklin Falls
Turning around on the trail we decided to take an off-shoot which lucky for us was the other trail we read about – the Wagon Road Trail. The trail travels along a remnant of the Snoqualmie Wagon Road. This road was the first wagon-capable road across Snoqualmie Pass completed in 1867 (see history).
Beginning of Wagon Road Trail
Lucas, Isabella, and Aurelia with a wagon wheel hub on the Wagon Road Trail
We didn’t pass anyone on this trail (and I’m surprised others didn’t use this second, and more enjoyable route) and the quiet in the forest along with the variety of flora and presence of animal tracks was wonderful. We even spotted bear-sign. The smell of skunk weed was very apparent – but luckily not overwhelming.
Bear sign – tree marking
Aurelia, Lucas, Isabella, and Sherrie hike along the Franklin Falls trail
A large patch of skunk weed along the Wagon Road Trail
A cool fungus along the Wagon Road Trail
Trillium bloom along the Wagon Road Trail
A forest flower
An odd vertical moss on a rock along the Wagon Road Trail
The kids had a great time and it took us approximately 2 hours with plenty of time to explore and enjoy. It certainly makes us appreciate the Pacific Northwest and the astounding beauty in which we are surrounded.
A view of the Northwest forest along the Wagon Road Trail