Snoqualmie Falls: Combining Power and Beauty in Washington State

The state of Washington in the far northwest part of our country is a beauty, with ocean breezes, mountains, meadows, and more!

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

A short drive from Seattle, Washington, takes one into the lush and verdant countryside. There, Snoqualmie Falls thunders over a high cliff and splashes into a pool of water before proceeding onto a rocky riverbed. The falls provide not only stunning beauty but the power to furnish thousands of homes with electricity.

My mother, niece, and I had already spent some time exploring Seattle's Pike Place Market and other notable sites within the city and had taken a day trip into the country to see the charming Bavarian village of Leavenworth. Now we were on our way to tour the San Juan Islands and then Vancouver, Canada.

Since Snoqualmie Falls was heavily advertised as a wondrous site of natural beauty, we thought that we would stop to see if the falls lived up to its hype.

Snoqualmie Depot

Snoqualmie Depot

Snoqualmie Depot

In the town of Snoqualmie, we happened to spot a building that sparked our interest and decided to check it out. Initially built in 1890, this charming railroad depot of the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway still graces the small town of Snoqualmie today. Restoration has kept much of it intact with some modern mandated updates, and it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Depot is situated in a small, park-like setting within the town of Snoqualmie. One can check out the displays relating to the history of railroads, and it is open most days of the year to the public free of charge.

History of This Area

Native Americans knew of this site long before being discovered by the settlers moving west. Some stories survive to this day regarding the Snoqualmie Falls, and what it means to the native tribes who first called this place home.

The white settler who first recorded visiting the falls in 1849 was a man by the name of Samuel Hancock. A couple of U.S. army personnel first measured the falls in 1853. Passenger trains started transporting people from Seattle to this glorious site beginning in 1889. Legends of its beauty drew more and more people, and it became a growing tourist attraction. Well over a million people annually now visit the Snoqualmie Falls.

The height of this spectacular waterfall in western Washington is about 110 feet taller than the well known Niagara Falls, which borders New York State and Canada.

It was a bright and sunny day when we visited the site. From the parking lot, it is an easy walk and handicap accessible to be able to view the cataract of water rushing over its precipice and falling the 268 feet to the pool below.

According to literature that I picked up, in the late 1800s, daredevil tightrope walkers traversed the river over the falls entertaining an audience below. Dangerous, that kind of risky behavior has not been allowed for a long time.

The Trail Down to the Falls

My niece and I decided to take the trail to get down to Snoqualmie River and be able to view the falls looking back up at it from that perspective. My mother decided to stay up at the top and await our return.

It is about one-half mile down to the river, but it is a steep hike one that changes elevation by around 300 feet. The trail brought us close to the moss-covered trees and other vegetation that clung to the walls of the cliff as we worked our way down to the roaring falls and river. It was beautiful to view. Our reward for the hike can be seen via the following photos.

Snoqualmie Falls Power Plant

Upon reaching the bottom, we got to see an old but still operating hydroelectric power plant built in the year 1898. It was an engineering marvel of the 19th century. This hydroelectric plant furnishes electricity to much of the pacific northwest.

Salish Lodge

After my niece and I climbed back up the steep trail and rejoined my patient mother, we decided to take a look at the historic Salish Lodge that is situated on a bluff overlooking the Snoqualmie Falls.

First built in 1916, it has been rebuilt utilizing the original stone fireplace. It has become a luxury lodging only 30 miles east of Seattle and also offers spa services and fine dining. It was lunchtime, so we decided to dine there. We were well satisfied with our selections.

A son and daughter-in-law of good friends of ours had their wedding reception at the beautiful Salish Lodge some years later after our visit. It would be a beautiful northwest wedding and even a honeymoon location!

My Recommendation

Stopping and exploring Snoqualmie Falls and the lovely Salish Lodge in Washington State just east of Seattle made for a pleasant interlude on our 15-day vacation many years ago. The power and beauty of those tall cascading falls will make for fond memories. If you get a chance to visit there, I would highly recommend it.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 28, 2017:

Greetings Dale Anderson,

So happy that I could introduce this pretty place to you so that you can visit Snoqualmie Falls in person someday.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on August 28, 2017:

I lived in Seattle for a while and I never heard of this place before. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I still like to get back there from time to time so I'll make a point of visiting the falls.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 21, 2015:

Hi Au fait,

This was one of our discoveries when going from Point A to Point B on our vacation that year but the Snoqualmie Falls and the Salish Lodge that sits at the top is quite a destination. We know some friends whose kids had a wedding reception there many years ago. The cooler weather is indeed nice!!!

C E Clark from North Texas on October 20, 2015:

I have never been to Washington state. It's one of the dozen I've never visited. I know it's so pretty up there and I wish I could say I've been to all 50 states. Each state has it's own unique beauty. This is a great hub to help guide someone on what to see.

Pinned to my 'Travel' board and shared with followers. This cooler weather is so nice I can hardly stand it! I just love it!! Wish it could be like this year around.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 31, 2012:

Hi Alastar,

Nice to know that I could introduce you to Snoqualmie Falls in the State of Washington. By now you have probably recovered from your trip to the NC coast, and knowing you, will probably be writing about it. Appreciate your comment! :)

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on May 29, 2012:

Peggy this refreshing virtual trip came just in time after an exhausting one in real time to the N.C. coast today. The Falls and history were awesome- another natural wonder probably never would have known about but for you. Enjoyed the location pics and those of you, your mom and niece as always. Your niece is cute and looks as if she has quite a head on her shoulders!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 29, 2012:

Hi ktrapp,

I'm glad that you enjoyed the introduction to this area of Washington State with the beautiful Snoqualmie Falls. It is certainly a beautiful area. Thanks for your comment.

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on May 29, 2012:

Peggy - I am starting to wonder where on Earth you haven't visited. You have the best travel and day-trip hubs and I always enjoy the photos. At least if I can't get there myself, you have often introduced a place to me I haven't heard of before and have taken me there through the lens of your camera and words. I haven't heard of these falls in Washington state but they look absolutely magnificent.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 29, 2010:

Hello Bel Marshall,

Thanks for visiting this Snoqualmie Falls hub from Washington State. I agree that Pikes Place Market is amazing. Have you written a hub about Powells books? Sounds amazing!

Bel Marshall from Michigan on December 29, 2010:

The PNW is truly one of the most stunning places I have ever been. I left back in August and I am so aching to get back to Pikes Place Market.

If you ever get to the Portland area, you must check out Powells books. It's a readers idea of heaven on earth!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 07, 2010:

Hello epigramman,

Snoqualmie Falls is certainly all of that...beauty and power. Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed this look at a part of Washington State as well as other places that have been featured in my hubs.

epigramman on August 07, 2010:

...that is one dramatic looking waterfall - and there is also power and beauty found in all of your hubs as you take us on these fascinating journeys which explore the wonders of nature and its surroundings ....

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 04, 2010:

Hi prasetio,

So happy to hear that you enjoyed this look at Snoqualmie Falls in the State of Washington. Waterfalls are pretty no matter where there originate. Thanks for the comment and vote up!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on August 04, 2010:

Another great information from you. I love water falls. And Snoqualmie Falls is totally beautiful. You did it again, my friend. Thanks for share this valuable information. Vote this Up.


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 03, 2010:

Hi Lady_E,

Yes, the entire trip was indeed beautiful and visiting Snoqualmie Falls just added to it. Glad you liked the photos.

Elena from London, UK on August 03, 2010:

Its beautiful - a trip you'll always remember. Thanks for including the lovely photo's too.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 30, 2010:

Hello Om Paramapoonya,

Glad that you enjoyed this hub about Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State. Connecting with Mother Nature is always inspirational. Hope you get that time off soon to do it. Thanks for the comment.

Om Paramapoonya on July 30, 2010:

Your hub is so enjoyable. It really made me want to take some time off and reconnect with Mother Nature. Thank you for the inspiration. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 27, 2010:

Hi Mih36,

Happy that you found this hub on Snoqualmie Falls in the State of Washington so enjoyable. Thanks for the comment.

Mih36 from New York on July 27, 2010:

There is so much information on Snoqualmie Falls and even more amazing photos and videos. Great hub =)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 21, 2010:

Hi Granny's House,

Thanks for rating this up and nice that you appreciated this hub on Snoqualmie Falls in the State of Washington.

Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on July 21, 2010:

Wow, thank you so much. The videos were great.I have rated up.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 20, 2010:

Hello nifty@50,

Glad you liked seeing these images of Snoqualmie Falls and thanks for the comment.

nifty@50 on July 20, 2010:

Thanks Peggy W, for sharing these wonderful images of Snoqualmie Falls! Great hub!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 19, 2010:

Hi agusfanani,

Yes, Snoqualmie Falls is not only beautiful but provides power for electricity for many people in the Seattle area. Glad you liked this. Thanks for the comment.

agusfanani from Indonesia on July 19, 2010:

Another wonderful place place. This place combines beautiful scenery and educative objects !

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 18, 2010:

Good morning Hello, hello,

Snoqualmie Falls is surely that...beautiful. Thanks for the comment.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on July 18, 2010:

You are bringing to us another beautiful place. Thank you very much.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2010:

Hi Mike,

Oh...don't put that kind of pressure on me! Ha! Just happen to have these photos in an album and thought that I would share them. Snoqualmie Falls is indeed a beautiful area. Thanks!

Mike Lickteig from Lawrence KS USA on July 17, 2010:

Your travel hubs are getting better and better--I'm beginning to wonder how you will continue to top your previous efforts. The waterfall is beautiful, and this looks like a wonderful place to visit. Through it all, your photography shines bright.

Very nice look at a wonderfully beautiful place.


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2010:

Hello Micky Dee,

Thanks for the visit. Glad that I could introduce you to Snoqualmie Falls in the State of Washington. So many pretty places in this world of ours! :-)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2010:

Hi Pamela99,

Since you like waterfalls, you'd love seeing Snoqualmie Falls. At least you now have an idea of its appearance. Thanks for the visit and comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2010:

Hi FCEtier,

We can always hope for reruns! Thanks again for the link.

Micky Dee on July 17, 2010:

You know this is great Peggy! You show me so many places like this one that I haven't hear of of forgot! Thanks again!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 17, 2010:

This looks like a fantastic place to visit. I love water falls and these are really beautiful. Nice hub.

Chip from Cold Mountain on July 17, 2010:

Well, you missed it on TV. It ran back in the early nineties. It's our favorite TV show of all time. David Lynch on TV!! Can you believe it?


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2010:

Hello E M Smith,

Yes, the Salish Lodge definitely gives an idea of scale to the Snoqualmie Falls. Quite the pretty site...or "awesome" as the youngsters say. Ha!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2010:

Hello again FCEtier,

I went to the link you provided first before responding. Good view of Snoqualmie Falls in the winter with some snow on the banks. Looks like I have missed a good TV show judging from some of the actor's names. If it is still playing...will take a look. Thanks!

E M Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on July 17, 2010:

Peggy this looks, as they say noawdays, awesome. That hotel perched above helps give some idea of the scale of the falls

Chip from Cold Mountain on July 17, 2010:


You're gonna love this! It's the opening scene aired with each episode. The falls and the lodge were prominently featured every week. Numerous scenes were inside the lodge. Not sure if it was filmed on location or in a studio. Pretty sure some were in the lodge. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oDuGN6K3VQ

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2010:

Hello sarovai,

I got to see Niagra Falls with my family when I was 12 years old. That was certainly a memorable site from both the Canadian and American side of the border.

Snoqualmie Falls is tiny in comparison with regard to width and the sheer amount of moving water, but it is impressive in its own right, and yes...taller than Niagra Falls.

Thanks for the visit and comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2010:

Hello FCEtier,

I never watched "Twin Peaks" but guess I should take a look since they used the Salish Lodge as the setting. Did they show Snoqualmie Falls in that TV show also or did they just use images of the lodge? Amazing what one learns by writing hubs and finding out things from fellow hubbers. It is fun! Thanks!

sarovai on July 17, 2010:

Hi Peggy W very interesting to know about Snoqualmie Falls.Even I came to know about that it is taller than Niagara. Thank u for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2010:

Good morning dahoglund,

I agree that the photo I purchased of Snoqualmie Falls also showing the Salish Lodge is a beauty.

The Tarzan movies were made using a number of locations one of which was Silver Springs in Florida (where Sea Hunt episodes were also filmed). Have written a hub about it...another very scenic area in a different way.

As to the tightrope walkers and Niagra Falls, I also remember hearing about people going over that particular falls in barrels. Remember? I think that a few lost their lives and then they banned those type of things.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2010:

Hi suny51,

So happy that I could share these views of Snoqualmie Falls with you. Thanks for leaving a comment.

Chip from Cold Mountain on July 17, 2010:

"Twin Peaks"!! My wife and I have been fans of that tv show since it first aired in the early 90's. We've been wanting to visit there and just haven't made it.

The Salish Lodge was "The Great Northern" in the tv show.

One day, we'll get there. Nice article!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2010:

Hi billyaustindillon,

Snoqualmie Falls is a beautiful site and the Salish Lodge is beautiful as well. Ahh...for a spa treatment! Sounds good! If you follow in our footsteps, at least you have a preview. I planned most of our U.S. trips using a Readers Digest book titled America From the Road. Gives one an idea of the scenic spots to see in each State. We were never disappointed!

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on July 17, 2010:

Hi Peggy W

There is something quite impressive about waterfalls. The "purchased" photo of the falls shows a really impressive view. It is long time since seeing a Tarzan film but I remember waterfalls in the ones in the 1950's and they probably were not even in color.

I recall reading about tightrope walkers performing over Niagara Falls years ago. As far as being risky, tightrope walking is pretty risky anyhow.

You've written another good travel piece here.

suny51 on July 17, 2010:

Hi Peggy,

Snolqualmie Falls is such a beautiful place and your photographs are really wonderfully adding glamor to this hub,admirable,every thing(and enviable too).Thanks a lot for sharing.

billyaustindillon on July 16, 2010:

Snolqualmie Falls look beautiful - I am putting together quite an impressive intinerary for the future from your hubs Peggy. that spa looks a must do.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2010:

Thank you William F. Torpey! Snolqualmie Falls and Bing Crosby's "Snoqualmie Joe" allusion to it has to be a winner. Thanks for adding the link.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2010:

Hi again msorensson,

The Snoqualmie Indians thought of it as literally their birthplace from what I have read and sacred to them.

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on July 16, 2010:

Thanks for the trip through Snoqualmie Falls, Peggy W. The photos are terrific! The only time I ever heard of Snoqualmie is on a CD of some Bing Crosby's wartime visits to the troops in which he sings "Snoqualmie Joe." If you haven't heard it, the first moments of this podcast are of Bing singing it: http://joegivens.com/Snoqualmie091008.mp3

msorensson on July 16, 2010:

Oh...thank you for that..yes..it is a sacred place!!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2010:

Hello msorensson,

Snoqualmie Falls and the Salish Lodge are a great destination...whether in person or in your dreams. The Snoqualmie Indians thought of this as a sacred place. Interesting your dreaming of being an American Indian in another lifetime.

msorensson on July 16, 2010:

It was one of the places I was supposed to visit in one of the several times I had been to Seattle..I never did..but...I dreamt about being there in the lodge..not knowing it was this!!

Thank you. Now I have to figure out why,,,it has got to do with my dreams of being an American Indian in other lifetimes.

Beautiful hub, Peggy

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