Snoqualmie Falls: Complete Guide for Your Visit!

Last Updated on March 28, 2023 by admin

Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most magnificent waterfalls in Washington State. The falls are 268 feet tall. Snoqualmie Falls is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Seattle area, with over 1.5 million visitors each year. I’ve been to Snoqualmie Falls dozens of times, and it’s easily one of my favorite attractions in Washington. In this post, we’re sharing a complete guide to visiting Snoqualmie Falls! We’ll share how to get to Snoqualmie Falls, where the best views of the falls are located, how to hike to Snoqualmie Falls, and nearby attractions.

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Travel Tip: If you’re planning a trip to Seattle, consider buying a Seattle CityPASS. You’ll be able to save money if you plan on visiting multiple attractions. 


Visiting Seattle on a rainy day? No problem! Check out our post on 24 Rainy Day Activities in Seattle.

Book a Tour of Snoqualmie Falls

If you’re located in Seattle, one of the easiest ways to visit is to book a tour of Snoqualmie Falls. The tour includes transportation to the falls, as well as a stop at two different wineries in Woodinville. (We wrote a full post about wineries in Woodinville, click here!) We definitely recommend the tour option if you are an out-of-town visitor. That way, you won’t have to worry about booking a rental car or navigating public transportation. 

About Snoqualmie Falls

No two visits to Snoqualmie Falls are alike. A visit in the spring will be different than a visit in the summer. A visit at night will be different than a visit in the morning. And a visit on a rainy day will be different than a visit on a sunny day. So even if you’ve been to Snoqualmie Falls once or twice before, you’ll likely enjoy going again. 

The falls were first discovered by the indigenous people, as the Snoqualmie River was a meeting place for several of the native indigenous groups. The Snoqualmie Tribe was one of the tribes that frequented this area. The Snoqualmie Tribe is one of the Coast Salish people. The name Snoqualmie is the English version of “sah-KOH-koh” or “Sdob-dwahibbluh”, which is a Salish word for “moon”. 

The land is sacred to the Snoqualmie people because it is where the First Man and First Woman were created by the Moon. They believe that their prayers at the falls are carried upward toward heaven in the mist. The Snoqualmie Tribe’s website is listed here if you’d like to learn more education and advocacy efforts.

White settlers began visiting the falls in the 1850s. More settlers came to the area as the timber industry expanded. When the first power plant was built in the 1890s, more people were drawn to the falls for employment opportunities. 

When the railroad was constructed, even more people began to visit the falls from Seattle. People celebrated at the falls with lots of food and even a tightrope event over the falls. 

The Snoqualmie Tribe recently reclaimed their sacred land. This purchase reflects hundreds of years of advocacy and preservation efforts by the tribe.

Be sure to also check out our posts on Franklin Falls and Shoshone Falls!

What to Bring With You to Snoqualmie Falls

As you prepare for your trip, we have a few recommendations of items to bring for your visit:

If you visit the falls on a rainy day, we definitely recommend that you pack a good rain jacket or even a poncho. 

We also recommend that you purchase their Pancake Mix. Their pancakes are so yummy, and this is the mix that we buy routinely!

How to Get to Snoqualmie Falls


Snoqualmie Falls is located approximately 29 miles east of Seattle. You can easily enter Snoqualmie Falls into your GPS, or Salish Lodge (which is the hotel that is perched above the falls). There’s also a parking lot at the lower observation deck, which has the entrance to the short riverside trail to the lower falls. If you want to see the falls from the main deck, though, we recommend that you park at the upper lot.

The main address for Snoqualmie Falls (upper observation deck) is: 6501 Railroad Ave SE Snoqualmie, Washington, 98024

Parking at Snoqualmie Falls

There are several places to park near the falls.

The first parking lot is near the gift shop (adjacent to the lodge). This is a small paid parking lot. It fills up very quickly on a sunny day! 

The second parking lot is free and is located across the street from the lodge. There is a beautiful pedestrian bridge that will allow you to easily walk over the busy road to reach the falls. We’ve found this to be the best option for parking. It’s free and it’s right across the street!

If you’re staying at Salish Lodge, you can also enjoy their valet parking directly in front of the lodge.

Finally, there’s a lower parking lot that will take you to the trail that leads to the lower observation deck at Snoqualmie Falls.  


Hiking to the Lower Observation Deck at Snoqualmie Falls

We like to start off our visit to the falls by first completing the short trail at the base of the falls to the lower observation deck, and then driving or walking to the upper lots to view the falls from the upper observation deck.

There is a trail that connects the upper and lower observations points if you are up for a bit of a climb. During our last visit, though, we with family members and decided to park in the lower parking lot and just complete the short boardwalk to the lower observation deck. The boardwalk is mostly flat (although there are some stairs) and is approximately .3 miles long. It’s a very quick walk to see the falls and back.

The boardwalk is stunning and follows the river through old growth forests. Once you reach the lower observation deck, you’ll likely feel the cool mist. Please practice Leave No Trace principles and do not litter. Be sure to stay on the marked trail. Do not climb over the fence to the river below. 

We recommend visiting this trail because you will see the falls from a completely different perspective! And once you are done, you can either hike the trail all the way up to the upper observation deck, or you can do what we did and just re-park the car at the top.

If you’re interested in the full trail description, we recommend that you view the Washington Trail Association’s website on Snoqualmie Falls.

View from the lower observation deck at Snoqualmie Falls
View from the lower observation deck at Snoqualmie Falls


Viewing Snoqualmie Falls From Above

The most popular place to view the falls is from the upper observation deck, which is just a quick walk from Salish Lodge. It’s definitely possible to view the falls without hiking at all.

From the upper deck, you’ll have an unrestricted view of the falls.

view from the upper observation deck at Snoqualmie Falls
View from the upper observation deck at Snoqualmie Falls


Staying at the Salish Lodge and Spa Near Snoqualmie Falls  

Perched right next to the falls is Salish Lodge. The lodge is famous in Washington for being a luxury escape that embraces all of the Pacific Northwest’s finest foods and traditions. You can book reservations to stay at Salish Lodge here.

The lodge contains 86 guest rooms, each of which have their own gas fireplace. The bathrooms feature either dual shower heads or oversized soaking tubs. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a busy day or two visiting Seattle.

Salish Lodge
Salish Lodge


Dining at the Salish Lodge

There are two dining options at Salish Lodge: The Dining Room and The Lounge At The Attic.

The Dining Room is where you will experience fine dining that features fresh local ingredients. One of their signatures meals is their Country Breakfast, which has been a lodge staple since its early pioneer days! The breakfast contains four courses and your server will pour honey from local hives high above your plate onto freshly-made biscuits. It’s definitely a bucket list experience for any visit to Washington.

The Lounge at the Attic is more casual. The lounge is open for adults 21+ and has some of the best views of the falls. It’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and a craft cocktail. 

Spa at the Salish Lodge

The spa at Salish Lodge has won numerous awards, including Condé Nast Traveler’s “Top 50 Hotel Spas in the United States.” The spa contains soaking pools, rainfall showers, a sauna, and a steam room, in addition to their treatment packages.

Gift Shop at Snoqualmie Falls

There’s also a gift shop on site, the Country Store, which sells a variety of homemade mixes, jams, honeys, and spreads. There will be a new gift shop and visitor center that will share with visitors the Snoqualmie Tribe’s history. 

Ready to book your stay at the Salish Lodge? Click here!

Snoqualmie Falls Featured on Twin Peaks

Snoqualmie Falls was featured on the TV show Twin Peaks. The show’s opening credits shows Snoqualmie Falls. You can watch the show’s intro here. (You’ll see Snoqualmie Falls pictured at the 1:49 timestamp.)

In the show Twin Peaks, Snoqualmie Falls seems like a remote place in the wilderness. In actuality, it’s very accessible and draws crowds of people. In Twin Peaks, the hotel next to the fall is called The Great Northern Hotel. In real life, the hotel is called the Salish Lodge and you can stay overnight there.

Twin Peaks had two seasons that aired in 1990 and 1991. It recently had a third season that aired in 2021. You can read all about the show here

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Snoqualmie Falls’ operating hours?

Snoqualmie Falls is open from dawn until dusk.

Can you view Snoqualmie Falls at night?

You can view Snoqualmie Falls at night. There are lights that illuminate the falls.

Can you swim at Snoqualmie Falls?

You cannot swim at Snoqualmie Falls. It would be too dangerous. You must stay on the marked trails. 

When is the best time to visit Snoqualmie Falls?

The best time to visit Snoqualmie Falls is after a heavy rain, or more generally, in the spring. We recommend visiting Snoqualmie Falls during a sunny day in early spring. You’ll have excellent weather and the falls will be robust. However, any time is a good time to visit the falls! It can be fun to visit on a rainy day, during the fall, or on a bright summer day. There’s truly no “bad time” to visit Snoqualmie Falls. Just make sure it’s not a very foggy day. We’ve had friends who have visited and literally could not see the falls at all because of a heavy fog!

Are dogs allowed at Snoqualmie Falls?

Dogs are allowed at Snoqualmie Falls, but they must be leashed.

Does it cost money to view Snoqualmie Falls?

There is no admission fee to view Snoqualmie Falls. 

Can you walk behind Snoqualmie Falls?

You may not walk behind Snoqualmie Falls. You must stay on the designated trail.

Can you barbecue at Snoqualmie Falls?

You cannot barbecue at Snoqualmie Falls. There are some designated areas for picnics, but barbecuing is not permitted.

Is it worth visiting Snoqualmie Falls?

We think it is definitely worth it to visit Snoqualmie Falls! We have visited the falls dozens of times and keep returning. If you’re planning a trip to Seattle, we definitely think it’s worth planning an excursion to Snoqualmie Falls. We bring our out-of-town visitors to Snoqualmie Falls and it’s always a big hit.

How long does it take to visit Snoqualmie Falls?

You can visit Snoqualmie Falls in as little as 30 minutes, or much longer! During our last visit we spent a couple hours at the falls between completing the lower hike and viewing the falls from the upper observation deck. If you want to add on a meal at Salish Lodge, you might need longer. We recommend making dining reservations in advance. But if you just want a quick view of the falls, you’ll only need 30 minutes to park and walk to the upper observation deck.

Do you have to hike to see Snoqualmie Falls?

You do not have to hike to see Snoqualmie Falls. You can see the falls from the upper observation deck, which is a short walk from the parking lot. If you do want to hike, there is a boardwalk trail to the lower observation deck.

How tall is Snoqualmie Falls?

Snoqualmie Falls is 268 feet high. That makes it 100 feet taller than Niagara Falls!

Is Snoqualmie Falls in Seattle?

Snoqualmie Falls is located about 29 miles east of Seattle. Without traffic, you can reach the falls in about 30 minutes. Snoqualmie Falls is a popular day trip for visitors to Seattle. 

Are there tours operating at Snoqualmie Falls?

There are some companies that offer tours to the falls from Seattle. This half-day tour will take you to Snoqualmie Falls from Seattle.




Nearby Attractions

If you’re visiting the Snoqualmie area, you might also be interested in the following attractions:

  • Snoqualmie Depot: This historic train station is now a museum and a fully-functioning train station. There is no admission charge to enter the museum, but donations are appreciated. The train ride does need an admission ticket, and you can view the current schedule here. The scenic train ride is a wonderful way to view the Snoqualmie Valley!
  • Fall City Floating: During the summer, a popular activity is floating the river! Thankfully there are companies that provide shuttles and equipment rentals. Just be sure to be safe while out on the water.
  • Remlinger Farms: This farm is located about 15 minutes away from Snoqualmie Falls. They are a very kid-friendly farm to visit, and they are famous for their mini pies! They have a carousel, mini-rides, and pony rides.
  • Downtown Snoqualmie: The downtown area is filled with lots of unique shops, restaurants, wine tasting, and ice cream.
  • Snoqualmie Casino: This is the closet casino to Seattle and features 1,700 slot games and over 50 gaming tables. They often feature live entertainment.
  • Snoqualmie Falls Brewery: While you’re at the falls, be sure to check our Snoqualmie Falls Brewery. After walking around Snoqualmie Falls, you can grab a pint or a growler while you eat classic pub food. Snoqualmie Falls Brewery is located about a mile south of the falls, so it’s really easy to stop by there after visiting the falls.


Summary: Our Visit to Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is one of our favorite places to visit in Washington State. We often bring our guests to the falls, and they always tell us it was a trip highlight. We’ve personally visited Snoqualmie Falls more times than we count. It’s a beautiful gem in Washington State! We hope this post on Snoqualmie Falls was helpful to you as you prepare your own visit! 

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Disclaimer: We always strive for content accuracy. Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please look up such information directly from each vendor or institution for the most current information.

Hi, I’m Kelly!

After studying abroad in Spain, I became passionate about international travel. Since then, I’ve traveled to 6 continents and 36 states within the United States. When I’m not travel blogging, you can find me hiking, reading Spanish novels, or playing cribbage. I hope my blog inspires you to see the world!

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