The Best Waterfalls to Visit Near Seattle

Hike up to the top of Snoqualmie Falls for a spectacular picnic spot
Hike up to the top of Snoqualmie Falls for a spectacular picnic spot | © Westend61 GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
What is it about waterfalls that we all love so much? Crashing bursts of water thundering down from a great height seem to inspire something in everyone. Our local insiders share the best waterfalls near Seattle for you to get your fix.

Snoqualmie Falls

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Snoqualmie Falls
Snoqualmie Falls | © Zachary Frank / Alamy Stock Photo
Feel the refreshing spray on your face as you approach the towering 268ft (82m) Snoqualmie waterfall. A short hike to the observation deck provides spectacular views and, arguably, the best picnic spot. If it all looks strangely familiar from up there, the falls appeared in David Lynch’s classic TV series and film Twin Peaks. Just half an hour’s drive from Seattle, this is a very popular spot for city folk looking for respite in nature. Recommended by local insider Grace Coleman
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Franklin Falls

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Pack a flask of hot coffee and head to the base of Franklin Falls, it’ll be your favourite cup of joe in a long time. Though the route is more up than down to start, it’s just a short hike through lush forest, the paths are wide, and you can easily stop for a paddle in the crystal clear, blue waters of the river. Smaller waterfalls on route are a pleasant warm-up to the main event, the spectacular cascading falls that conclude the trail. Recommended by local insider Eric Coleman

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Twin Falls

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Less than an hour from Seattle and you’re in the heart of magical evergreen forests. Twin Falls is perfect for families, the hike is more than manageable – and the pooch can come too! Trails are well-kept and mostly run alongside the river, so it’s a beautiful place to walk. Your workout is rewarded by the cascading Twin Falls at the end of the trail, and you’ll be ready for that slightly-red-in-the-face-and-sweating photo with the whole clan. Recommended by local insider Grace Coleman

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Coal Creek Falls

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Another spot offering nature, peace and tranquillity just a short hop from the metropolis – shall we all move to Seattle? The hike is considered beginner’s level, so bring along your granny and your kids for a 2.5mi (4km) round trip through the forest. The waterfall is smaller than others in the area, but might is not always right: the approachability of the trail and its closeness to the city make it a winner in the eyes of our local source. Recommended by local insider Grace Coleman

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Wallace Falls State Park

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Wallace Falls, Wallace Falls State Park, Washington.
Wallace Falls, Wallace Falls State Park, Washington. | © RGB Ventures / SuperStock / Alamy Stock Photo
This is a hiker’s paradise. If you can’t wait to get your walking boots on and head off for a hearty hike in nature, there’s no better place to go near Seattle. The trail itself follows the mighty Wallace River, with many viewing points along the way to enjoy the lush greens and shaded canopy of the forest – plus, of course, the three-section Wallace Falls. For campers there’s a monitored campsite, wild camping options or cabins, all with stunning mountain views. Recommended by local insider Eric Coleman
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These recommendations were updated on July 16, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.