Top 20 Seattle attractions

Snoqualmie Falls

free admission

See one of America's most beautiful waterfalls, just 40 minutes east of Seattle.

Snoqualmie Falls has a dramatic setting and is one of Washington State's most iconic sights, attracting 1.5 million visitors a year.

The 268-foot waterfall plunges from a sheer clifftop to a pool below, carving it's way through the ancient Cascade Mountains.  It's overlooked by the stunning Salish Lodge at the top of the Falls. 

You probably recognize this scene from the 1990's cult hit Twin Peaks, where the Salish Lodge was featured as the fictional Great Northern Hotel.   

It's free to visit, located at 6501 Railroad Avenue SE at Snoqualmie, adjacent to the Salish Lodge.

5 best things to do at Snoqualmie Falls

1. Walk to the Upper Observation Deck for a birds-eye view of Snoqualmie Falls. 

The Upper Observation Deck is just steps from the parking lot, and provides breathtaking views of Snoqualmie Falls. Listen to the roar of the falls as they plunge 268 feet into the Snoqualmie River, and feel the refreshing mist spray on your face.

Snoqualmie Falls is the site of one of America's most ambitious engineering projects, housing the world's first underground hydroelectric plant. It was constructed between 1898-99, and is encased 260 feet below in bedrock.

3. Visit the Snoqualmie Falls Gift Shop and Visitor Center.

The Snoqualmie Falls Gift Shop and Visitor Center is close to the Upper Observation Deck, and has a gift shop, snack bar, movie theater, and indoor and outdoor seating.  

You can learn about the history of Snoqualmie Falls at the Visitor Center.

There's also a short, educational video to watch on the Snoqualmie Falls.

Purchase some coffee, snacks, or sandwiches, and sit outside on the expansive patio.

4. Drive or hike down to the Lower Observation Deck, to see Snoqualmie Falls at river level.   

If you're feeling a little more energetic, you can hike down to the base of Snoqualmie Falls.  The hike starts at the Upper Observation Deck and continues 0.7 miles along a dirt pathway to the Lower Observation DeckThe last section is along a beautiful boardwalk that flanks the river, getting you close to all the action at the base of the Falls.  It takes about 20 minutes to walk down to the base of Snoqualmie Falls, and 25 minutes to make the more steep walk back up.

If you don't want to hike down to the base of Snoqualmie Falls, drive to the parking lot near the Lower Observation Deck (search for Snoqualmie Lower Falls Parking Lot on Google Maps).

5. Visit the gift shop at the Salish Lodge.

The gift shop at Salish Lodge has beautiful items sourced from the northwest, with unique finds like private label wines, honey from the Salish Lodge apiary, the Salish bath products collection, and fun Twin Peaks memorabilia.

6. Enjoy a delicious meal at the Salish Lodge.

The rustic Salish Lodge is also perfect for a meal.  Step inside the cosy Attic bistro for an incredible bird's eye view of the Falls, or for a more upscale option book a table at The Dining Room.

This is the amazing view of Snoqualmie Falls from the Attic bistro (above).

7. Stay overnight at the luxurious Salish Lodge.

Savor a unique experience at this gorgeous Northwestern Lodge on the crest of Snoqualmie Falls.  Book a massage on a patio overlooking Snoqualmie Falls, soak in the steaming tub at The Spa, eat a woodfired pizza at the Attic bistro, or relax beside a roaring fire in the lobby.

Many of the 86 guest rooms have views of Snoqualmie Falls, and are tastefully decorated with luxury features like oversized soaking tubs and gas fireplaces.

Fun things to do near Snoqualmie Falls

More Parks & Nature in Seattle


Probably one of the most unique ways to see Snoqualmie Falls is by taking Seattle Heli Tours helicopter Trip C. They leave from Seattle and the helicopter banks down very near the falls. People from the observations platforms can even see you in the helicopter and start to shoots pictures! What a view!

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