This 270-foot waterfall is surrounded by a two-acre park, with an observation deck, gift shop, and the Salish Lodge. Even though we were born and raised in Seattle, it was going to be our first time visiting the Falls; we were quite excited!
The drive there was short and sweet, and it was very easy to find. It took about 45 minutes via I-405 N and I-90 E and that included traffic (the 520 bridge was closed).
We lucked out in getting VIP parking, right in front of the Upper Park Area. The Upper Park has multiple viewpoints and observation areas, so you will certainly be able to get a great view of the Falls.
After viewing it from up above, we walked over to the start of the trail, and headed down to the Lower Park Area (LPA) of the Falls. We decide it was best that only Daddy and our eldest hike down the trail, while Mommy and our youngest drove the car down.
FYI- if you are traveling with little ones, I highly recommend bringing a baby carrier and not a stroller.
The hike back up the half mile trail is fairly steep, so you will definitely get a workout traveling back up the trail (hence my little one and I driving down to the LPA to meet Daddy and our eldest).
I am extremely glad that there was parking available at the LPA. We lucked out in VIP parking down there, too. I think it’s actually better to park at the bottom of the Falls and work your way up then back down instead of the opposite.
After we met up again, we traveled through the narrow boardwalk, where there were two observation areas – 1 of the river bend and the other directly in front of the falls. It was extremely crowded at the end; people crowded the viewpoint and others were climbing over the railings to hike closer down to the Falls.
We were not able to get a nice photo of us with the Falls, so instead, we decided to turn back around and find an easier trail, leading down to the river and rocks. We made it back up towards the parking lot and found just the view we were looking for, and boy, did we luck out! (Though our eldest did not appreciate the view as much we did).
As we hiked out to the rocks, we were able to get an amazing view of the river bend. The water was a bit rough, so we had to make sure our boys were in our arms at all times.
As we traveled further down the river, we came to a sandy inlet, where the water was particularly tranquil. It was still and clear enough, where kids were able to play in the water. So of course, they jumped right in! We let them play for about 30 minutes and decided it was time to head back and go home. It was a great way to end our mini road trip!
A piece of advice – if you plan on visiting Snoqualmie Falls, definitely go on a weekday or in the morning on a weekend. We went on a Saturday around 1:00 pm, so it was exceptionally full. Although it was a wonderful visit, I would have loved to get more photos of my family and the Falls.
Notes: There are a few picnic areas if you want to bring in your own food or you can enjoy a casual dining experience at The Attic in the Salish Lodge. For a fancier meal you can make reservations at The Dining Room. Reservations are required.
For a great souvenir, be sure to visit the gift store and pick up a box of Snoqualmie Falls Pancake or Waffle Mix to remember your journey for many breakfasts to come.
The free parking and free viewing areas are open from dawn to dust and are wheelchair accessible. Leashed pets are allowed. Light illuminate the Falls in the evening.