Franklin Falls, Franklin Falls Trailhead, Seattle: Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Snoqualmie Pass - Central Cascades, Washington
Franklin Falls - 2.5 miles
Franklin Falls Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||2.5 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||2,242' – 2,479’ (2,522’ max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+237’ net elevation gain (+406’ total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Franklin Falls - 2.5 Miles Round-Trip
Franklin Falls is hidden in plain sight just two miles SW of Snoqualmie Pass between the elevated roadway of I-90 and old Denny Creek Wagon Trail. A gentle, family-friendly trail follows S. Fork Snoqualmie River north past its confluence with Denny Creek to the viewing area. This short hike features old-growth cedar, mature hemlock and dark swirling pools along the creek:
The trail heads NW from the parking lot along Denny Creek past several cabins on a meandering gravel path. A number of slides and pools are visible in the creek through stands of healthy alder, cedar and hemlock.
At .25 miles the trail climbs timber boardwalks and stairs past the hidden confluence of Denny Creek and S. Fork Snoqualmie River to a giant cedar tree with a live hemlock growing out of it (.5 miles). Host trees like this cedar are common in Pacific Northwest forests.
Views opens up to Denny Camp Falls just past the host tree before squeezing between a hairpin in Denny Creek Road and deep ravine of the creek (.7 miles : 2,355').
It comes to a junction with the Wagon Road Trail just before the falls, which enters from the right (1.1 miles). This trail generally runs parallel to the Franklin Falls Trail and may be taken back to form a loop.
The trail dips past the junction to the viewing area of Franklin Falls (1.25 miles : 2,537'). The last 100' down to the falls' base can be hiked, but caution is a must on these steep, slippery surfaces.
- N47 24.784 W121 26.559 — 0.0 miles: Franklin Falls Trailhead - 2,245'
- N47 25.046 W121 26.417 — 0.5 miles: Giant cedar tree - 2,311'
- N47 25.417 W121 26.062 — 1.1 miles: Wagon Road Trail Junction
- N47 25.471 W121 26.026 — 1.25 miles: Franklin Falls
- This trail begins and ends in the Franklin Falls TH (#1036) parking lot .25 miles short of the Denny Creek parking lot, but a loop can be made by returning via the Wagon Road Trail from the junction a quarter mile from the Falls.
- Take caution across slippery surfaces on the west rock ledges approaching the falls’ splash pool, and be prepared for spray.
- Though most of the trail is improved, safe and even hand-railed, there some eroded sections and steep drops down to the creek.
Camping and Backpacking Information
While there is no camping at Franklin Falls, Car Camping is available at the Denny Creek Campground.
The campground has 33 Individual sites and 1 group site for 20 - 50 persons. There are 7 accessible sites. Amenities include water faucets, flush toilets and picnic tables.
All developed site regulations apply. Dogs must be on leash, campfires in developed rings only, quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Fireworks are prohibited. Concessionaire sites require a fee paid upon arrival to the campground host. Stay limit is 14 days.
Reservations and current fees for the Denny Creek Campground can be made or found via Recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777. Advance reservations recommended.
Backcountry Camping is allowed only at designated campsites when within 1/2-mile of the following locations: Gem Lake, Gravel Lake, Island Lake, Lower Tuscohatchie Lake, Mason Lake, Melakwa Lake, Olallie Lake, Pratt Lake, Rainbow Lake, Snow Lake, Talapus Lake, and Williams Lake.
An overnight Wilderness permit must be filled out at the TH. Max group size is 12.
No campfires are allowed above 4,000’, including at Melakwa, Tuscohatchie or Pratt Lakes.
- There is no fishing at Franklin Falls.
Rules and Regulations
- A Northwest Forest Pass or $5 fee is required at this trailhead.
- There is no camping at Franklin Falls.
- Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash at all times. They may not be left in vehicles unattended.
Directions to Trailhead
The Franklin Falls Trailhead is located 2.8 miles from Exit 47 on I-90 west of Snoqualmie Pass.
From I-90, exit 47 to Denny Creek/Tinkham Road and turn left off the ramp. After .2 miles, turn right at the T intersection (turning left here takes you to the Pratt Lake/Granite trailhead). Cross under I-90 and turn left at .2 miles onto FR 58 / Denny Creek Rd. At 2.4 miles, just past the Denny Creek Campground, turn left at the Y into the Franklin Falls Trailhead parking lot.
The parking lot sits just before a bridge and .25 miles shy of the Denny Creek TH; it holds 15 cars and has no privy. Bathrooms can be found in the Campground and at Denny Creek TH.
Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest | Snoqualmie Ranger District
902 SE North Bend Way, Bldg 1
North Bend, WA 98045
Reference Trail #1036