Visiting Snoqualmie Falls with Kids
We’ve been living in Seattle for roughly 3 months now and it’s finally summertime. Everyone keeps telling us that the weather here gets worse before the summer officially starts. On this particular day in New York, the temperatures nearly reached 100 degrees. But in the Seattle area, it was drizzling, foggy, and cold, and since we had spent the day before at the movie theater, we decided to brave the yucky weather and see something new outside. Therefore we decided this day was perfect for visiting Snoqualmie Falls with kids.
Snoqualmie Falls, Washington is only a 45-minute drive from Seattle. This location makes it a perfect day trip from Seattle, which is always a plus when exploring with kids.
Our family arrived around 10AM and the place seemed busy. There was at least one tour bus that we saw, and the parking lot was close to being full. I had no idea that it would be such a popular thing to see, but I guess I was wrong. Our little one was super excited to see the Snoqualmie Falls because she always remembers our trip to see Niagara Falls. We were really hoping she wasn’t going to be too let down for this one – haha!
Upper Viewing Area
As soon as you crossed the street and walked for just a few minutes you could see and hear the roaring Snoqualmie Falls. At the upper viewing area, it wasn’t too crowded and you could easily find a good spot to see the view of the falls. After viewing for a few minutes, we decided to take the half-mile trail down to the lower viewing area.
Hike to the Base of Snoqualmie Falls
The trail down to the bottom was wet and muddy on this particular day. But regardless it was still an easy walk for our 3 and 7-year-old. Probably would take anyone under 20 minutes to walk straight down, but for us with many stops along the way it was closer to 45 minutes… There are lots of benches to sit on and things to explore on the way down the trail. The kids loved seeing all the big trees, and plants. But most of all, they liked discovering all the giant slugs that were on the sides of the trails – yuck!
At the bottom of the trail, you pass by the Snoqualmie Falls power plant area. There was lots of information about how water is used to create energy. But my girls were more interested in finding out how we could get closer to the river and see the falls up close.
Lower Viewing Area
There is a boardwalk-style path that leads you down to the lower viewing area. I think I liked this view even better since you were down at the water level and looking up at the Snoqualmie Falls. The viewing area was definitely crowded and full of people taking pictures. But luckily the kids were hungry and ready to head back out onto the original trail to head back to our car! This made our view short but sweet.
The trail ended and there was a small parking lot, and a set of bathrooms. We headed back up the same trail we came down on. Obviously, we knew going back up was not going to be as easy for our three-year-old. She lucked out and got to ride on dad’s shoulders on the way back up which allowed us to get up quicker than coming down!
We would consider returning for another visit may be on a sunnier day. I did learn from another family travel friend that the water flow can vary and can be stronger or weaker depending on the time of the year. We would LOVE to see it at its strongest, fastest flow. I would also love to return to read more about the power plant, so perhaps when the kids are a bit older and have some more interest in that too!