Franklin Falls – I’m Back

Oh boy, Spring was a toughie. Right after we got back from Texas in mid-March we both came down with a cold, probably caught on the plane, which got us off-track for a couple weeks. Then, in April we both got a particularly nasty flu. And to top it all off, I developed pneumonia after that flu! A couple weeks ago I was cleared to begin exercising again, so I have been doing a 3-mile flat trail walk nearly every day since. Now that I’m trained up a bit, and I have energy, we did a really short hike to Franklin Falls. I cheated and parked up further than the normal parking lot, shortening this trip to about 1 mile in total.

Franklin Falls is a beautiful waterfall in between I-90 East and West where it splits near Exit 47. It is part of the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River.

DIRECTIONS

There are two ways to approach. The first is coming from I-90 East, get off at Exit 47 Denny Creek/Tinkham Road/Asahel Curtis. Take a left at the stop sign and then a right at the next stop sign. Then go under the freeway and take a left onto NF-5800 (which is closed in the winter, by the way, so you’d have to park under the freeway and hike in adding significant mileage). After a couple miles, you’ll see the parking area. You do need NW Forest Pass to park in this area. If you do the hike from here it is 2 miles roundtrip. We went a little further and parked in a pullout.

Route

The Franklin Falls trail is well-maintained and well-trafficked, as such, it is hard to miss. It is an out-and-back.

Trail Conditions

The trail is in excellent shape. No debris or puddles at this time of year.

Equipment

This trip was unplanned and I don’t even think my husband had proper hiking shoes on that day. Though I would recommend at least some athletic sneakers for this as there are some rocks that need to be navigated at the end.

the experience

As I said, this was an unplanned hike, so we just kind of sauntered along. It goes slightly uphill and then after about a half a mile you have to climb down some rockery to the actual falls/river area. This is a bit steep and a little tricky, but very manageable. This is where athletic shoes are needed, especially on a wet day.

The river rocks down at the falls are almost always wet from the mist, so take care here.

The Hubs looking at the falls.
The descent close to the falls.

The verdict

This was a great little hike to get me back outdoors again. With little elevation gain/loss this is a great hike for families with small children who are able to walk on their own or be carried (i.e. not stroller-friendly). If you start down at the parking lot, it is only about 2 miles roundtrip.

cumulative mileage in 2019: 36.94

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