A “must” hike: Mist, mud, waterfall and waffles (Part 1)

Posted by on Mar 1, 2007 | No Comments

Q. We just recently moved here and somebody said we MUST go see Snoqualmie Falls. Is this true? And what happens if we don’t? We’re only half-kidding here: We want to go, and are curious about what kind of shape the trail to the falls is in this time of the year. And is the Salish Lodge a good place for lunch?

A: Yes, you have to go. Just get it over with. Once you’re there, peering over the side of a cliff at what would be a stunning, 268-foot waterfall — if you could see it through the swirling mist — you’ll be glad you came. Probably.

The trail to the falls is in great shape. We hiked the full 100 yards of it from the car to the overlook recently, and nary a blemish was to be found in the concrete.

If you’re talking about the other trail, which leads to the Snoqualmie River at the bottom of the canyon: It’s probably OK in March. However: Like every other trail within several hundred miles of Westlake Center, expect torrents of rain, inches of mud and angry swarms of banana slugs.

But those are all survivable. Remember the time-honored rule of Northwest winter hiking: Wear just what you need to stay warm, and carry dry clothes with you for when you stop. You can only get so wet, and moisture won’t kill you — at least right away.

Some facts on the trail to the bottom: It’s steep, about a half-mile and 300 to 400 vertical feet down to the river floor, then another half-mile scramble or so back up toward the base of the falls. Note: Those big rocks are slicker than snot. Watch for broken ankles.

That said, a trip to the falls is always a worthwhile jaunt — one made by 1.5 million folks a year. Some people say the canyon has healing powers. We say: If they believe it, then it probably does.

As to the Salish Lodge: Too high-rent for us. The closest we get to eating there is using the waffle mix with the waterfall on the package at home on Sundays.

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Seattle Times
Trail Mix | Ron Judd
A “must” hike: Mist, mud, waterfall and waffles