The Best Waterfalls in Washington State

October 17, 2023

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Washington Waterfalls you can’t miss

There are over 3,000 Washington waterfalls making it the state with the most falls in the entire country. Washington is home to the Cascade Range, which literally translates to range of falling waters. So it’s no wonder there are so many.

Washington waterfalls are really unmatched. See for yourself.

Here are the Best Waterfalls in Washington

Twin Falls

Located in North Bend, Washington this waterfall is a favorite of many. Due to it’s close proximity to Seattle and it’s difficulty level, you can expect to see people on trail all year long.

The hike to this Washington waterfall is 2.6 miles with about 500 feet of elevation gain. The trail starts out meandering along the river through the forest before a gentle incline begins. There are some side trails to the river to get a closer view of the waterfall, but I recommend staying on the main trail. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on leash.

The parking lot is often full and the road leading to it is through a neighborhood. Please be respectful of this and if the parking lot is full consider visiting another time. Don’t forget your Discover Pass!

Link to Twin Falls Trail

Little Mashel Falls

Three waterfalls call this part of the Pack Forest home. You can access the falls from two different trailheads. I opted for the Bud Blancher Trail. This trail begins on a paved path and goes through a neighborhood until you reach a fork in the trail. There are signs directing left into the forest, follow those. From the main trail, there are shorter trails that lead to the waterfall. The main trail does not go to the waterfalls.

This trail begins at the bottom of all three falls, the other trail begins at the top. Either way, there’s no way around the elevation gain! AllTrails says that it’s 4.6 miles with 561 feet of elevation gain. But my Garmin clocked just shy of 8 miles by the time I got back to the car.

If you only have time for one of the waterfalls, the first one is by far my favorite. It felt like I’d stepped into Narnia with the moss covered rocks, sunshine filtering through the leaves and rushing water. The middle waterfall is the tallest and the last one is underwhelming. If I were to do this trail again, I’d probably skip that one.

You can see the full hike on my YouTube.

Link to Mashel Falls Trail

Franklin Falls

This Washington State Waterfall is a classic. It’s 2 miles with 354 feet of elevation gain. The gain is very incremental which makes it perfect for families and kiddos.

The trail to Franklin Falls follows the river pretty closely and is easy to navigate. It’s great year round however, it’s worth noting, in the winter microspikes like these ones will be helpful in navigating your way down to the falls.

I especially like this one because of how close you can get to it!

Link to Franklin Falls Trail

Myrtle Falls

In Mount Rainier National Park, this Washington waterfall cannot be missed! At 0.7 miles with 150 feet of elevation gain, it’s another one that’s good for the whole family. It follows the Skyline Trail which you can continue on afterwards and get closer to the mountain or turnaround and head back to the lodge and on to your next destination.

On a clear day, you can see Mount Rainier and more of the surrounding views and meadows. I had no such luck but the foliage was still so beautiful!

Because this is in the National Park, dogs are not allowed. If you’re traveling here with a pup please check at the ranger station to see where dogs are allowed in the park.

Link to Myrtle Falls Trail

Christine Falls

This is also in Mount Rainier National Park and there’s no hike required, just a short walk from a pullover on the side of the road. Christine Falls is just a short walk but it can be extremely slippery, wet and icy in the cooler months. Your best bet is again, microspikes in the winter to avoid slipping on any ice or snow on your way down. Please use caution while taking it all in. 🙂

Snoqualmie Falls

Another Washington waterfall that’s good year-round. Aptly named for its location, Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most visited waterfalls in the state bringing in 1.5 million visitors a year! It’s just a short walk from the parking lot to the upper viewing platform. There’s a lower viewpoint you can walk to from the upper viewpoint or you can park at the lower parking lot.

The area is dog friendly but pups must be kept on leash. There is no entry fee and parking across the street from the Salish Lodge is free.

Wallace Falls

Wallace Falls is the perfect place to explore, all year long! Located near Index and Gold Bar, this hike is 5 miles with 1,400+ feet of elevation gain. The trail is out and back so you can go as far as you want before turning back. I hiked to the last viewpoint on the trail but found it underwhelming. If I were to do it again, I’d stop at the second view point. You can’t get close to the falls but the views from the platforms are absolutely incredible.

Link to Wallace Falls Trail

So, which Washington waterfall are you visiting first?

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