When I was making the drive from Richland to Bothell in Washington alone with the boys, I knew we would need a big stop to get the wiggles out. I was shocked to find Franklin Falls, an easy 2 mile (1 mile each way) hike that is nestled between the divided I-90 highway.

I have driven over Snoqualmie Pass easily a hundred times in the years I went to college at Central Washington University and I had no idea this little gem was nestled in the woods I drove by every time.


Type: Easy

Length: 2 miles

Elevation Gain: 354 ft

Good for: All ages

Getting Here

You have to take the Denny Creek exit and pass the Denny Creek campground. Parking is a nightmare here! It doesn’t help that we got there at noon on a Saturday but I lucked out when a woman right next to the trailhead pulled out just as I was coming up! For people who want to see the falls but not do the hike, keep driving up! There is a parking section right near the falls which would mean a much shorter walk.

Little Legs to Start

I always make Logan walk on the beginning of our hikes. He was antsy from being in the car for a couple hours and happily ran along the well packed pathway. It was a bit of a pain pulling him away from the creek that runs along the bottom portion of the trail. This kid loves to throw rocks in water.

Ty loved to stop at every large tree and look way up toward the tops.

A Slight Incline

Not too long into the hike Logan had enough so I was able to put him on my back so Ty and I could go at a better clip. It is a slight incline the entire way to the falls, nothing unmanageable but good for people to know beforehand. Ty made it the entire way to the falls. He was so excited to see all the chipmunks, stop at every stream, and pick ferns as we went.

When we passed the secret parking area we were soon at the falls. It’s a narrow, wet, rock ledge that had me nervously holding Ty’s hand and picking my way down. There were so many people coming and going that it had a slight Hunger Games feel as we played chicken with each other on who would move over and who would proceed.

Franklin Falls

The falls are beautiful and sadly my photos don’t show how big they were. There was a lot of log debris around the base of it and both my boys were screaming to chill at the creek bed and throw rocks.

We were able to find a small spot to play but were soon overwhelmed by people and I decided to call it and not spend too much time by the falls.

Packing them out

As soon as we cleared the ledge Ty declared his legs were tired and he couldn’t walk anymore. I tried to coax him on telling him it was all downhill and so much easier, but he wouldn’t budge. With the help of some other hikers I got Logi on the front and put Ty up on the back.

My aching back! As I huffed and sweated on the way down, legs shaking, sweat dripping I started to question my sanity. But it’s all worth it because if I didn’t pack them both, I wouldn’t get to have these outdoors experiences. And I’m normalizing hiking for them at such a young age that hopefully they’ll be out hiking me soon!

Franklin Falls is definitely worth the stop on your road trips!

Is there such thing as a toddler specific carrier? Ty is pretty hefty for the one I have!


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