The Best Hikes near Snoqualmie Pass with Amazing Views

Snoqualmie Pass is just an hour from Seattle and is incredibly beautiful (just one of the many beautiful places to explore in Washington State). In the Snoqualmie Pass area, we were able to do waterfall hikes, a beautiful lake hike, visit breweries, stay at an awesome Airbnb, and more. Here are some awesome hikes near Snoqualmie Pass.

This list includes easy, moderate, and hard options. I love hiking and exploring the outdoors when I visit different places. I knew visiting the Pacific Northwest (Seattle specifically) would be no different. This led me to discover awesome hikes near Seattle and the discovery of Snoqualmie Pass that I’m excited to share with you!

Table of Contents


Mt. Rainier and Olympic State Park are both obvious choices, but if you want to go a little more off the normal path and see some of the amazing lakes and waterfalls that the Pacific Northwest is famous for on our weekend trip from Seattle. There are so many beautiful places to explore in Washington State.

About Snoqualmie Pass

    1. The area is located about an hour from Seattle and in the summer is perfect for hiking, eating, and drinking. In the winter, you can head there for skiing/snowboarding and snowshoe hiking.
    2. Snoqualmie Pass was originally used by Native Americans as a pass through the mountains and then was an area that the pioneers in the 1800s had to pass over in order to get to the coast as well. You can still see the wagon road on some trails that I will tell you about later.
    3. Snoqualmie Pass is featured in many TV shows and movies, most famously, Twin Peaks.
    4. The most famous waterfall and lodge in this area is located on Snoqualmie Falls called Salish Lodge and Spa that has great views and is right on the edge of the falls.
    5. Most of these hikes require the Northwest Forest Pass, you can get an annual Northwest Forest Pass ($30) and one of the most user-friendly ways to purchase it is online at REI. You can also get one last minute if you stop in North Bend – all of the gas stations off exit 31 should have them. Some trailheads may also provide day passes.

I highly recommend staying overnight in this area if you can! It is worth it to stick around for an extra day to really take in the beauty of the area and see everything. We stayed at a really awesome B&B that we found on Airbnb.

This place was actually outside (only available in the summer) for just $70, we got an amazing view to wake up to, hot tub access, breakfast, and the coziest place to stay. In winter, the B&B offers rooms close to the slopes, so it’s a great place to stay no matter the season. Highly recommend this place!

Tips for Hiking near Snoqualmie Pass

  1. Check Road Conditions: Before heading out, check road conditions and weather forecasts, especially during the winter months. Snoqualmie Pass can experience heavy snowfall and icy conditions, so it’s essential to be prepared and have appropriate vehicle tires or chains if necessary.
  2. Plan Your Activities: Snoqualmie Pass offers a variety of outdoor activities throughout the year, including hiking, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and scenic drives. Decide what activities you’re interested in and plan accordingly.
  3. Pack Essentials: Regardless of the season, it’s essential to pack essentials such as water, snacks, a map or GPS device, extra layers of clothing, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. The weather in the mountains can change rapidly, so it’s best to be prepared for various conditions.
  4. Respect Wildlife and Environment: Snoqualmie Pass is home to diverse wildlife and fragile ecosystems. Respect wildlife by observing from a distance and not feeding or approaching animals. Stay on designated trails to minimize your impact on the environment.
  5. Stay Hydrated and Energized: Altitude and physical activity can lead to dehydration and fatigue, so remember to drink plenty of water and take breaks as needed, especially during hikes or outdoor adventures.
  6. Be Bear Aware: If you’re hiking or camping in the area, be aware that black bears and other wildlife inhabit the region. Store food properly in bear-proof containers and be vigilant about wildlife safety practices.
  7. Check for Permits and Regulations: Some hikes require permits or have specific regulations. Make sure to check for any permits or restrictions before engaging in these activities. I list any permits needed for hikes below.

Snoqualmie Hikes You Can’t Miss

Snoqualmie Falls free

6501 Railroad Ave, Snoqualmie, WA 98065

    • Length: 1.4 mi
    • Elevation Gain: 334 ft
    • Trail Type: Out & back
    • Difficulty: Easy

This honestly is probably the most famous area of Snoqualmie so it is the first on the list, but is not much of a hike! You can stop at the top of the falls (park across the street from the falls for free – don’t be tricked into paying for the hotel parking) and take a 5 min walk to see it. There’s also a spot a little further down the road (highway 202) where you can walk down some stairs and see the base of the falls.

The waterfall itself is huge, even though it may not seem it in the pictures, and you really can’t get very close either way. This was a bit of a disappointment, and the area was very crowded. I still think it was worth it to see though and just took us about 30 minutes all together.


Bonus: Like lavender? There’s a lavender farm called Snofalls Lavender right along the side of the road if you keep driving down the 202 a little further past the falls. It was a beautiful stop and for $5, you can pick a bushel of lavender for yourself.

4725 361st Ave SE, Fall City, WA 98024

Snow Lake $5 (not on the Northwest Forest Pass)

Snow Lake Trailhead, Alpental Access Rd, North Bend, WA 98045

    • Length: 7.2 miles, roundtrip
    • Elevation Gain: 1,800 ft.
    • Trail Type: Out & back
    • Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult

This was the most difficult hike we did but also the most beautiful. If you have a day, this is the best of the best of hikes in Snoqualmie Pass. It was absolutely worth the 7.2 mile roundtrip hike. Snow Lake a hike you should be prepared for. You go up a high incline both ways – it’s an out and back trail. 

To be prepared, you’ll want to bring plenty of water, good hiking boots, and snacks (we packed a lunch to enjoy at the lake). It’s a pretty popular trail and dogs are allowed so you’ll see plenty of people along the way.

When you get to the top, head to the left for a great view of the lake. Then head back to the right and down to get to the base of this beautiful blue lake. The water is really cold but it was still great to stick our feet in! We found this hike to be totally worth it and a bunch of fun.

You can hike this area in the winter, but there’s a high avalanche risk (remember there is an ascent/decent on both sides). So be prepared if you’re planning on doing this hike when snow is present.

Franklin Falls Northwest Forest Pass $5

Franklin Falls Trailhead, Denny Creek Trail, North Bend, WA 98045

    • Length: 2 miles (this can become 8 miles in the winter due to road closures)
    • Elevation Gain: 364 ft.
    • Trail Type: Out & back
    • Difficulty: Easy

We loved this easier hike located in Snoqualmie really close to Snow Lake. It was a fairly easy 2 mile in and out trail. There is a large parking area past the bridge that marks the trailhead for Franklin Falls, which can hold 30 cars.

If that one is full, head up to the larger parking lot, a half mile past the bridge and trailhead. There is more parking available here and we didn’t even try to go to the other one. The one closer to the trail is also for the Denny Creek Campground and even on a Tuesday when we visited was very full. It was easier to park in the higher parking lot.

The hike is 2 miles and fairly easy. There is a wooden fence all along the path and you can walk all the way to the bottom of the falls to take in some awesome views. We were there on a week day and basically by ourselves. It was pretty perfect.

Snoqualmie Mountain $5 (not on the Northwest Forest Pass)

Snow Lake Trailhead, Alpental Access Rd, North Bend, WA 98045

    • Length: 4 miles, roundtrip
    • Elevation Gain: 3054 ft
    • Trail Type: Out & back
    • Difficulty: Hard

For this hike, you park at the same parking lot as the Snow Lake hike. The trailhead to Snoqualmie Mountain is an unmarked trail just 30 feet or so before the Snow Lake trail. This is a tough hike even though its only a ~4 mile out and back trip because you gain 3100 feet to reach the summit.

The trail isn’t an official trail but it is fairly easy to follow as it takes you up a dried creek bed and through the forest before you break the tree line and scramble to the summit. This last part of the hike is the steepest and most exhausting part but the reward is worth it. 

From the 6240 foot summit of Snoqualmie Mountain, you have 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. You can also see Snow Lake way below and Mt. Rainier off in the distance

Wagon Road Northwest Forest Pass $5

Franklin Falls Trailhead, Denny Creek Trail, North Bend, WA 98045

    • Length: 1.9 miles, roundtrip
    • Elevation Gain: 353 feet
    • Trail Type: Loop
    • Difficulty: Easy

This trail connects to Franklin Falls, and if you love history like I do, it’s fun to walk this trail and think about how it has been used for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. 

It’s a really easy hike that feels more like a walk through the forest. It is clearly marked from the large parking lot a half mile past the bridge and trailhead for Franklin Falls.

The pioneers went through Snoqualmie Pass to reach Seattle and the marks from the wagons and the logs they placed on the ground are still there. Native Americans have used this region for centuries to go through the mountains and are the ones who told the pioneers how to get through the Cascade Mountains using the pass. It was great to walk this trail and experience a little history.

Talapus and Olallie Lakes Northwest Forest Pass $5

Talapus Lake Trailhead, North Bend, WA 98045

  • Length: 6.2 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 1,220 ft.
  • Trail Type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Moderate

The Talapus Trail in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness takes you on a steady incline up to two lakes, Talapus and Olallie Lakes. The elevation gain is slow and steady, and the hike feels very doable. Dogs on leash will also have a fun time on this trail. There are a few bridge crossings, and the trail can get a bit muddy in places, but it is very well-maintained and easy to follow.

The Talapus Lake trailhead parking lot is at the end of Forest Road 9030. At about 1.5 miles in, just before the turnpike to cross Talapus Creek, you can turn left onto the fork if you are interested in camping on the west side of Talapus Lake. If you want to continue on to Olallie Lake, stay to the right here.

There is also an option to get to Olallie Lake from Pratt Lake Trail. Due to the popularity of this trail and these lakes, the chipmunks and gray jays have become accustomed to humans. Please practice Leave No Trace by not feeding them.

This is also a popular camping spot with many different campsites between the two lakes. This is backcountry camping, learn more here.

Annette Lake Northwest Forest Pass $5

Annette Lake Trailhead, North Bend, WA 98045 

    • Length: 7.5 miles, roundtrip
    • Elevation Gain: 1,800 feet
    • Trail Type: Out & back
    • Difficulty: Moderate

After the first mile of gentle climbing, the trail passes under a powerline, through a small wildflower field, crosses over the Iron Horse Trail, then plunges back into the dark woods. 

As it begins to climb more seriously, the trail becomes surrounded by towering second-growth fir trees and moss-covered branches. Multiple crossings of Humpback Creek, including several tumbling waterfalls, are an added bonus to the beautiful scenery.

Eventually, the trail flattens out and begins skirting the rocky slope. You’ll have occasional views of Humpback Mountain’s jagged rock faces across the valley. Soon after, the trail reaches the shores of Annette Lake and forks in both directions around the water. 

Either way leads to lakeside campsites, swimming, and places to have a picnic, though the campsites are more spacious and closer to the water if you walk to the left (the east side of the lake).

Kendall Katwalk

Northwest Forest Pass $5

Kendall Katwalk is a 150 yard long narrow pathway blasted out of a steeply sloped granite rock face on the north ridge of Kendall Peak approximately 6 miles northeast of Snoqualmie Pass. It is a segment of Section J of Pacific Crest Trail and the construction was completed in 1979. 

  • Length: 14.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3,139 feet
  • Trail Type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Hard
Discover the natural beauty of Snoqualmie Pass hikes near Seattle. Explore waterfalls, lakes, and more in this outdoor lover's paradise.
Discover the natural beauty of Snoqualmie Pass hikes near Seattle. Explore waterfalls, lakes, and more in this outdoor lover’s paradise.


Discover the natural beauty of Snoqualmie Pass hikes near Seattle. Explore waterfalls, lakes, and more in this outdoor lover's paradise.
Discover the natural beauty of Snoqualmie Pass hikes near Seattle. Explore waterfalls, lakes, and more in this outdoor lover’s paradise.

All of these hikes led to amazing views and were worth the time! I loved these awesome hikes in Snoqualmie Pass. If you visit Seattle, a trip to Snoqualmie Pass is completely worth it.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.