Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Franklin Falls & Humpback Falls

One of our recent hikes took us up near Snoqualmie Pass in the Denny Creek area where there are two waterfalls that are on the easy to hike list.  The first we hiked up to was Franklin Falls.  There is a loop trail that starts near the parking area and ends at the falls.  Part way on the return the trail branches off to the old Wagon Trail and back to the road a short walk to the parking lot.  This little chipmunk was sitting close to the trail where several people had stopped to take a photo.

The Franklin Falls loop is very scenic following the river for approximately 2 miles on a nice soft well-maintained trail.  It is, however, a very popular trail and since it was a Saturday there were many, many people, dogs, children, abandoned baby strollers and as a consequence not much solitude--one of the reasons we like being out in the woods. 

Where the trail is steep and there is not enough room for switchbacks stairs are built. 

 There are some very large trees like the one below in this forest.  It was probably several hundred years old.  Part of the tree was broken but looking straight up it was possible to see new branches and needles.

 We saw only a few wildflowers like Trillium, Skunk Cabbage and Yellow Stream Violets and some small mushrooms on this hike.

Just before reaching the falls the trail becomes narrow, rocky (slippery when wet) and although it was only perhaps 40 feet to the bottom and lots of people had safely made the journey down the narrowness of the way combined with my fear of heights proved too much and we stopped before reaching the beach by the Falls. 

On the return we took The Wagon Trail, a less used trail, in the forest away from the river.  It was very different altogether, open forest, no running water nearby, but quiet.  Both trails were extremely nice. 


Before returning home we made a detour by car to visit Humpback Falls located just a mile or two away on the other side of the freeway.  The falls were perhaps a quarter or third of a mile up another trail where there was a bridge over the river that was built by the Spring family trust established by the outdoor photographer and conservationist Ira Spring.   Humpback Falls may not be as tall as Franklin Falls but the water volume is similar.  The sound of the rushing water could be heard well before we saw the falls.

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