11 Amazing Waterfall Hikes Near Seattle You Need to Visit

waterfall hikes near seattle
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One of the best parts about living in Seattle is how many hikes there are in the state. You could easily do a new hike every day and still not see them all! Some of the most beautiful ones are the waterfall hikes near Seattle, as these give you a stunning reward at the end of your trek.

You may have seen some of these Instagrammable spots near Seattle on social media but not have known where they are. I know the frustration, so I’m sharing the information on these waterfall hikes in Washington so you can visit yourself. Hiking is my favorite outdoor activity, so I’m always happy to encourage others to get out as well!

This guide will tell you where all the best waterfall hikes near Seattle are as well as waterfall hikes in Washington State that are further away in case you want to spend a longer time exploring. You’ll want to add some of these to your Washington State bucket list!

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What to Pack for Seattle Waterfall Hikes

What you pack for visiting waterfalls near Seattle will depend on how far you’re going and how long the hike is. You might not need anything besides water and snacks if you’re doing short waterfall hikes near Seattle. However, I do recommend getting a raincoat for Seattle to stay dry from the mist.

Here is the bare minimum I recommend bringing for any hike:

If you will be hiking Seattle waterfalls in the winter, make sure to check out my comprehensive list of winter hiking clothes. This guide covers what extra clothes you’ll need to stay warm and dry as well as gear that can make your hike easier in the snow, such as microspikes or snowshoes.

When hiking around Seattle in the summer, you’ll need to double the amount of water and sunscreen you have so you don’t get dehydrated or burned.

One of the best resources to look at for in-depth information on trails is the WTA. You can check out your specific hike and read the recent trip reports, which will let you know if there’s snow, the roads are drivable, and more.

11 Waterfall Hikes Near Seattle to Check Out

These waterfalls near Seattle, Washington are listed in order of proximity to Seattle, as everyone has a different idea of what “near Seattle” means. You can use it to pick easy waterfall hikes near Seattle or make a Seattle day trip out of it and go on some further waterfall hikes in Washington State.

1. Bridal Veil Falls

bridal veil falls hike

Location: Stevens Pass

Distance from Seattle: 56 miles

Length: 4.0 miles RT

Elevation gain: 1,000 feet

Another favorite by many locals, Bridal Veil Falls is one of the top waterfall hikes near Seattle to check out. Unlike some of the others on this list, you can get up right next to the falls during your hike thanks to the set of stairs that run next to them.

The water flows from nearby Lake Serene, so the more water the lake has, the stronger its waterfall. This is another hike that you’ll want to start early on due to how popular it is.

If you want to extend your hike, head back to the fork on the trail that led you to Bridal Veil and continue on to Lake Serene.

2. Snoqualmie Falls

snoqualmie falls hike

Location: Snoqualmie

Distance from Seattle: 29 miles

Length: 1.4 miles RT

Elevation gain: 250 feet

Snoqualmie Falls is by no means a hidden gem, as it’s on almost everyone’s list that visits the area and is one of the most popular places to see in the Pacific Northwest. The hike is one of the best waterfall hikes near Seattle since it’s not only short but wheelchair accessible, so almost anyone can enjoy it. As you can see in the picture above, it’s also a beautiful fall hike in Washington when the leaves start to turn.

This hike is also one of the best winter hikes in Washington, as you don’t have to worry about snow being an issue when visiting. Some people choose to park at the top and just view the waterfall from the observation deck, but I recommend going down the trail to get a different vantage point at the bottom.

If you’re looking for romantic Seattle date ideas, you’ll want to book a stay at Salish Lodge here.

3. Cherry Creek Falls

cherry creek falls
Image via Flickr by Terri Stewart

Location: Duvall

Distance from Seattle: 30 miles

Length: 5.0 miles RT

Elevation gain: 450 feet

Cherry Creek Falls is a popular summer hike in Washington due to being one of the closer waterfall hikes near Seattle. You’ll follow the creek for the majority of the hike until you get to the waterfall. There’s also a bridge along the way if you’re looking for more photo-ops.

You can technically cool off in the water in the summer, but don’t get near the waterfall to stay safe. Most people just enjoy grabbing a spot by the falls and having their snack or lunch before they head back.

4. Twin Falls

twin falls hike

Location: North Bend

Distance from Seattle: 36 miles

Length: 2.6 miles RT

Elevation gain: 500 feet

One of the best waterfalls near Seattle is Twin Falls, as it’s close to the city and short. I like this hike because you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take photos of the water, as there are different spots along the trail that it peeks out.

While you may be tempted to stop the first time you see the waterfall, I encourage you to continue on the trail to see both the lower and upper parts. In the end, you’ll cross a large bridge to see what’s technically the third part of this waterfall.

5. Teneriffe Falls

teneriffe falls
Image via Flickr by Trailspotter

Location: North Bend

Distance from Seattle: 36 miles

Length: 5.6 miles RT

Elevation gain: 1,585 feet

Hikers looking for waterfall hikes near Seattle, Washington that will get their legs burning will love the elevation gained in a short period of time at Teneriffe Falls. There can be snow on this hike during the winter, so you might want to wait until late spring to have an easier time climbing it. That said, it’s a beautiful Washington spring hike to go on.

With 22 switchbacks, you’re bound to get in a workout to be proud of. You’ll see parts of the falls as you go up the trail, but keep going until you reach the viewing area for the upper falls.

6. Wallace Falls

wallace falls

Location: Gold Bar

Distance from Seattle: 47 miles

Length: 5.6 miles RT

Elevation gain: 1,300 feet

Wallace Falls is one of the most popular hikes in the area because there are so many different areas to take effortless photos. For this reason, I recommend starting early if possible to beat the crowds (especially in the summer!).

There are nine different waterfalls in the park, so make sure you keep going to see all of them if you’re up for it. This alone is what makes it one of the most beautiful waterfall hikes near Seattle.

If you’re looking for a good Seattle hike and brewery combination, you can check out Timber Monster Brewing Company on the way back. They have a variety of beer and food to fuel up with after your hike.

7. Franklin Falls

franklin falls hike

Location: Snoqualmie Pass

Distance from Seattle: 51 miles

Length: 2.0 miles RT (or 8 miles RT in the winter)

Elevation gain: 400 feet

You can visit Twin Falls all throughout the year, and in the summer it’s only a short two-mile hike. This makes it great for beginner hikers or families, and you’ll love the reward at the end.

However, I personally think visiting in the winter is the most magical time to visit. As you can see in the photo above, part of the waterfall becomes frozen and gives it a fun look. You should note that the main road is closed during this season, so you’ll have to park outside of it and account for an extra three miles each way.

While you don’t have too much elevation gain, you’ll want to make sure you bring winter hiking boots or snowshoes if the snow is deep. This gear will help you have traction on the inclines.

8. Coal Creek Falls

coal creek falls
Image via Flickr by Orion Kahza

Location: Bellevue

Distance from Seattle: 13 miles

Length: 2.5 miles RT

Elevation gain: 416 feet

When you’re looking for waterfalls near Seattle that won’t take up much of your time, you’ll want to check out Coal Creek Falls. This hike is the closest one to the city on this list so you can easily do it in the morning or even after work. Many people also love that this is one of the shorter Seattle waterfall hikes and an easy Washington hike with kids.

You’ll be in the beautiful Cougar Mountain area but feel like you’re far away from the city. This area used to be full of coal miners, so look around during your trip to these waterfalls in the Seattle area. If you look closely along the trail, you can see large holes from the old days when miners got coal out underneath.

9. Comet and Christine Falls

christine falls rainier

Location: Mount Rainier

Distance from Seattle: 100 miles

Length: 4.4 miles RT

Elevation gain: 1,361 feet

These are some of the most impressive waterfalls in Washington, and you can walk from one to the other. You will need to pay the $30 entrance fee to get into the park, or you can use your America the Beautiful pass.

If you want to make a weekend out of it and explore more hikes in the area, you can check out some of the cute Airbnbs in Washington in the area. Mount Rainier has plenty to do and see, so you’ll want to spend some time here if you can.

Before visiting a national park, I always recommend checking out the U.S. National Park Service website to see any important updates or closures regarding the park. This is especially true in winter, as some of the entrances are completely closed for the season.

10. Marymere Falls

marymere falls

Location: Olympic National Park

Distance from Seattle: 102 miles

Length: 1.8 miles RT

Elevation gain: 500 feet

Marymere Falls is an easy hike to get to if you’re already on the Olympic Peninsula spending one day in Olympic National Park. Due to its short distance, it’s also one of the most suitable family-friendly waterfall hikes near Seattle. Many people also consider it one of the best hikes in Olympic National Park due to how accessible it is.

While going during the summer means the trail won’t be as muddy, I like visiting during the winter. The waterfall is usually at its strongest then with an increase in water, making it one of the best waterfall hikes in Washington. It’s also an ideal thing to do in the fall in Seattle when you’re looking to get out for the day.

If you want to check out more waterfalls while you’re in the area, plan an Olympic National Park road trip to see some beautiful hikes! You can also look at places to stay in Olympic National Park if you want to make it a multi-day trip.

11. Myrtle Falls

Myrtle Falls Mount Rainier

Location: Mount Rainier

Distance from Seattle: 108 miles

Length: 0.8 miles RT

Elevation gain: none

Myrtle Falls is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Washington, so going here is a must when you spend one day at Mount Rainier. One of my favorite waterfall hikes in Washington has a completely flat trail that’s also paved so wheelchairs and strollers can even go on it. You’ll park at the Paradise parking lot and walk to the right of the mountain to get here.

If you want to extend your Washington hike, I recommend continuing to the 5-mile Skyline Trail, which is by far my favorite in the park. You’ll go through meadows, see wildflowers if you’re there mid-summer, and get up close and personal with the mountain before looping back down to the parking lot.

Whether you pick one of these waterfall hikes near Seattle or decide to explore them all, you’ll end up with some beautiful photos to share. Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “11 Amazing Waterfall Hikes Near Seattle You Need to Visit

  1. Sherri says:

    I am headed to Seattle to visit my daughter for a weekend. This article has really helped me find something interesting and outdoorsy to do! Thanks!

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