Twin Falls

Olallie State Park / Issaquah, Washington, USA

About Twin Falls


Hiking Distance: 2.6-3 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 90-120 minutes

Date first visited: 2006-05-26
Date last visited: 2017-07-30

Waterfall Latitude: 47.44542
Waterfall Longitude: -121.69798

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Twin Falls seemingly felt like one of those locals only attractions that was charming in its own right.

However, it lacked the notoriety and power of the nearby Snoqualmie Falls.

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_061_07302017 - The main drop of Twin Falls
The main drop of Twin Falls

When we first did this hike back on a Memorial Day Weekend in May 2006, we visited it right after doing Snoqualmie Falls.

So we had to readjust our expectations for a more subdued and naturesque environment devoid of hydroelectric infrastructure and crowds.

And once that was done, we found ourselves appreciating the beauty of a graceful 132ft waterfall with lush surroundings, which included some old growth fir trees.

On a follow up visit in late July 2017, I noticed that they apparently re-routed and repaired the trail due to some flooding and landslides so it resulted in quite a different experience.

Moreover, I extended the hike to check out some additional waterfalls further upstream from the one you see pictured above.

Twin Falls Trail Description – hiking from the trailhead to the Twin Falls Overlook

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_004_07302017 - Hiking along the South Fork Snoqualmie River
Hiking along the South Fork Snoqualmie River

After finding the trailhead in the Twin Falls Trailhead (see directions below), I hiked through a lush rainforest that immediately followed along the South Fork Snoqualmie River.

For the first half-mile or so, the hike alternated between skirting the river and briefly veering inland.

During those inland interludes, the trail was flanked by tall trees with moss growing on both the trunks and the branches as well as low lying ferns.

The moss and ferns were indicators of how much moisture the area typically would get.

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_016_07302017 - Looking up at some of the moss-covered trees along the Twin Falls Trail during my July 2017 hike
Looking up at some of the moss-covered trees along the Twin Falls Trail during my July 2017 hike

The close proximity of the trail to the river made me realize just how flood-prone the area can become.

There were also some access spots for the river along the way (some of which had large boulders and rock formations).

The terrain would remain flat until it reached a hill where I had to traverse a long switchback.

At the top of this hill, there was a short spur to the right leading to a pair of benches with a distant partial view of the Twin Falls.

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_027_07302017 - This was the Twin Falls Overlook, where a pair of rest benches afforded a partial view of the main drop of the waterfall
This was the Twin Falls Overlook, where a pair of rest benches afforded a partial view of the main drop of the waterfall

This was said to be the 0.8-mile point of the trail.

Twin Falls Trail Description – hiking from the overlook to Twin Falls

Next, the path hugged a ledge before descending some steps then climbing again.

This down-and-up profile was apparently the newly-built trail that re-routed around a landslide that occurred here in 2014.

This was part of the reason why I didn’t recognize this trail the second time around when I came back in July 2017.

Twin_Falls_002_jx_05262006 - A sign about an old growth tree that I saw in May 2006 but I didn't notice in July 2017
A sign about an old growth tree that I saw in May 2006 but I didn’t notice in July 2017

I recalled the first time I did this hike that there was a sign before an old growth fir tree, but apparently I managed to miss it on the second time I did this trail.

Anyways, the trail would continue its climb (with the faint sounds of the I-90 traffic getting louder the higher I went) before reaching a trail junction.

Going right at this junction, which descended a series of 104 steps, led right down to the best viewpoint of the main drop of Twin Falls.

This was the lookout that yielded the photo you see at the top of this page.

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_054_07302017 - Descending these steps towards the overlook right above the main drop of Twin Falls
Descending these steps towards the overlook right above the main drop of Twin Falls

After having my fill of the falls from here, I then had to climb back up the steps to return to the main trail.

At this point, I had a choice to return to the trailhead (making the hike 2.6 miles round trip), or to continue on.

Twin Falls Trail Description – hiking beyond Twin Falls

I opted to continue on to see what other waterfalls could be found in the immediate vicinity.

Well, it turned out that the trail eventually leveled out then descended some more steps towards a sturdy footbridge across the South Fork Snoqualmie River.

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_083_07302017 - A pair of upper waterfalls upstream of the main drop of Twin Falls making me wonder if these waterfalls were how the name came about
A pair of upper waterfalls upstream of the main drop of Twin Falls making me wonder if these waterfalls were how the name came about

From this bridge, I could see a pair of smaller waterfalls further upstream as well as the brink of the main Twin Falls as I looked downstream.

While the pair of waterfalls upstream from this bridge may be referred to as the “Upper Twin Falls” and the whole ensemble may be referred to as the Twin Falls, it wasn’t clear to me what made these waterfalls “twins”.

Regardless, after climbing a few more steps, I reached another fenced lookout with a more direct look at the upper drop of the “Upper Twin Falls”.

Unfortunately, I was looking right into the sun on the morning of my hike (i.e. it’s bad for photos at that time).

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_095_07302017 - Approaching a fenced lookout of the upper drop of the Upper Twin Falls, which was looking right against the morning sun during my July 2017 hike
Approaching a fenced lookout of the upper drop of the Upper Twin Falls, which was looking right against the morning sun during my July 2017 hike

The trail would continue up more switchbacks as it headed towards the Homestead Valley Trailhead.

That said, this lookout was my turnaround point, which made this hike roughly 3 miles round trip.

When I returned to the trailhead, I was pretty surprised at how busy the trailhead became.

This was around 8:20am on a Sunday morning after getting a 6:25am start.

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_103_07302017 - Descending back towards the bridge over the Twin Creek as I was headed back to the trailhead
Descending back towards the bridge over the Twin Creek as I was headed back to the trailhead

So despite its relative lack of notoriety compared to Snoqualmie Falls, Twin Falls was still quite a popular attraction.

Authorities

Twin Falls resides in Olallie State Park near North Bend in King County, Washington. It is administered by the Washington State Parks. For information or inquiries about this area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_006_07302017 - Almost immediately, the Twin Falls Trail followed along the South Fork Snoqualmie River. This photo was taken during my July 2017 visit, and the next several photos were taken from the same day
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_010_07302017 - When the Twin Falls Trail wasn't right next to the river, it meandered past trees with moss growing on them as well as some bushes
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_013_07302017 - This was one of the spots where I was able to access the South Fork Snoqualmie River along the Twin Falls Trail during my July 2017 hike
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_014_07302017 - The Twin Falls Trail continued to meander alongside the South Fork Snoqualmie River in pretty tame conditions during my July 2017 hike
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_017_07302017 - Another look at some of the mossy trees growing alongside the Twin Falls Trail during my July 2017 hike
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_020_07302017 - After around 0.6 miles, the Twin Falls Trail started climbing
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_023_07302017 - Looking back at the start of the climb of the Twin Falls Trail during my July 2017 visit
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_024_07302017 - Approaching a switchback on the first hill climb of the Twin Falls hike in July 2017
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_028_07302017 - This was the view of Twin Falls from the overlook in July 2017, where I noticed some upper drops that gave me the idea to pursue them this time around
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_105_07302017 - Looking back at the ledge portion of the Twin Falls Trail shortly after experiencing the Twin Falls overlook in July 2017. This part looked like it might have been affected by the 2014 landslide
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_042_07302017 - This was where the Twin Falls Trail descended to get around a landslide that occurred in 2014
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_046_07302017 - Continuing along the Twin Falls Trail as it went past the landslide section which was new to me during my July 2017 hike
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_048_07302017 - Now, the Twin Falls Trail started climbing again as I was pursuing the closest lookout during my July 2017 visit
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_050_07302017 - During the second ascent, I noticed this block of wood on the ground, which made me wonder if the Twin Falls Trail was buried as this could very well have been a bench. This photo was taken during my July 2017 hike
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_052_07302017 - This was the trail junction where the spur trail on the right led down to the closest view of Twin Falls
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_075_07302017 - Approaching the overlooks at the end of the spur trail overlooking Twin Falls
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_068_07302017 - Looking down at the Twin Falls as of late July 2017, which didn't appear to change much over the years
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_077_07302017 - Going back up the 104 steps to regain the Twin Falls Trail after having my fill of the Twin Falls in July 2017
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_078_07302017 - After regaining the main trail, I then started to descend towards a bridge upstream of the Twin Falls in July 2017
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_080_07302017 - Approaching the bridge over the South Fork Snoqualmie River between the upper and lower drops of Twin Falls as seen in July 2017
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_081_07302017 - Looking downstream from the bridge towards the brink of the main drop of Twin Falls
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_092_07302017 - Looking upstream at a pair of upper waterfalls upstream from the Twin Falls as seen in July 2017
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_097_07302017 - Looking against the sun at the upper drop of the Upper Twin Falls in July 2017
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_100_07302017 - After checking out the upper drop of the Upper Twin Falls, I then did a little more exploring up the hill to see where else this trail went during my July 2017 hike
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_102_07302017 - I ultimately made it up to this bench high up on the Twin Falls hike in July 2017 before I turned back
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_110_07302017 - Hiking alongside the South Fork Snoqualmie River as I was making my way back to the trailhead to end my July 2017 hike
Twin_Falls_001_05262006 - Julie at the start of the lush Twin Falls Trail in rain gear since it was raining during this May 2006 visit. This photo and the rest of the photos in this gallery were taken on this day
Twin_Falls_002_05262006 - Back in May 2006, I believe the Twin Falls Overlook was more overgrown as evidenced by this photo. I didn't recall such difficulties on my July 2017 visit
Twin_Falls_009_05262006 - Back in May 2006, the South Fork Snoqualmie River had much higher flow, and this was what Twin Falls looked like back then
Twin_Falls_004_05262006 - Looking down at the Twin Falls when we first saw it in May 2006
Twin_Falls_024_05262006 - Julie hiking along the South Fork Snoqualmie River after returning from Twin Falls in May 2006. Note how close the water was to the trail compared to the photos taken from July 2017
Twin_Falls_007_jx_05262006 - Map signage pertaining to the trails in Olallie state Park as seen back in May 2006

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We’ll pick up the driving directions to Twin Falls from Seattle since that would be the most familiar starting point for visitors.

So from the downtown area, we briefly headed south on the I-5 before heading east on the I-90.

We then would stay on the I-90 east for a little over 25 miles (crossing over the floating bridge traversing Lake Washington and going past the Snoqualmie Falls Parkway exit along the way).

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_001_07302017 - This was the end of the road and the start of the Twin Falls Trail early in the morning
This was the end of the road and the start of the Twin Falls Trail early in the morning

We’d then take exit 34 for 468th Ave SE, where we then turned right to go south on 468th Ave SE.

Then, after about 0.6 miles, we turned left to go onto SE 159th St (there was also a brown sign directing me to turn left there).

In another 0.6 miles, the road terminated at the Twin Falls Trailhead.

Overall, according to GoogleMaps, this 36-mile drive would take about 45 minutes.

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_111_07302017 - To my surprise, the Twin Falls Trailhead was now quite busy when I finished by hike
To my surprise, the Twin Falls Trailhead was now quite busy when I finished by hike

It took me about 25 minutes to make this drive in light traffic from Issaquah.

I had to pay and display the Discover Pass at $10 per vehicle as my Interagency Pass was not accepted here.

Finally for some geographical context, Seattle was 173 miles (over 2.5 hours drive) north of Portland, Oregon, 143 miles (about 2.5 hours drive not counting border crossing delays) south of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and 1,137 miles (17 hours drive) north of Los Angeles, California.

Video showing the view from a couple of spots at the Twin Falls Lookout


Checking out the Upper Twin Falls from the bridge as well as looking downstream towards the brink of the main Twin Falls


360 degree sweep from the Twin Falls Overlook

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Tagged with: olallie, issaquah, king, seattle, bellevue, snoqualmie pass, washington, waterfall, cascades



Visitor Comments:

Great hike (Twin Falls – correction) August 25, 2015 10:12 pm by JT and Colin and Grammy - Hiked here with my 4 year old son. Great hike, but it's exit 34 off I-90, not 35. ...Read More

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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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