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: -121.70594

Find Nearby Accommodation



Booking.com

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg

Twin Falls seemingly felt like one of those locals only attractions that was charming in its own right, but lacked the notoriety and power of the nearby Snoqualmie Falls.

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

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

Indeed, 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 at the top of this page.

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 amongst 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.

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.

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

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.

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

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 (part of the reason why I didn’t recognize this trail the second time around).

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.

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

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.

After having my fill of the falls from here, I then had to climb back up the steps to return to the trailhead (making the hike 2.6 miles round trip), or continuing on.

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.

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.

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_092_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

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).

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.

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

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

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. For information or inquiries about this area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_006_07302017 - Almost immediately, the trail followed along the South Fork Snoqualmie River
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
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_017_07302017 - Another look at some of the mossy trees growing alongside the Twin Falls Trail
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_020_07302017 - After around 0.6 miles, the Twin Falls Trail started climbing
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_024_07302017 - Approaching a switchback on the first hill climb
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_028_07302017 - More zoomed in look at Twin Falls from the overlook, where I noticed some upper drops that gave me the idea to pursue them
Twin_Falls_002_05262006 - Back in 2006, I believe the overlook was more overgrown as evidenced by this photo
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_105_07302017 - Looking back at the ledge portion of the Twin Falls Trail shortly after experiencing the overlook
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_002_jx_05262006 - Old Growth Fir Tree signage we saw along the way to Twin Falls in 2006 though I missed this on the second visit
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_048_07302017 - Now, the Twin Falls Trail started climbing again
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 trail was buried as this could very well have been a bench
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, which didn't appear to change much over the years
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_Olallie_17_077_07302017 - Going back up the 104 steps to regain the Twin Falls Trail
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_080_07302017 - Approaching the bridge over the South Fork Snoqualmie River between the upper and lower drops of Twin Falls
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_083_07302017 - Looking upstream towards a pair of drops comprising what I believe to be the Upper Twin Falls
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_095_07302017 - Approaching a lookout with a more direct look at the upper drop of the Upper Twin Falls
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_097_07302017 - Looking against the sun at the upper drop of the Upper Twin Falls
Twin_Falls_Olallie_17_110_07302017 - Hiking alongside the South Fork Snoqualmie River as I was making my way back to the trailhead
Twin_Falls_024_05262006 - Julie hiking along the South Fork Snoqualmie River on the return hike back in 2006. Note how close the water was to the trail compared to the previous photo

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


We’ll pick up the driving directions 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.

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

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).

We then took 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.

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

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

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

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

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

Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall


Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls