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Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge

Updated on November 9, 2015

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge - 2013
Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge - 2013

Romance and History at Snoqualmie Falls

Like most people, I enjoy the sights and sounds of a beautiful waterfall. There is something calming and relaxing about watching and listening to a cascade of water. With a vertical drop of about 270 feet, the power and beauty of Snoqualmie Falls makes it a popular attraction and the most visited waterfall in Washington State.

I recently attended a wedding at Salish Lodge, which is perched on a cliff overlooking the falls. Although I had been to the falls many times in the past, it had been a decade or more since my last visit and I was reminded of the reason why this lovely waterfall and rustic lodge is often named as the most romantic place in the Seattle area.

The falls always bring back memories of fishing trips with my dad in the 1950s and 1960s. The falls have always been a popular attraction, but back then they were on the edge of the forest on a country road and it took about two hours to get there from our home in Seattle. In those times the restaurant and hotel were called the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge.

In the many decades since those fishing expeditions with my dad, I-90 was built, urban sprawl has brought civilization much closer and today Snoqualmie Falls is less than an hour drive from Seattle. The lodge has since been updated and although the original rustic craftsman style design has been retained, it was enlarged and renamed the Salish Lodge and Spa. As you will see from the photos taken at my recent visit, this is a lovely place to spend a summer day.

All photos by the author, Vicki Green, unless otherwise noted

Where is Snoqualmie Falls?

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A markerSeattle -
Seattle, WA
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B markerSnoqualmie Falls -
6501 Railroad Avenue, Snoqualmie, WA 98065, USA
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Snoqualmie Falls is on the Snoqualmie River less than an hour drive from Seattle not far from I-90.

Snoqualmie Falls in the 1950s and 1960s

Historical Photo of Snoqualmie Falls and Snoqualmie Lodge
Historical Photo of Snoqualmie Falls and Snoqualmie Lodge | Source

Snoqualmie Falls Lodge

The photo above is the way the falls and lodge looked back in the 1950s and 1960s when my dad used to take me with him to some of his favorite fishing spots along the river and at nearby Hancock and Calligan Lakes. A few times we stopped and ate breakfast at the lodge that in those days was called Snoqualmie Falls Lodge. The restaurant was well-known locally for its wonderful "farm breakfasts", especially the pancakes served with "sky high" honey .Servers dramatically streamed the honey onto pancakes and waffles from a couple of feet above the plate in a display that sort of mimicked the waterfall.

Snoqualmie Breakfast Club Card Falls Lodge Washington 1950's
Snoqualmie Breakfast Club Card Falls Lodge Washington 1950's

These Breakfast Club cards were given away at the old Snoqualmie Falls Lodge.

 

A Collectors Item from Snoqualmie Falls Lodge - A Snoqualmie Breakfast Club Card

My family had some of these souvenir Snoqualmie Breakfast Club Cards but sadly they were probably thrown away years ago.

Enjoy a Farm Breakfast at Home

This is is the pancake mix that was created from the old Snoqualmie Lodge recipe. Seriously, it is the best pancake mix I have ever tried. The pancakes are light and fluffy and taste delicious. I like both the regular and the Nutra Rich and it is the only brand of pancake mix I use. Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I can find it at my local grocery store, but if you can't buy it at a store near you, it is available for sale online.

Snoqualmie Falls in 1909

Snoqualmie Falls, WA 1909
Snoqualmie Falls, WA 1909 | Source

The History of Snoqualmie Falls

The power and beauty of Snoqualmie Falls made it a sacred gathering place for the Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest and it has continued to attract people from all over the world. The pioneers and early settlers of European ancestry discovered the falls in the mid 1800s and at that time it took an arduous 2 week journey from Seattle to see them.

In 1890 the adventure was made much faster and easier when a railroad line was completed to the station on the south side of the falls. A trip to the falls became a popular excursion and the Snoqualmie Hotel was built near the train station.


A Film About the History of Snoqualmie Falls

Hydroelectric Power and the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge

In 1899, Charles Baker completed the first entirely underground hydroelectric plant in the United States at the falls. It was considered to be a technological marvel at the time. The power plant has recently been re-engineered, but the original turbines were in service for over 100 years.

In 1919 the Sunset Highway was built making travel to the north side of the falls by automobile possible. That same year the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge opened for business with a restaurant and inn for overnight guests.

Over the years the lodge was enlarged and updated several times, but the biggest change came in 1988 when a 14 million dollar remodel was completed. The lodge was increased in size to 91 rooms and renamed Salish Lodge and Spa.

A Virtual Tour of the Snoqualmie Falls Hydro Plant

About Snoqualmie Falls Park

The recently renovated park features beautiful gardens, walkways and interpretive signs with information about the history of the falls. There are several different viewpoints to observe the falls from several levels along with benches to stop, relax and enjoy the scenery. The trail leading to the bottom of the falls is being upgraded and is currently closed while under construction. The park and several parking lots are owned and maintained by Puget Sound Energy for the free use and enjoyment of the public. Open from dawn until dusk, the park allows leashed pets and has several clean-up bag dispensers. The park is wheelchair accessible, but due to the popularity of the park, some of the parking lots are a fairly long distance away.


Snoqualmie Falls Park - Gardens, Walkways and Viewpoints

Snoqualmie Falls Park
Snoqualmie Falls Park

Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge

Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls, WA
Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls, WA

Snoqualmie Falls Refurbishment Project

The above photo shows how the falls looked in 2013 from one of the vantage points in the park. The park and hydroelectric plant have both undergone a massive refurbishment. The power plant now produces more power more efficiently and the park has been updated to enhance the experience for visitors including many interpretive signs. The new landscaping features native plants to improve the habitat for wildlife.


The Entrance to Salish Lodge and Spa

Salish Lodge - A Romantic Hotel

Salish Lodge and Spa is consistently rated as of the most luxurious and romantic hotels in the Seattle area. I have had the good fortune to stay there once on a romantic getaway several years ago and I must agree that it was a wonderful experience. Many rooms have a fantastic view of the falls and come with equipped with a fireplace and Jacuzzi tub.

Looking Down at the 270 foot drop

The View from the Top of Snoqualmie Falls
The View from the Top of Snoqualmie Falls

A Romantic Wedding Location

Wedding at Snoqualmie Falls
Wedding at Snoqualmie Falls | Source

Weddings at Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is a popular place for romance and weddings. There are numerous picturesque places for spectacular photos and for the actual ceremony including several rooms inside Salish Lodge, outdoors overlooking the falls at the lodge, in the park or even at the base of the falls.


The Salish Restaurant

Salish Lodge Dining Room
Salish Lodge Dining Room

Enjoying a Meal at Salish Lodge

The entrance to the restaurant at Salish Lodge can be found at the "Dining Room" sign. There are many tables next to the windows that enjoy a lovely view of the falls. The restaurant features a Pacific Northwest cuisine featuring local produce, meat and seafood. The lodge has its own herb garden and the "heavenly honey" served is from beehives located on the property.


Snoqualmie Falls With the Snoqualmie River at Flood Stage

Snoqualmie Falls January 5, 2015
Snoqualmie Falls January 5, 2015 | Source

Souvenirs of Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls Postcard
Snoqualmie Falls Postcard | Source

The Ever-Changing Snoqualmie Waterfall

Naturally the volume of water cascading over the falls fluctuates with the season. It is the most dramatic when the Snoqualmie River floods. The volume of water is also heavy in the spring as the snow melts in the surrounding peaks and the run-off makes its way to the river. Even in the summer when the flow of water is less, the spray from the falls is carried up to the top of the cliff and beyond often creating a beautiful rainbow.

Twede's in Northbend, WA - The Double R Diner

Twin Peaks Double-R Diner in North Bend, WA
Twin Peaks Double-R Diner in North Bend, WA | Source

Twin Peaks Double-R Diner

Snoqualmie Falls was already a popular Seattle area attraction in 1990 when the Twin Peaks TV series began its 2 year run. The short-lived show was followed by a movie and has a world-wide following of devoted fans. Recently it was announced that season 3 of the TV series will be filmed and can be viewed on Showtime.

The setting of the series was the fictional town of Twin Peaks, WA and the opening credits ran with film of the falls in the background. The scenes were shot at various locations at the falls, Salish Lodge, along the Snoqualmie River, and at the nearby towns of North Bend, Snoqualmie and Fall City.

The scenes from the show's famous Double-R Diner were actually filmed in the Mar-T Cafe in North Bend, WA. The cafe is currently called Twede's (prounounced Twee-dees) Cafe where visitors from around the world come to have "a piece of cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee".


Twin Peaks TV Series

Twin Peaks was an unusual TV series that combined features of both a murder mystery and soap opera that was set in the fictional Pacific Northwest town of Twin Peaks. The television show only lasted two seasons - 1990 and 1991 but it has devoted fans that have given it cult status.

A Fan Documents his Trip to Twin Peaks Filming Locations

Have you ever been to Snoqualmie Falls? - Your comments are appreciated

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    • amazmerizing profile image

      amazmerizing 2 years ago from PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA

      Great post on the falls... with the recent flooding they were OVERFLOWING!!! Got a good vid on my facebook... Nice post here!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very interesting hub. Thank you for the virtual tour of the Snoqualmie Falls area. I enjoyed my visit!

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from Perth UK

      Great Hub. Very interesting. I wish I could visit the falls but they're a bit far from London!

    • profile image

      longlakelifestyle 4 years ago

      Thing about falls is that they are majestic yet scary at the same time.

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      Such a beautiful and informative lens! My visit here has been delightful!

    • profile image

      Driveurownlife 4 years ago

      I live on the east coast and I dream of visiting Seattle one day and this article made my dream come alive. I love the way you tied the past with the present and honored your special visits with your Dad. I look forward to reading more of your lenses.

    • sbconcepts profile image

      sbconcepts 4 years ago

      Wow, this place is beautiful. I will definitely be making a detour this way if I am ever in Seattle.

    • profile image

      LUMOSE 4 years ago

      Great lens. Congratulations.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      Love the waterfall, great pictures and good info, i'll pin to have it handy

    • NuttSoRuff profile image

      NuttSoRuff 4 years ago

      I love waterfalls!

    • SusanAston profile image

      SusanAston 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens - great photos.

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

      I used to live up in the region and have gone to the falls but have not been in years. It would be fun to go back.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I used to go to Snoqualmie Falls at least twice a month. I lived in Kirkland for a few years. Your lens brought back so many great memories.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Looks beautiful thank you for helping me learn of a new destination today. :)

    • E Andrew Brandon profile image

      Ean Brandon 4 years ago from United States

      I can't wait to visit here!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      I haven't been there, but it looks wonderful!

    • profile image

      Echo Phoenix 4 years ago

      Breathtakingly beautiful! I had the pleasure of visiting Snoqualmie Falls with my eldest daughter nearly 20 years ago... one of my fondest memories although the diner was closed that day (perhaps a Monday?) so no Cherry Pie to complete our fascination with Twin Peaks saga :) lol

    • profile image

      JaspinderKaur 4 years ago

      i love to see waterfalls.beautiful pics

    • Raymond Eagar profile image

      Raymond Eagar 4 years ago

      No but it looks beautiful .

    • LeslieMirror profile image

      LeslieMirror 4 years ago

      Waterfalls. What else can be so stunning and breath-capturing? Just adorable! =)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I visited there about 10 years ago. It's a gorgeous spot!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      I also took some stunning pictures there this Summer. It's such a treasure.

    • josietook profile image

      josietook 4 years ago

      I love the images of the rainbows over the falls, great lens

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 4 years ago

      You have some beautiful pictures of a magnificent waterfall. Would love to see it someday and have some of those pancakes at the restaurant too :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I have never been to Seattle so have never seen Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge but they sure look very inviting. Congrats on your purple star and making the reel

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      I would enjoy a romantic getaway at this lodge. Beautiful! Congrats on making the Imminent reel.

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 4 years ago

      Beautiful pictures and memories.

    • profile image

      hmommers 4 years ago

      I liked Twin Peaks except for the last 4 or 5 episodes