15 Beautiful Waterfalls Near Seattle

With vast mountain ranges, so many scenic rivers, and a lot of precipitation, it’s no surprise there are a variety of breathtaking waterfalls near Seattle. From dramatic drops down a mountainside to peaceful trickles in a rainforest, we’ve rounded up the most beautiful waterfalls near Seattle you won’t want to miss.

Coal Creek Falls (Yaz Obara)
Image by Yaz Obara via Alltrails

From waterfalls featured on TV to cascades barely found on a map, we love ‘em all. Just as perfect on a hot summer day as under a blanket of snow, many of these natural wonders are more accessible from Seattle year round than some hikes are. 

We’ve rounded up the most beautiful waterfalls near Seattle, perfect for any day trip or hiking adventure. Most of the featured cascades are family-friendly, but don’t worry — we’ve included some challenges, too. 

1. Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls Washington
  • Distance from Seattle: 34 Miles; 30 minutes

Hands-down the most visited waterfall near Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls is a stunner worth the hype. 268 feet tall and up to 150 feet wide (widest after rain!), the falls mesmerize year-round. 

Please note, this waterfall is an important spiritual site for the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe. The tribe purchased the falls and nearby Salish Lodge in 2019, to halt further commercial development.

Insider tip: Don’t expect solitude at Snoqualmie Falls, as it attracts 1.5 million people a year. Instead, enjoy the view with a cocktail or bite at Salish Lodge.

How to get there: The best and largest observation deck is only 100 yards from the parking lot. You can stroll further down the boardwalk to the base of the falls, but photo ops are better further back.

Entrance Fee: None

2. Deception Falls

Deception Falls Viewpoint
  • Distance from Seattle: 75 Miles; 1 hour, 40 minutes

One of our favorite stops in Stevens Pass, this thunderous, quick-moving waterfall is just minutes from the parking lot but feels worlds away. At nearly 100 feet tall, the drop and ferocious volume of water flowing through Deception Creek are impressive.

An ideal stop-over for stretching your legs on a road trip from Seattle, add this waterfall to your itinerary when heading east to Leavenworth or Lake Valhalla.

How to get there: A 0.6-mile packed dirt trail leads to the falls. It starts from an easy-to-miss rest area, so keep a close eye on your navigation as you approach.

Entrance Fee: None

3. Franklin Falls

Franklin Falls
  • Distance from Seattle: 50 Miles; 50 minutes

This beautiful 70-foot waterfall in the Snoqualmie Pass region is easily accessible and close enough to the city to make a quick trip of it. An excellent option for everyone from kiddos to elderly folks, the endpoint of Franklin Falls is an Insta-worthy drop down a cliff into a small pool.

A 3-tiered cascade, you’ll see the waterfall from an observation deck quickly after starting the hike. For the more adventurous or on a hot day, continue on: nothing beats being engulfed by mist at the base of the falls. The water trickles year-round, making Franklin Falls a great winter snowshoe adventure. 

How to get there: A straightforward 2-mile hike takes you to the falls. Unfortunately, the road from I-90 is closed in wintertime, so while it’s still accessible, it adds a couple miles to the trek.

Entrance Fee: Northwest Forest Pass ($30 annually or $5 per day, per car) and Sno-Park Pass (in wintertime; $50 per season or $25 per day)

4. Wallace Falls State Park

Wallace Falls (JB Bachman)
Image by JB Bachman via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 47 miles; 1 hour

This wonderful state park contains a whopping nine waterfalls (!!), with a loop trail that passes by most of them. However, 260-foot-tall Middle Wallace Falls is the most photogenic, not only due to its height, but also the scenic mountain backdrop.

Only an hour from Seattle, this natural area is the ideal getaway for an entire day of waterfall chasing! In addition to the falls, there are many benches, picnic areas, and viewpoints out to surrounding peaks. Leashed dogs are also allowed in the park.

How to get there: The largest loop is 5.5 miles long and gains 1,500 feet in elevation. Most of the ascent comes after Middle Falls, though, so you can opt out of much of it by returning to the parking lot after reaching it.

Entrance Fee: Discover Pass ($30 annually or $10 per day, per car)

5. Whatcom Falls

Whatcom Falls (Karen Miller)
Image by Karen Miller via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 87 Miles; 1 hour, 25 minutes

Located in Bellingham, Whatcom Falls is a lovely park with several small waterfalls and swimming holes. Famous for its moss-covered stone bridge, getting to the waterfall involves strolling alongside the creek and passing four cascades en route. Dogs are welcome, and the pristine water will tempt you to dip your feet in during the summer.

Whatcom Falls is one of our favorite waterfalls near Seattle because you can combine your visit with a stroll through quaint Bellingham. Have breakfast at Cosmos Bistro before, then finish the afternoon with a beer at Elizabeth Station.

How to get there: There are 5 miles of trails to explore, but the namesake falls are just a few hundred yards from the parking lot.

Entrance Fee: None

6. Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls (Amanda Villalpando)
Image by Amanda Villalpando via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 56 Miles; 1 hour, 20 minutes

One of the most stunning waterfalls near Seattle, Bridal Veil is actually three parallel 100-foot streams tumbling down a black volcanic cliff. Be sure to spend time climbing the steps that run alongside the falls!

The mountain views at Bridal Veil are also incredible, with an expansive valley directly behind the waterfall. Such striking scenery is hardly a secret, especially this close to Seattle, so expect to share the trail with several other admirers.

How to get there: The trail is 5 miles long with 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Up until the (optional) stairs, the hike is easy-going.

Entrance Fee: Northwest Forest Pass

7. Keekwulee Falls

Keekwulee Falls (Mark Hadland)
Image by Mark Hadland via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 50 Miles; 1 hour

Located along the natural waterpark that is Denny Creek, this trail provides family-friendly access to rock waterslides, valley views, and an impressive grand finale: jaw-dropping Keewulee Falls, two staggered cascades totaling 125 feet.

Keekwulee translates to drop-off in Chinook, aptly describing this dramatic waterfall. Before you reach it, don’t miss the spots along Denny Creek to slide down rocks into small pools.

Insider tip: Keekwulee is only a few minutes from Franklin Falls, so consider combining them for a waterfall-filled afternoon in Snoqualmie Pass.

How to get there: A 3.8-mile trail with 1,100 feet of elevation gain, getting to the falls takes some time but the trail isn’t overly difficult. 

Entrance Fee: Northwest Forest Pass

8. Granite Falls

Granite Falls (Amanda Davis)
Image by Amanda Davis via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 45 Miles; 55 minutes

At 45 feet tall, Granite Falls is certainly not the tallest on this list, but the strong current of the whitewater rapids is mesmerizing. It’s also located near the entrance to the Mountain Loop Highway, offering quick access to Mount Baker. 

Granite Falls is the very definition of a hidden gem, nestled into an underrated corner of the Cascades, so you won’t find many visitors here and will likely have the falls to yourself. 

How to get there: Next to the bridge, look for the sign for a 500-foot fish ladder extending to the waterfall.

Entrance Fee: None

9. Twin Falls

Twin Falls (Blake Bollinger)
Image by Blake Bollinger via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 36 Miles; 45 minutes

A beautiful 70-foot cascade that separates into two streams near its base, Twin Falls is one of our very favorite waterfalls near Seattle. The hike follows a breathtaking section of the Snoqualmie River, with lofty moss-covered trees and sweeping mountain views.

You’ll pass three cascades along the hike, with the upper falls the most picturesque. Great for groups of varying hiking experience and abilities, this trail is accessible year-round.

How to get there: A 2.5-mile trail with 640 feet of elevation approaches the falls. The hike can be very muddy and has a couple of steeper sections.

Entrance Fee: Discover Pass

10. Explorer Falls

Explorer Falls (Paul Kline)
Image by Paul Kline via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 50 Miles; 1 hour

A hard-to-find gem only an hour from Seattle, Explorer Falls will leave you in awe when you finally locate them.

With a single 50-foot drop in a wooded area, it’s the perfect place to sit on a log and take in the peaceful surroundings. Since most of the hike follows a logging road, it’s also an ideal location for mountain biking.

How to get there: Park near the gate on the logging road, since it sometimes closes unexpectedly. Follow the road for 2 miles until you can hear the falls, then look for the small trail through the forest to their base.

Entrance Fee: Discovery Pass

11. Teneriffe Falls

Teneriffe Falls (Qing Li)
Image by Qing Li via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 36 Miles; 40 minutes

Up for a challenge? The trailhead to this spectacular waterfall may be close to Seattle, but it takes some effort to find!

Especially magical in early springtime, Teneriffe Falls is a staggering 220-foot waterfall tumbling down a near-vertical cliff. If you can catch it during light snow or rain, the mists combine for a unique and memorable experience.

Note: This is the least family-friendly waterfall on our list, the rocks can be slippery and there are many drop-offs.

How to get there: 5.4-mile hikes with 1,600 feet of elevation gain. It starts slow but becomes a scramble at the end.

Entrance Fee: Discover Pass

12. Dickerson Creek Waterfall

Dickerson Creek Waterfall (Lauri Jensen)
Image by Lauri Jensen via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 74 Miles; 1 hour, 45 minutes

Set in a bucolic private reserve, this waterfall near Seattle is a relaxing destination for the whole family. A series of rapids lead to the 50-foot waterfall, which is sandwiched by picturesque ferns and tall cedar trees.

Take in the peaceful sight from the wooden bridge or take the smaller trail next to the water.

Be extra vigilant with trash and rules here; this trail is free to access but part of a private farm.

How to get there: An easy 2.3-mile loop with 285 feet of elevation leads to the falls.

Entrance Fee: None

13. Ludlow Falls

Ludlow Falls (Lisa Lindy)
Image by Lisa Lindy via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 93 Miles; 1 hour, 45 minutes

These small falls are located next to Puget Sound on a pleasant stroll through a vibrant old-growth forest. Hikers have reported spotting river otters and in spring, there are many wildflower picture opportunities.

Plan to visit Ludlow Falls on a full day or weekend trip, as this peaceful area is the perfect place to get some air en route to the Olympic Peninsula or while exploring Bainbridge Island.

How to get there: An accessible 0.6-mile dirt loop passes the falls. 

Entrance Fee: None

14. Coal Creek Falls

Coal Creek Falls (Yaz Obara)
Image by Yaz Obara via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 16 Miles; 20 minutes

This kid-and-dog-friendly trail takes you to a 28-foot cascade over a mossy cliff just 20 minutes outside the city, making it one of the best waterfalls near Seattle. Filled with various trees, ferns, and flowers, the lush vegetation surrounding the falls adds to their verdant character.

Extensively mined in the 19th century, this area is especially fragile; make sure to stay on the trail and watch your step. Numerous cave holes collapse into mineshafts below.

How to get there: A 2.6-mile trail with 600 feet of elevation gain leads to the falls.

Entrance Fee: None

15. Little Mashel River Waterfalls

Little Mashel River Waterfalls (Bryanna Schiller)
Image by Bryanna Schiller via Alltrails
  • Distance from Seattle: 60 Miles; 1 hour, 35 minutes

Don’t be misled by the name; “Little” Mashel River Waterfalls is actually a series of three massive falls, the largest plunging over 90 feet. Easily accessed right to the base, it’s a breathtaking setting for taking in the powerful surge of a high-volume waterfall.

An excellent hike for the entire family, make sure to watch the kids and dog when you reach the falls. The rocks are slippery, and the current is swift. On a sunny day, the mist forms many rainbows.

How to get there: A straightforward 5-mile trail with 650 feet of elevation gain.

Entrance Fee: None

PNW Bucketlist Opt-In | Go Wander Wild
Go Wander Wild Page Break

You may also like…

Save this article on Pinterest for later!

Waterfalls near Seattle | Go Wander Wild
Waterfalls near Seattle | Go Wander Wild

We want to hear from you!

Have you visited any of the waterfalls near Seattle on this list? What was your experience like? Which is the waterfall you’re most excited to add to your bucket list? Comment below and let us know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *