Twin Falls Hike: Stunning Waterfall close to Seattle

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A wide and high waterfall cascades over a vertical rock face. There are trees and green shrubs around it
Stunning Twin Falls

At 3 miles round trip and with about 500 feet of elevation gain, the Twin Falls hike is a good half day hike option close to Seattle with a stunning waterfall you get to see from a distance as well as up close. In addition you have a beautiful forest, including some old growth trees (read more about old growth trees in and near Seattle here), and a beautiful river. This hike has so much to love!

Is the Twin Falls hike right for me?

This hike is an excellent choice for a cloudy or rainy day since you don’t need clear weather for sweeping views. It’s also a good hot day hike when you can dip your feet in the river! There is a bit of elevation gain, but it’s never a lot at one time and there’s lots to look at every time you want to stop for a break. This is an excellent hike for kids, too, as there are logs and rocks to climb on, a river to play by and a waterfall that isn’t too far from the parking lot. This hike has some stairs to reach the best view point, something important to know for anyone for whom stairs don’t work. It’s short distance from Seattle makes it a good half day option.

When is a good time for the Twin Falls hike?

Playing along the river is a great activity along the way on the Twin Falls hike on a hot day, however this trail is extremely crowded in the summer. I prefer to save this hike for late fall, winter and early spring when you have a chance of finding a parking spot!

Where is it?

The Twin Falls hike is located close to I-90 in the town of North Bend, about 30 miles east of Seattle. To get there, take I-90 east to exit 34 and turn right. In a short distance, turn left on SE 159th St and it dead ends in the parking lot. You need a Discover Pass to park here (there’s a machine to purchase one!) and there is an outhouse. Google maps works great to get here, put in “Twin Falls Trailhead”.

Trail Description

Starting off from the parking lot, you will parallel the river for the first part of the hike which is a beautiful forest walk.

Moss covered trees in the foreground next to a rocky river. The river is winding through the evergreen forest on the Twin Falls hike.
The forest and river dominate the first half of the hike

Then, you’ll head up a couple of switchbacks to two benches that overlook the falls in the distance at about the halfway point. This is a great place to take a break for a minute! After this, the trail winds down a bit and then back up. In this area you will encounter a few old growth trees!

An old growth douglas fir evergreen tree in a fern filled forest. A person is standing next to the tree with their arms above their head on the bark of the tree. The person is wearing an orange hat, a blue jacket, black pants, hiking shoes and a blue backpack
One of the old growth Douglas Fir trees along the Twin Falls hike

Continuing on a bit further, you’ll see a sign and stairs going down to the right. I suggest passing them first and going a very short distance ahead to the bridge over the falls. Once you take in that view, head back the way you came and go down the stairs (which will be on your left now). You’ll go down the stairs, just beyond where you can see, and come to an impressive platform that gives you a view straight into spectacular Twin Falls! Give yourself some time to soak this in, before heading back up the stairs to the trail, turning left and returning to your car the way you came.

A wide and high waterfall cascades over a vertical rock face. There are trees and green shrubs around it. Text reads: Twin Falls. Short hike near seattle to a stunning waterfall
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Jennie Flaming
Jennie Thwing Flaming, Chief Adventure Officer: Jennie's life has been a continual quest for adventure (of the non-adrenalin inducing kind) from birth till now. Professionally, she pursues adventures in teaching, counseling and working to obliterate institutional racism for students in our region's public schools and also works as a tour and hiking guide. Previous professional adventures include working in schools in Seattle and Alaska, leading tours and managing tour guides and presenting traveling science shows and lessons with Pacific Science Center. She believes in sharing her beloved Pacific Northwest home with visitors. She likes to be outdoors and spend time with the people she loves. Jennie is born and raised in Seattle and has also lived in Alaska and the Netherlands.