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Must Visit Wa Waterfalls


Wallace Falls. Picture Credit: Washington State Parks

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Who said you shouldn’t chase waterfalls? Washington has tons of well worth waterfalls for you to fall in love with all summer long!

We begin the chase with one of Washington’s most visited and notable falls, Snoqualmie Falls.  Located 55 miles from JBLM visiting this waterfall is an easy day trip. Once you arrive, there are also multiple different ways to catch the beauty of this 268 foot waterfall, so it’s definitely a trip the whole family can come along for. The first option is the observation deck and lodge located just across from the main parking lot. The observation deck allows for visitors to check out the massive falls, and then head either inside the incredible Snoqualmie Lodge for brunch (with views of the falls), or picnic tables are available in the upper park as well to enjoy a nice picnic while listening to the sound of the falls. However, if you do want to get a closer look of the falls, we would recommend hiking down, which roundtrip is 1.7 miles. Please note, to check if the full trail is open due to Covid-19.  Dogs are welcome on the trail and upper path, as long as they’re leashed. 

Before we jump into more moderate level waterfall hikes, we wanted to explore one more waterfall that the whole family no matter their age can enjoy, Rocky Brook Falls. Located 81 miles from JBLM,  located in the Olympic Peninsula, this waterfall is a short .3 mile walk from the parking area. If you do make the journey to the falls and want to do more hiking, there are plenty of other trails available in the Olympic Peninsula. Dogs are welcome to join the journey as well, as long as they’re leashed. 

If you’re looking for a lengthier hike with a rewarding waterfall, we would recommend Comet Falls. Located 70 miles from JBLM in the Mount Rainier area this 3.8 roundtrip hike is well worth it, especially when you reach the 300 foot waterfall. Van Trump Creek runs right along the trail, so the entire journey is accompanied by the sounds of the creek. Leashed dogs are welcome to join you on this hike as well. 

If you’re truly chasing Washington State’s waterfalls, a not to miss one is Wallace Falls, located in the Central Cascades, 83 miles away from JBLM. When planning your hike to the falls it’s important to note you have several options to use as turning around points on the trail. The first option is hiking two miles to the Lower Falls viewing area, which also provides a picnic area to stop and enjoy a packed lunch. From here if you choose to move forward, it’s less than half a mile to reach the middle falls viewing point, which provides an even better view of the falls. This is another opportunity to turn around, as the last half mile of the trail can be challenging. The last half is a steep half mile of switchbacks that lead hikers to the end of the trail and the upper falls viewing point. It’s important to note if you continue to the upper falls viewing area the trail is steep and should be used by experienced hikers only. However, no matter where you stop on the trail, the views will be well worth it! Leashed dogs are welcome to join.

Our last and furthest waterfall on the journey are the Sol Duc Falls. Located 155 miles away from JBLM this is definitely a visit we recommend planning to stay a night or two. And not to worry, there are plenty of lodging options nearby!  Lodging options include the Lake Quinault Lodge and the Sol Duc Resort.  Once you get all settled at your accommodation of choice,  it’s time to start the 1.6 mile hike to the falls. The path to the falls is wide and well maintained and is definitely an easy hike for all experience levels, even children. Once you reach the falls,  depending on the current water volume the falls can split into up to four different channels and cascades down into a rocky canyon. It’s a sight to be seen! Dogs are welcome on the trail, but if you choose to plan an overnight stay check if your accommodations allow dogs  first.

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