Thursday, August 16, 2012

Franklin Falls and Denny Creek

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I hiked to Franklin Falls twice last year, and didn't once get a picture. Finally, on my third trip there, I got plenty of pictures, as you will soon see!

Franklin Falls is a rather large waterfall that is right under I-90 Westbound, just west of Snoqualmie Pass. I have driven over I-90 hundreds of times in my life, but never knew it was there. The first time I went, the falls were roaring, but we could walk around the pool at the base of the falls.

This time, however, there was so much water, we all got stuck on this little ledge and had to take pictures from there. The whole area at the bottom of the falls was covered by several feet of water! I was not expecting that!

Buddha and Tina

From Franklin Falls, we walked back to the trail head, then off to the Denny Creek trail head. From there we hiked up into the forest, until we came across Denny Creek.

Now, last year, it was low enough that we could rock hop all the way across. This year, we had to do the balance beam on a log dam. I was so proud of myself for not getting wet on the way across, but on the way back, I stepped in the water on my very last step! (Thanks a lot, you unstable but stable looking rock!)

Once we got across Denny Creek, we meandered though the forest some more before coming up to the rock field and hiking our way up in the heat. We stopped several times where ever there was shade to drink water and snack.
Our group. Photo by Valerie.

We got to Keekwulee Falls, which we couldn't see because of all the brush in the way, but then we arrived at Snowshoe Falls. Isn't that pretty? I do love me some waterfalls!

Snowshoe Falls

After that, we decided to trek as far as we could go before there was too much snow and we had to turn around. While we were taking a rest break, a guy stopped to let us know that the snow cover on the way to Melakwa Lake was rather thin and that he had fallen several times up to his waist because of snow bridges. He had also tried to cross the creek, and said it was very difficult when he did it. Not wanting anyone to get hurt, we got to the first large snow patch, Tina made a snow angel, then we packed it in and headed back down. 

Rebecca and Buddha near the waterslide. Photo by Tina.

We stopped to dip our toes in the icy water of Denny Creek at the "waterslide," which is a natural rock formation that kids use in summer as a waterslide. It didn't appear to be working very well, but the kids that were there were still having fun!

Maxwell hitching a ride across the logs. Photo by Tina.

Then we crossed back over the log jam and headed back to the cars. I am very tempted to make the trip up to Melakwa Lake, but I'm definitely going to wait until the snow has melted! 
Total time: 6 hours 
Distance: 2 miles, 400 ft for Franklin Falls, 4 miles, 700 ft elevation gain to Denny Creek
Passes: NW Forest Pass required
Location: off exit 47 on I-90, GPS: N 47 24.780, W 121 20.493

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