One of the most popular tourist attractions in the US State of Washington is an incredible piece of nature.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most interesting facts about Snoqualmie Falls, one of the most amazing waterfalls in the United States.
1. It’s located near a city with the same name and east of Seattle
Snoqualmie Falls is a scenic waterfall located in King County, Washington State, in the utmost northwestern part of the United States.
It’s located on the Snoqualmie River which flows 72 kilometers (45 miles) through the state and eventually forms the Snohomish River near the city of Monroe.
This amazing feat of nature is located right in between the city of Snoqualmie and Fall City. It’s also not too far from Seattle at a distance of just 45 kilometers (28 miles) to the east.
2. The waterfall is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state
When you see the waterfall in pictures it appears to be much less high than it actually is. It has just 1 drop with a total height of 82 meters (268 feet).
Because this remarkable natural spectacle reaches a width of about 30 meters (100 feet) as well it looks quite spectacular.
That’s one of the reasons why it’s visited by about 1.5 million people every year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state.
Even though the waterfall is the main attraction in the region, it’s surrounded by a park that covers an area of 0.8 hectares (2 acres). The main activity here is hiking as the landscape is pretty much astonishing.
3. It’s world-famous because it featured in a popular television series
The amazing natural scenery of the waterfall and the surrounding park aren’t the only reason why Snoqualmie Falls is well-known all around the world.
One of the main reasons is because it was featured in one of the most popular American mystery-horror television series of all time known as “Twin Peaks.”
This series ran for two seasons in the early 1990s and was so popular that a cult following emerged which elevated the series into one of the best television series of all time.
Many of the scenes were filmed in and around the city of Snoqualmie and the waterfall was prominently featured as well.
4. It’s special for the Snoqualmie People who lived here
Apart from the waterfall, the river it’s on, and the city, there’s also a valley with the name Snoqualmie. And as you surely expected by now, the people that lived here are known as the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe.
This is a federally recognized tribe of the so-called Coast Satish Native Americans. This group of people lived mostly in the Pacific North West Coast in the US states of Oregon and Washington and all the way up to British Columbia in Canada.
The waterfall had a special meaning for these people, who mainly lived in the eastern parts of the King and Snohomish Counties in Washington state.
It was so important that they consider it to be the location where life on earth emerged as they described it as follows:
The place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer. It’s the location where prayers were carried up to the Creator by great mists that rise from the powerful flow.
5. The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe owns the area and the nearby lodge
Most of the Snoqualmie River is diverted and used to produce electricity. One of the main facilities is located at Snoqualmie Falls and consists of 2 power stations.
This hydroelectric plant is operated by a company named Puget Sound Energy which also owned the land surrounding the waterfall before 2019.
In October of that year, the waterfall, the nearby Salish Lodge, and about 18.21 hectares (45 acres) of land were purchased by the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe for an astounding USD 125 million.
The main reason why the tribe went this far to acquire the waterfall and surrounding land is that they want to preserve this piece of nature that is considered to be sacred in their culture.
This also means that all development projects near the falls have been halted, and the tribe will also prevent further development in the area.
More interesting facts about Snoqualmie Falls
6. The waterfall is a popular tourist attraction and the best way to observe this amazing natural wonder is on the specially designed observation decks on both sides of the waterfall.
From here you can have a front-row seat and see the water plunging off the edge of the cliff to a depth of 82 meters (268 feet) below, a pretty amazing sight.
7. The parking lot is just 90 meters (295 feet) away from the top of the waterfall. Near the top, there’s a location where visitors can have a picnic and access the viewing platforms.
8. The mists created by the plunging water of the falls also have a special meaning for the Snoqualmie People. They believe that these form a connection between heaven and earth, and carry prayers to the world beyond.
9. Because of the cultural importance of the falls for the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe and the remarkable natural beauty of this location, they were nominated to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
The main reason why they weren’t listed back then is because the company that owned the land, Puget Sound Energy, prevented the listing from happening. They eventually gave in back in 2009 and Snoqualmie Falls is now officially listed as a Traditional Cultural Property.
10. The two power plants located near the falls are quite interesting as well. Plant 1 dates back to 1899 and is located right at the foot of the waterfall. It was the first power plant to be completely located below the ground.
Plant 2 is located just downstream and was originally constructed in 1910 and was further expanded in 1957. The two power plants, fueled by the waterfall, produces about 1% of the energy that is delivered to over 1.1 million customers in the region.
11. Even though the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe bought the waterfall and land in the area to prevent further development, the Satish Lodge won’t be closed down.
The Salish Lodge and Spa along with the Snoqualmie Falls Gift Shop will stay in business and are operated by the Seattle-based company Columbia Hospitality.
12. The top of the waterfall isn’t the only place to admire it. There’s a trail with a total length of exactly 1,126 meters (0.7 miles) all the way to the foot of the waterfall.
This trail descends a total of 110 meters (374 feet) and allows you to get an equally amazing view of one of the most fascinating natural wonders in Washington State!