Snoqualmie is a city next to Snoqualmie Falls in King County, Washington, United States. It is 28 miles (45 km) east of Seattle. Snoqualmie city is home to the Northwest Railway Museum. The population was 10,670 at the 2010 census and an estimated 13,622 in 2019.
Many of the exterior shots for David Lynch's Twin Peaks television series and movie (Fire Walk with Me) were filmed in Snoqualmie and in the neighboring towns of North Bend and Fall City. Movie actress Ella Raines was born on August 6, 1920, in Snoqualmie Falls, a mill town across the Snoqualmie River that is now part of Snoqualmie.
When you stop by, be sure to have dinner and stay at the well-renowned Salish Lodge and Spa or ski at The Summit at Snoqualmie, or try out one of the several iconic hiking trails in the area!
One of Washington's greatest waterfalls, Snoqualmie Falls, is at the top of the list. This magnificent 270-foot gravity show has long been a draw for visitors to the area. The falls offered a rich meeting area for local communities long before Snoqualmie became a tourist attraction.
The falls are still a popular tourist destination today, with over a million visitors each year. Its appeal stems in part from its closeness to Seattle, which is less than a 30-mile drive away. The waterfall's size, tumbling straight down in the middle of a lush environment, also draws attention.
Snoqualmie is surrounded by several well-known hiking paths. It's also home to many of the top treks around Seattle, thanks to its closeness to Emerald City. Some of the more satisfying climbs switch back up surrounding mountains for towering views, and there are various alternatives to pick from.
Rattlesnake Ledge is a great place to start if you're new to the region. This four-mile round trip begins with a 20-mile journey east of North Bend to Rattlesnake Lake. On the climb up to the famous cliff known as Rattlesnake Ledge, the trail rises almost 1,000 feet in height. It's a difficult but short trek with rewarding views.
Mount Si is a popular trek in the area, with over 100,000 pairs of boots crossing the trail each year. This mountain has a long history in Native American culture and climbing has become a rite of passage for everyone moving to Seattle. The four-mile ascent includes a switchbacking 3,000-plus-foot ascent, making for a demanding day trek.
Mailbox Peak, though, is the main hiking challenge from Snoqualmie. For years, the only way up this mountain was a 4,000-foot elevation rise on a less-than-three-mile track. A new switchbacking path, built for safety and environmental reasons, climbs the same elevation in around five miles while still providing a challenge to brag about.
The Northwest Railway Museum explains how important railroads were in the development of the surrounding area. The museum has a number of venues across town and provides picturesque rides along a history path. Whether you're a train aficionado or not, the many interactive exhibitions make diving into the locomotive past a lot of fun.
The Snoqualmie Depot, located in the heart of town, is an ideal first stop. The original architectural splendor of this 1890s terminal has been restored. The inside is now filled with interpretive material, souvenirs, and a bookshop. There is no entry fee and it is open seven days a week.
The Snoqualmie Valley Railroad may also be boarded at the Snoqualmie Depot. Passengers can travel 5.5 miles down the lines to North Bend and through the Upper Snoqualmie Valley on this magnificent heritage route. It's a leisurely journey on a vintage train carriage that takes in breathtaking vistas along the route, including the top of Snoqualmie Falls.
The museum also runs the Train Shed Exhibit Hall, which is located farther southeast in town. This collection of railroad equipment and relics is housed in a 25,000-square-foot show hall. It provides a more typical museum experience. At the Train Shed, many themes emerge, each providing more insight into the railroad's impact on the area.
The Summit at Snoqualmie, a half-hour drive east of town, offers winter downhill adventures. As the nearest ski resort to Seattle, this popular ski destination attracts a large number of Seattle tourists. As one of Washington's greatest ski resorts, it draws downhill skiers from all around the state.
There's plenty of room to turn with four unique ski slopes spanning a total of nearly 2,000 acres. Summit Central, Summit East, and Summit West are the four ski areas. Alpental, the fourth ski area, is located on the other side of Interstate 90 and caters to more expert skiers.
Snoqualmie's Summit provides a complete resort experience. Cafeterias, hotels, and restaurants may be found at the base of each mountain to keep you warm. Throughout the season, the mountain holds unique events such as live music and freeride competitions.
With a vast range of excellent dining and famous eateries, the Seattle culinary culture extends into Snoqualmie. Several of Snoqualmie's greatest restaurants are located in the town center, near the historic Snoqualmie Depot. However, two of the greatest restaurants, both within the Salish Lodge, are located to the north, adjacent to Snoqualmie Falls.
It should come as no surprise that this five-star resort has delicious dining options. With locally sourced meals and breathtaking vistas, Salish Lodge's Dining Room and Attic offer. Both restaurants have a laid-back ambiance, with The Attic being more relaxed. Birthday parties and anniversaries are becoming increasingly popular in the Dining Room.
Gianfranco Italian Bistro and the Woodman Lodge Steakhouse are two other expensive dining alternatives in Snoqualmie. Caadxi Oaxaca and Aahaar an Indian Eatery give true foreign cuisines for various ethnic dishes. Copperstone Family Spaghetti Restaurant and Got Rice Chinese Restaurant are two additional prominent locations to come for a family supper.
A summer ritual is to float the portion of the Snoqualmie River beneath Snoqualmie Falls. The Plum #1 River Access Point, about a half-mile downstream from the falls, is the starting point for the most popular float. From here to the Falls City Bridge, it's a leisurely 3.3 miles or about three hours of floating and enjoying the good life.
Throughout the summer, thousands of people from Seattle and the surrounding area float on this river path. Using Fall City Floating's services is one of the most convenient methods to participate. The main aim of this small-town company is to transport river riders and provide tube rentals and sales.
Book a couple of nights at the Salish Lodge for the ultimate Snoqualmie experience. This luxury resort offers an all-inclusive experience while overlooking the thundering waters of Snoqualmie Falls. The resort offers spa facilities, two wonderful restaurants, and access to a nearby golf course, in addition to lovely suites with fireplaces. All of this takes place on the gorgeous grounds of Snoqualmie Falls.
The Salish's rooms have the same relaxing Pacific Northwest vibe as the lobby and public spaces. Salish Lodge's Dining Room and Attic share this vibe, as well as locally created food and spectacular views of the falls.
Guests at the resort get exclusive access to The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge during the day for additional activities. This Jack Nicklaus-designed professional 18-hole golf course is one of the best in the country. Special packages are available at the lodge, which include a round of golf or professional, private instruction.
The Spa at Salish Lodge is where the true pampering happens at the resort. The moment guests come through the doors, they are immersed in a stress-free environment. The spa offers professional massages for individuals or couples, in addition to time spent in a relaxing hot tub.
Snoqualmie Pass, about 30 miles east of Seattle on Interstate 90, transforms into a winter wonderland. The Summit at Snoqualmie ski resort, which has four distinct downhill areas, is located in the area. The numerous cross-country ski and snowshoe routes, on the other hand, draw a consistent population.
Over 50 kilometers of Nordic skiing may be found on the Summit at Snoqualmie. Nordic ski tuition is also available on the mountain for people who are new to the sport or want to improve their technique. In the Nordic region, children ski for free, while adults must purchase a day permit.
The state-sponsored Sno-Parks along the highway provide some of the greatest cross-country skiing outside of the resort's Nordic area. A Sno-Park pass is required to use these plowed trailheads, which provide access to huge, groomed trail systems in the national forest. On the other side of Keechelus Lake, Hyak, Cabin Creek, and Crystal Springs are also suggested Sno-Parks.
Snoqualmie Point Park's beauty is definitely worth the three-mile journey from the city center. The horizon opens as you approach this eight-acre park, with outstanding views of the Cascade Mountains and the Snoqualmie Valley. On clear days, Mount Si, as well as farther mountains like Mount Rainier and Mount Baker, shine out from the park.
Snoqualmie Point is a popular picnic spot, with plenty of tables and shelters. Some of the picnic locations from seasons one and two of the TV program Twin Peaks will be familiar to fans of the show. The park also has an open-air amphitheater where music performances are held during the summer.
There are two parking lots at Snoqualmie Point Park. The bottom lot is free to park in, however, the higher lot needs a Discover Pass. Because the top parking lot also serves as the trailhead for the Rattlesnake Mountain Trail, this is the case. This difficult 10.5-mile path leads to Rattlesnake Lake and has multiple magnificent overlooks.
In Snoqualmie, the gloomy winter evenings are brightened by a burst of light. Snoqualmie Winter Lights, which runs from the Salish Lodge to downtown, takes place between Thanksgiving and the New Year. This merry holiday light path is a fun, free activity for the whole family to enjoy this winter.
The route is around two miles long and includes a dozen spectacular light displays. Combining driving and walking is the best method to see them all. Some of the greatest restaurants in the region line the route, providing a supper in addition to the evening activity.