5 Spring Waterfall Hikes to Refresh Your Spirit

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As the days start getting longer and the weather starts getting nicer, most of us are itching to get out of our cubby holes we have hibernated in for the winter. Despite the rain, the Northwest offers many opportunities to stay active. One of the benefits of the near constant moisture is the many beautiful waterfalls for our enjoyment.  Below are some local day hikes that will allow you to not only exercise your body in preparation for summer but also rejuvenate your mind and spirit during the stresses of classes.

As always when doing a new activity, be sure to take the proper physical precautions. If you have any questions about additional hikes or ways to stay active in the area, feel free to contact the Wellness Center. Other local day hikes can be found on the Washington Trail Associations website.

Coal Creek Falls (website)
Round-trip: 2.5 miles – Elevation Gain: 350 feet – Highest Point: 1000 feet

“Coal Creek Falls can be spectacular during the rainy season…thundering down the rocky chute. By midsummer, the falls usually shrinks to nothing more than a small splattering of dribbling streams between the rocks.”

Twin Falls (website)
Round-trip: 3.0 miles – Elevation Gain: 500 feet – Highest Point: 1000 feet

Due to the 90+ inches of rain that the North Bend area receives a year (nearly double what Seattle receives), Twin Falls is a beautiful 150-foot year-round waterfall. The first 0.7 miles of the hike passes along the banks of the South Fork Snoqualmie River. After visiting Twin Falls, be sure to stop at Snoqualmie Falls on your way back to campus. This waterfall requires no real hiking to enjoy the majesty of this 270-foot waterfall. http://www.snoqualmiefalls.com/

Wallace Falls (website)
Round-trip: 5.5 miles – Elevation Gain: 1200 feet – Highest Point: 1500 feet

Wallace Falls is one of the waterfall trails that are best to visit on a rainy day. This hike includes a series of waterfalls (9 in all) with the tallest being 265 feet of rushing water. This hike also includes a sweeping view of the Skykomish River Valley and surrounding Olympic Mountains. Make sure you are ready for a bit of a climb with this hike. With a gain of 1200 feet in 2.25 miles there are many switchbacks as well as pretty steady inclines.

Cherry Creek Falls (website)
Round-trip: 5.0 miles – Elevation Gain: 450 feet – Highest Point: 705 feet

This 25-foot waterfall serves as natural barrier for salmon migration. http://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/nws/falls.php?num=4641

Otter & Big Creek Falls – Taylor River (website)
Round-trip: 10.0 miles – Elevation Gain: 650 feet – Highest Point: 1750 feet

A largely unnoticed and unused trail makes the Otter & Big Creek Falls hike perfect for people looking for some peace and quiet. This hike though being long is mostly level. The hike goes in about 5 miles to Big Creek bridge which is the remnant of an old road. Big Creek falls is on the north side of the bridge and excellent place to stop for lunch. On the way back out there is a side trail of a few hundred yards to Otter Falls and Lipsy Lake.


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