Taylor River Trail is a 11 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near North Bend, WA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Northwest Forest Pass required
Went mid August, road to drive there was completely washed away. Had to walk .5 miles to the trailhead. It was 11 miles out and back, and elevation gain was only about 500 feet, very flat the whole way through. Not very well marked, but was an adventure! You pass two large river crossings which you have to walk on rocks and logs to cross, the second one you pass and will see the trail to get to the river off on the side. The trail to get to the creek is marked by an arrow made by rocks pointing into the woods. Very beautiful but not well marked. Would do again!
Great, easy hike. Be on the look-out (as others have stated) for the turn-off to the left up to Otter Falls. Also, pack your bug spray-we were pestered by flies the whole way back to the trailhead.
Really liked this hike. The road out is a little bumpy. Some construction but not active as it was Sunday. I didn't find it all that bad but if you are in a car rather than a truck or SUV, I can see it being a bit rougher. The trail is nice but gets narrow in a few placed due to some thorny vegetation that was shoulder high. Gradual incline. Not difficult. The side trail to Otter Falls has been marked with lots of rock arrows and a few crude carvings. It would be nice if there was a formal sign. But just keep an eye out for it about 1.5 hours into the hike. You will see it on the left. Falls are lovely but a place to sit next to the water is hard to find if there are more than handful of folks around.
After a bumpy ride (as advertised) to the trail head, we didn't get very far. It was a pretty drive, and the woods along the trail were beautiful. However, within five minutes we were beset with horseflies, wasps, and tiny biting insects. I'm embarrassed to say we literally turned around and ran back to the car it got so bad. Perhaps we should have started the trek with a bath in deet.
06/01/2014 - If you are thinking about hiking this trail, be sure to read my review of the Snoqualmie Lake Trail. There's some road construction and closures to be aware of. As I wrote there, getting to the trailhead is half the journey on this one. It's well worth the trip though. The falls are unlike anything I have seen before and we had a great time there. Total hiking time was around 4.5 hrs and that includes stopping to eat at the bridge and playing fetch with the dog in the small lake at the base of the falls. I included a photo of the current state of the trailhead break-off to the lake as well as a photo of the "trail" itself. I was worried I might walk right past the trailhead, but plenty of other hikers have generously prevented that from happening. Unless your eyes are shut, you'll see it.
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This was a fun little hike to the falls. Easy trail, very little up/down with the very cool falls as your reward (or the lake if you keep going past the makeshift falls arrow). The little natural waterslide was pretty fun and the lake was good for a refreshing swim on a warm day. The comments about the road are right, it's a long drive swerving around all the potholes, but I think it probably thins the crowd a little.
First off, the reviews from Karla and Michelle were very helpful in both finding the right trailhead and knowing what to expect as half the challenge is just getting to the Snoqualmie Lake Trailhead and then finding the actual trail that breaks off from the main Snoqualmie Lake Trail and goes up to Otter Falls. I've added some additional photos (photos 52 to 55 for those using the AllTrails app) of the spot where the "Otter Falls Trail" breaks off uphill to the left from the main trail to help make sure no one misses it.
As to the hike itself, I gave it 4 stars because even though the trail is a bit rocky, it is still well maintained and there is a nice gradual incline on the way in which isn't difficult and makes for a nice easy descent on the way out. The trail also follows the Taylor river which is nice and there are some pretty streams and little water falls from the washouts that go across the trail (some can be a bit of a challenge to get across if you don't want to get wet, but that made it fun for us). The best part of the hike, of course, is Otter Falls. It has a unique beauty in that the water doesn't fall straight down, but cascades down the steep, sloping face of the cliff. The pool below the waterfall also looks like a great place to swim and play in the falls. Would definitely be worth a trip back on a hot summer day in August!
Overall we enjoyed this hike. At times the trail is wide enough to walk side-by-side. It also follows a river so you can hear water during the hike. We agreed that it is a good hike to start with if you've been in hibernation for the winter months.
I rated this hike 3-stars for the following reasons: the road is full of pot holes on CR 56. Be prepared to swerve all over the road to avoid them. The hike itself is very rocky so we spent most of the time looking down at the trail and our feet. And lastly, the view at the top is just OK, in comparison to other PNW vistas.
Note that you actually follow Snoqualmie Trail Lake hike to get to Otter Falls. Had we known this from the beginning it would have saved us some time trying to find the trail head. The trail to get to Otter Falls is poorly marked. Someone carved it into a tree and made a make-shift wooden arrow pointing the way. We almost missed it. I posted a picture that marks the trail. We're glad we went but one time if probably just fine.
We hiked the Lake Snoqualmie trail to Otter Falls in mid May. Lots of wash outs. Couldn't get the dog over one of them. Plus side: some of the washouts made beautiful falls of their own.
The trail was mostly covered in deep snow. With trekking poles and snow baskets we made it to 5 miles, but we couldn't find the trail to Otter Falls, and at that point we kept sinking through the snow pack so we turned back. It was very isolated with no other hikers nearby and it made for a very pleasant hike. We're excited to go back after the snow melts so we can make it to the falls.
This trail was laden with heavy deep snow, pretty & picturesque, but made it difficult/ impossible to complete. At about the 3 mile mark many hikers were turning around. Every footstep ventured beyond this point was met by knee to thigh high depth. I believe if we had continued a little farther we would have found the lake, but it would have been a hard go even with snowshoes. We never did see the trail up to the falls. This will have to go on my summer hike list, that and bring an off road vehicle to rock n roll through the maze of pot holes & round ditches for the 12.5 miles it takes to reach the trailhead.
cool trail, could be a thru hike with some lakes but we did an out and back overnight from the north bend side. Otter falls is an easy to miss turn up away from river, short side trip up from main trail but worth it
This is one of my favorite hikes. It's great for letting dogs off leash and the falls are gorgeous. It's also a pretty steady elevation gain without many extreme spots but it's not too easy.
Totally worth the hike on a hot day to swim at the base of the falls.
Here's some solid directions: The forest service road is VERY bumpy!!
From Seattle, drive east on I-90 to exit 34 (Edgewick Road). Turn left (north) onto 468th Street and follow it to the junction with the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road (Forest Road 56). Turn right and continue up the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road for 12.5 miles to the Taylor River Road (just past the Middle Fork trailhead parking area). Turn left onto the Taylor River Road and drive to a wide parking area at its end, in about 0.5 mile.
Location is wacko. This is a great hike, but it starts at the Taylor river bridge. I tried to change that but it wouldn't let me.