Explore 2017 to do list - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2017 to do list Map

trail was in great shape. it’s not an easy hike but worth it to get the views and my dog loved it.

Simply beautiful!!! Bring microspikes.

2 days ago

Nice hike with things to see along the way! The huge Talus rocks were amazing and saw a beautiful waterfall as well. Not a difficult hike at all.

Good workout on this trail today. Muddy in a few spots but overall good. You’ll face your fears on the bridge.

It’s been snowing all week and the full hike (from beginning of Denny Creek rd) was just beautiful. The falls were half way frozen and it was great to experience. I went alone so it was nice to see a decent amount of people there.

Roads were closed on both sides. Ended up hiking a total of 8 gorgeous miles today. The wagon trail is not open, don't take that as a loop back as one of the signs suggests... you'll end up walking through very deep snow. TAKE ICE CLEATS! The whole main trail is compacted snow and ice. One hiker slid down the hill at the falls today but was able to get back up. The trail right at the water fall is steep and icy, be extremely cautious. GORGEOUS hike though!!!

8 days ago

Beautiful day for a hike up and back, watch out for some ice near the top.

8 days ago

Really fun trail! Hard to find at first since its a trail with in a trail! But the rocks were cool!

14 days ago

Fun day with kids. We stop about 3 tenths from the top and came back down. We had not planned for the ice at the top. We will definitely go back to complete the trail.

This must be one of my favorite, if not "the" favorite hike - it has really just about everything: an adventurous drive to the trail-head (more on that later), a forest to start your hike in, a lush mountain meadow, plenty of snow-fields (mid July) all the way to a rock-scrambling part to the lookout at the end. And the views, oh my, the views. Going up, they are beautiful already but once you make it to the ridge that will get you to the lookout, you're in for a real treat. I just wish we had known that it was possible to stay overnight in the lookout - sunset and sunrise must be absolutely stunning from there.
The hike itself is not easy and the last part would be tough for people with vertigo but otherwise we didn't think it was too difficult. It's easily manageable in an afternoon even if you take plenty of time to soak in the views at the top. We saw a bear and a pica rabbit too.
Oh, and I almost forgot, the drive. I saw cars parked at the trail-head that had pretty low clearance, so it must be possible to get there in just about anything but I was really happy that we took a rental 4WD SUV. The forest road is quite steep in places and littered with potholes large enough to break your axle in, so having a higher clearance vehicle comes in handy.
Overall, if there is just one hike you are going to do in this part of the park, make it this one!

Great trail - steep but worth the climb. Microspikes are a must now, poles would have been nice too. Definitely a little windy up in the boulder field, but totally doable.

Old trail up. Great workout. Packed snow in a trail too narrow for snowshoes. Summit is snow covered rocks and boulders so can’t use snowshoes there either. A bit icy towards the top, I had yaktrax but I wish I’d had microspikes. Ok the new rail down, seems long with lots of switchbacks. My favorite hike in the PNW so far.

Hiked from Exit 47 at road closure. 7 miles RT. Approximately 5 miles of it is walking on the closed road that runs beside I90. Road was compact snow with some deep snow areas but there was an area worn down in the deeper snow areas. I wore microspikes and would recommend them. It was a beautiful day and I was pleasantly surprised to have the falls to myself. The falls are not completely frozen but the surrounded by beautiful ice.

28 days ago

Road remains closed so expect the 7.1 mile round trip walk in the woods. Started early in the morning and the road was icy with plenty of grooves from snowmobile tracks. Microspikes will serve you well and some warm boots. Snowshoes are not necessary, though if you want to carry them for weight, go for it. Trail is easy to find and has compact snow to lead you to the falls. The falls was flowing and plenty of icicles to add depth to the photos. This morning was not slushy and the ice looks like it’ll stay. Dress warm, gloves hats, you name it because it definitely is chilly by the falls. We passed 64 people and about 30 cars parked on the sides on the way back. Make sure to do the hike early (before 8-9AM) especially on weekends to beat crowds and get photos you want.

1 month ago

.... a steady uphill climb is rewarded with a spectacular view out over Bellingham Bay with the rugged silhouette of vancouver island as the backdrop .. ..

never disappoints...lots of people today both young and old. love to see them all out!

1 month ago

lost Beats headphones. please msg me if found!!! 253-414-4928

hiked around 10am yesterday. trail was great. couple spots of light mud and water but with good balance your shoes won't get dirty.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike, very sketchy beyond the warning sign but worth the views. I got through two tunnels and over what looked like a very large rockslides. Beyond that there was a scramble across a slide field with a small waterfall in the center of it I didn't feel comfortable on, so that was my turn around point. This is where the elevated stone walkway used to be. There was more trail beyond to explore. .. trail is very unstable beyond the warning signs, rocks fell while I was on the trail so be very careful. I got to the trail at about noon and back to the car at two.

Pretty cool trail. Not that hard if you've hiked at all before.
The switchbacks at the beginning may give some older people trouble, but once you get to the bottom it's flat. Follows the river with spots to sit for a bit here and there (trees/ground, not man made).
The further you go the more you'll see how the water eroded the ground and you need to start being more careful.
I saw a tree fall into the water as I was walking along the bank.
Just park right before the sign for the trail and head into the woods, you should see pretty well traveled trail leading into the woods and you'll come across warning signs.

1 month ago

Went up the old trail. Rain all the way, snow at the top. A semi whiteout at the summit. But the workout was great.

Falls were pretty good. However the park doesn't take care of out houses. Looks like they haven't been cleaned in a few years and seats were broken etc. Better off going in woods or store before getting there. Also no trash cans so people have been just throwing things all over the ground.

love this hike it is easy going next to the river the whole time.

This was a great hike. Invite friends for a fun experience. Still a good hike if you prefer going solo. We went in early January and it still had snow. Make sure you wear the proper gear (i.e. shoe spikes, wear layers, wet weather clothing, etc.). I noticed a lot of people on the tail had on improper footwear and were slipping or had soaked feet from the snow/melted ice. Denny Creek Road was closed due to the icy roads, which caused us to walk about 2 miles to the actual start to the Franklin Falls Trailhead. The actual trail itself is about another 2.5 miles. During the snowy winter months it's about a 7-8ish mile hike roundtrip. Arriving at the falls was a phenomenal experience. Definitely worth the trek and the view. Bring a waterproof camera or just keep a good distance from the waterfall when taking pictures or it will get soaked.

Completed this tail on the 31st of January. It was snowing but the absolutely amazing. The snow was stable so we were able to walk on it without sinking.

Recommended winter hiking trail.. just be armored with the proper hiking gears and snack..

1 month ago

They have revised the Trail with more switchbacks which makes it not so much straight up On a clear day, the hike is worth for the beautiful views. On a rainy day, it’s the journey that counts. You have good ascents with small waterfalls either the creek crossings and ferns to brighten the way. If you have time and the strength, head on to Lily and Lizard Lakes. It’s beautiful on that side of Blanchard.

1 month ago

I got there around 7 am and it took me about 3.5 hours to complete. I didn’t run into anyone until I was almost back to the car. The road to the trailhead is closed but you can park outside the barricades which makes the hike about 7.5 miles round trip. Definitely was thankful for my trekking poles and microspikes! The “trail” that’s on top of the roadway was easy to locate and was packed down, however the snow off that packed path was pretty loose and powdery and after several times of post holing and getting snow in my boots I put gaiters on (I wish I’d thought to put them on prior to that) which helped. Once I crossed the large bridge it started raining and i was sliding all over the place and miserable, so just be aware it can get pretty slushy. Otherwise, it was a great hike and definitely enjoyed the scenery!

TLDR; bring your microspikes and enjoy the hike.

Finally did this in the winter the second week of Jan and it was wonderful. Extra mileage made this second trip to the falls even better. HIGHLY recommend spikes! Made life a lot easier especially getting down to the falls. Arrived around 9am to only 3 cars parked and while heading back we probably passed over 40 people. I recommend getting an early start to the day even on a Monday so there's less people

Icy, windy. I should have brought face protection for the exposed hills.
Traction important. I fell through snow in several places. Not many people on this day.

Beautiful winter hike! We took exit 47 and parked next to the gate. I realized afterwards we could have taken the following exit and done a 3.5 mile or so hike instead of 7 miles, but oh well. We parked about 11:15am and it took us 3.5 hours including lunch at the falls. The descent down to the falls is steep and slippery. I recommend traction devices like microspikes to help with this hike in the winter. I would definitely hike this again in the snow - so beautiful!

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