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

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Great, easy to get to trail in Seattle. Amazing views

There was some confusion if we should take ext 52 or 47 thanks to Apple maps. We chose to go with ext 47. The gate to the FSR is closed. We parked on the street near the gate. It was Sunday afternoon so there were plenty of places to park. We knew that we would be racing against the sun but are pretty fit, experienced, and prepared. There is ice on the two mile stretch of road you have to hike to get to the trail head. The trail itself is covered in snow and ice. I would not have attempted this trail without micro spikes. With warmer temps I was careful to stay on the trail and not get too close to the edge (could easily slip or snow could give way on the cliff side). Round trip this hike ends up about 8 miles. From the gate and back it took us about 2.5 hours round trip, including our stop at the falls.

A real decent hike and a great trail run, too.

Didn’t make it to the falls, vehicle was not sufficiently equipped for snow. The road leading to the falls is paved and narrow, and currently has a decent layer of ice and snow. Vehicles without snow tires or chains should proceed with extreme caution.

Very interesting how the water flows out of the rocks.

Such a nice great little hike. My husband and I hiked with our kids and my brother in law. It gets a little steep towards the end and but over all an easy great hike with a beautiful view

The views from the bluff out over the water are really nice and the beach is a nice play to sit and relax. due to the rain we have been getting parts of the trail were muddy so bring shoes you don't mind getting dirty. If possible go early in the morning as it gets pretty packed from noon on.

Beautiful, but super busy trail. Since the road is closed prior to the trailhead it adds an additional long, boring walk (approx 2-3 miles each way). The trail was super slick when we visited, we saw a few people managing with hiking boots but they were moving very slowly. Bring microspikes-it really helped!! Also, turn left once you see the sign for “franklin falls parking,” don’t follow the sign for parking - turn left then the trailhead will be on your right!

Beautiful in the snow :)

15 days ago

Super busy trail, nonetheless it is very beautiful at this time of the year. The final stretch to the falls is very icy making it difficult to go all the way down without spikes.
The snow is very compact, there is no need for snowshoes.
Parking spot can be very difficult to get if you don’t arrive in the morning.

beautiful day to hike to the falls, compact snow and some icy areas, good to have micro spikes!

Nice paced paths and great water views

Road was closed so it added a long boring walk on pavement to the hike but trail itself was still pretty crowded. The viewpoints along the way were beautiful and the waterfall was rushing!

My favorite go-to spot for a good light trail run (sorry hikers and walkers) near home. Road shoes are fine because the trails are well-maintained and mostly free of rocks, roots, and mud. Bonus: the "Stinky Mile" along the North Beach. Be prepared to take in a few mouths full of sewage processing stench!

Nice easy loop trail with amazing views of Mt Rainier! We went in the beginning of October so the fall foliage was spectacular. We saw some deer that were really chill (they sat by the trail and watched us as we started the trail and they were there still at the end of the loop). It was cold and windy however so bundle up! Even the drive to the trail alone made it worth it. We stopped at a cute little restaurant and the base of the mountain that had amazing food.

The road to the trailhead is now closed which adds 4 miles to the hike. We hiked about 8 miles yesterday but it’s mostly road and very easy. We brought our 4 year old along and she was able to do most of it on her own, although there were parts that were icy. The snow is light up there at the moment and the waterfall is rushing. Be advised that there was a winter storm coming in as we were leaving so there’s probably much more snow up there now, which only adds to the beauty and the magic of the hike in my opinion.

We drove around where it was supposed to be, but did not see any signs :-( ended up hiking a small portion of the PCT instead. Clearer signage would definitely be helpful.

beautiful trail, it was in the easier side.

Gorgeous falls with very little effort to see from the viewing deck. Google maps directions were accurate to the trail/parking. It was nice the road was paved the whole way. There's spray painted words and arrows on the road pointing to the trail. Also be sure to look up when on the road, as there's a small sign nailed to a tree above the trail with "Trail no. 137" on it.

Did this today. The road to the trailhead is closed about 2 miles ahead. This adds 4 miles overall, keep in mind. The first mile was clear and the snow accumulated sharply afterward. There's about three to four inches of snow typically. Hiking poles are great, crampons are a must. I didn't bring them yet managed to not kill myself. The view is breathtaking, you'll have great cell coverage all the way.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Easy snowshoeing trail with great reward.

Beautiful and cozy trail and it’s mixed with the nature. Very relaxing.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this hike on a Sunday morning (got to the trail head around 9 am) and had the place essentially to ourselves. There was no permit required since it's now wintertime, either. It was snow-free and not too muddy, either -- our dogs loved this trail and it was a beautiful way to start our morning.

Hiked this trail today. Easy, well groomed, creek- side hike. Snow line was just above the falls allowing easy access to the base. The falls were raging while snow flurried. Some puddles and mud but easy to walk around. Light traffic.

An easy, short hike with a beautiful waterfall. We went during the fall rains and the waterfall was swollen and raging.

We got a late start today so this hike/walk was a great fit into a dry, fall afternoon. I did download a park map but due to time (and never having down the trail system before) we utilized both the paved loop as well as the trails.

Hiked with two kids, aged 5 and 7, who had fun. They are experienced hikers so this was an easier outing for them.

Lots of lovely views and we even saw two black oyster catchers resting on rocks down by the water. A highlight!

Great views of the falls but I did not do the entire trail because it was closed. This was one of 3 waterfalls I was visiting so I was not too disappointed that it wasn’t much of a “hike”. I was treated with gorgeous views of a rainbow over the waterfall. I assume on any sunny day this occurs. As others have mentioned it is difficult to find. You will park at a gravel parking lot right off the road on the right and then you will need to cross the road by foot to find the trail head right off the edge of the road.

Here is a video from my day where I visited panther creek falls, lower creek falls, and spirit falls - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KasE9uJGAOA&t=630s

Travelers info:

Forest Pass: YES
Parking fee: no but forest Pass needed
Driving: about 2 hours from Portland, potholes on the road up to panther.

Hiked the trail today under snowy conditions. Trails were covered in slush with areas of packed snow and puddles. We walked in hiking boots, Yaktrax would have been helpful in areas. We really enjoyed the trail there were lots of little waterfalls and overlooks along the way.

My favorite Seattle hike when the mountains feel too far away. Just watch out for all the trail runners;)

Too hard and far to drive to there.

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