Sunday, December 13, 2009

Preston-Snoqualmie Trail

Route: Preston-Snoqualmie Trail (From Lake Alice Road Parking lot to Snoqualmie Falls viewpoint)

Just to be clear - this is a very easy walk (not really a traditional "hike"). I found this trek in this book. It seemed intreging since it offers a different view point of Snoqualmie Falls -- different from the sometimes overrun main public viewpoint near the Salish Lodge.

This walk starts across the street from the ample Parking Lot right off Lake Alice Road. This former railroad right-of-way makes for a wide paved path -- no dirt or narrow trails.

The trail is fairly mundane and doesnt really provide for many special views except for a couple spots opened due to powerlines or large ravens on either side of the trail.

There are a couple other dirt trails connecting off the paved trail on the up-hill slope. These include the unmarked Deep Creek trail which connects in two places. The Deep Creek trail does reach Whitaker Park Valley viewpoint, which might have good views of the valley and Fall City.

After 1.8 miles (one-way), you reach the viewpoint for the Falls. There are a couple benches here to enjoy the view. The view is slightly disappointing, since there are some trees in the way and the falls are some distance to the East.

Even with a 5x zoom - its hard to make out Snoqualmie Falls in these photos - the white around the falls is frost and ice from some record cold weather recently. Mount Si is in the background, which might make a very good photo on a clear day.

Its a better view in person, but dont expect the close up views like at the main viewpoint near Salish Lodge.

That being said, its a nice very easy walk and provides for a "different" view of the falls.

Overall a "ok", but slightly boring trek (until you reach the falls) with very limited views and a lack of other things to keep your interest. Not the best hike, but its off-the beaten path and shows a different side of the Falls. Good for folks who want a very easy hike without any elevation gain.


View Preston-Snoqualmie Trail in a larger map

Trail- Preston-Snoqualmie Trail
Map - King County Regional Trail Map, Green Trails Map: Rattlesnake Mountain No. 205s
Length - 3.6 miles out and back - Very Easy Hike (maybe 100' Elevation gain)
Trail - Wide paved multi-use path
Dogs - On leash
Bikes - Yes
Views - Views of Snoqualmie Falls at the end of 1.8 miles
Getting There - From Seattle - Exit 22 on I-90, turn Left off the freeway crossing over the freeway. Turn Right on Preston-Fall City Road SE (note the 25 MPH zone). After about 4 miles turn Right on Lake Alice Road SE. Continue up Lake Alice Road until reaching the paved parking lot on the right.
Other Trails - From the parking lot side the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail continues back to the town of Preston.
Facilities - there a restroom at the trailhead parking lot - there is no bathroom at the viewpoint.
Fee - No fee (Donate to the WTA)