Spending a day in Franklin Ghost Town – Black Diamond, Washington will have you soaking up the sun, hiking to incredible views, learning about the history of the area, getting a workout in and give you the break you need to keep you going.
It is the perfect day for nearly anyone. Families? Yes! Partners? Of course! Solo hikers and adventures? Certainly! All you need is $10, water, and maybe towels and a picnic if you’d like to make the most of the day.
On Your Way
On your way to the trailhead, you may want to explore the beautiful town and scenery of Black Diamond, Washington. There are so many nearby places to eat, visit, and view, giving you the perfect day in Black Diamond.
Fuel Up: Black Diamond Bakery and Deli
Getting your kids up, dressed and ready for the day is already a pretty big obstacle. Somehow feeding them in the midst, sometimes can seem impossible. Consider stopping at the Black Diamond Bakery and Deli for a quick and easy breakfast.
Open Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. with an endless menu, there is sure to be something for all your little ones, even the picky eaters. Their breakfast has everything from omelets and scrambles to crepes and specialty breakfasts. They also have a coffee juice bar that can serve up a cup of jo or smoothie to keep your morning light! Even if you start your morning a little late, serving breakfast from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., it is the perfect place to start off your morning.
In With the Old: Black Diamond Antiques
There is something about the sweet smell of an antique store that just feels safe. Maybe it is the smell of the love those items once saw, or the mixture of the perfumes of the owners that once held them, but I have yet to smell a candle that gives off the same feeling.
Starting your day off with a little retail therapy can’t hurt, right? Black Diamond Antiques is a great place to find home decor, furniture, framed art, all the vintage items you could want, or just the sweet smell of an antique shop.
If you can’t do anything without coffee: Black Gold Coffee Company
With an outdoor patio that will have you soaking up the morning sun and a huge selection of drinks available, Black Gold Coffee Company may be the perfect stop for you.
With everything from espresso and blended drinks to beer and wine there is something for everyone. Maybe you want to start the morning with some caffeine. Or you could always end the day with some beer or a glass of wine.
Franklin Ghost Town
As you arrive at the Franklin Ghost Town parking lot, you’ll see a small wooden box where you will need to put in $5 in order to park in the dirt parking lot at the base of the trailhead. This trail is dog friendly and perfect for a family as it has little elevation gain.
As soon as you’re finished parking, the trail head is right in front of you. The hike does have occasional inclines however, should be just fine for your little ones, beginners and anyone looking for a quick and easy workout.
While hiking, it is extremely easy to get lost. There are several forks and directions to explore so, your curiosity may have to guide you. I suggest exploring several different directions because they each have something unique.
Once you reach the mine cart labeled “Franklin” you’ll have a fork in the road leading you to two different parts of this hike. The right will lead you to the remains of what is left of several old buildings. I suggest going down this trail around the time you think you’d want lunch. The old buildings are a great place to sit, relax, fuel up and give your legs a break.
If you go on the left trail, you’ll be led to the mine and a cemetery. The mine is covered in wire and fenced around to keep people from falling in, however, a quick throw of a rock down the mine and you’ll get a feel for just how deep the hole really is.
One of the most common things you’ll find to the left is tombstones. They will be off to the side of most of the trail and will give you a chance to stop and look at the date and messages left behind on the stone.
Around every corner is something new. A great view of Mount Rainier, old mining gear, a new tombstone to admire, views overlooking the water and so much more.
The falls is not something you’ll run into during your hike. Online, Franklin Ghost Town is often accompanied by photos of the falls; however, it is just up the road. So, after enjoying your hike, head back down to the dirt parking lot and hop in your vehicle.
If you turn right out of the parking lot, there is a one lane bridge, cross that. Then almost immediately after you’ll notice a gift shop to your left with a banner of the falls, and another dirt parking lot to your right where you will be parking.
This parking is free but I suggest taking everything valuable with you or keep it locked up and safe. Just a short walk across the street will lead you to the Green River Gorge Resort. There, you’ll pay $5.00 to access the trail that leads you down to the falls.
The trail is a huge set of stairs with no ramp. So this activity is not wheelchair accessible. The stairs are broken in places or may look old so be careful and conscious with every step. There are signs that are labeled “Use Trail at Your Own Risk” giving the impression that the resort will not be liable for any injuries or mishaps that may occur.
As you make your way down, take time to explore your surroundings. There will be stairs going over small waterfalls, railroad tracks above you, and my personal favorite – a short trail that branches off leading you behind the waterfall.
Once you make it to the bottom there is still so much to see. As you begin to walk around to find the best place to set down your stuff, you’ll find small caves, cliff diving spots, and incredible views.
The best way to make the most out of this summer day is to bring a backpack full of towels and a small picnic. Enjoy the sun, jump in if it gets too hot and relish the beauty that surrounds you.
Pack Up and Drive Home
It is very important that all trash and gear is picked up and taken back with you when visiting both Franklin Ghost Town and the Green River Gorge Springs. Leaving these places clean and free of trash will allow us to continue to have more adventures and come back in the future.
Don’t feel like going home quite yet? I don’t blame you. Here are some more great spots to hit on your way out of town!
Top off the day: Lumber House Brewery
Craving a Pale Ale or some IPA? Head over to the Lumber House Brewery for some homegrown brews. According to their website, their goal is to “make the best beer you’ve ever tasted, buy local, sell local and grow with [their] community.”
With a nice selection of beers and a delicious menu it is a great place to end the day.
Something Sweet: Gracene’s Cupcake Boutique
By this time, you have put in a good workout. Maybe now it is time to reward yourself? Make this day even sweeter by trying a new treat at Gracene’s Cupcake Boutique! They have a variety of flavors that will make just about anyone’s month water.
With so many options and just $3.50 a cupcake, Gracene’s Cupcake Boutique is perfect for families and those with a sweet tooth.
Games and Guiness: Boots Tavern
Want to keep the fun going? Drive over to Boots Tavern.
Boots Tavern is a friendly mom and pop bar that has been open for over 80 years. With pool tables, golf games, pinball and darts you are sure to be in for a fun night. They offer a selection of alcohol and a small but good menu of food to tie you over.
There is still so much to explore in Washington State. If you enjoyed this day in Black Diamond there are so many other stories to inspire you to take your next adventure on the Explore Washington State website.