Want a gem of a hike that’s family-friendly and won’t take an all-day drive? This is your go-to hike with a great reward: Teneriffe Falls, North Bend, WA.
After our rainy January, I was delighted to see the sun out and raced for the mountains. Weekends are busy on popular hikes such as this, but it’s exciting to see like-minded hikers enjoying the outdoors together. Thanks to the opening (as of July 1st, 2017) of a 100+ parking lot to access this family-friendly hike, versus the old 15-minute max parking lot which was used as a school bus turnaround, there is now much easier access and no concern of available parking at the Teneriffe Falls trailhead. And with the trail clocking in at just over 5.5 miles round-trip, it’s the perfect hike to tackle on a weekend morning.
When I arrived at 8 a.m., there were about eight cars in the parking lot. Fog was gently rolling in and out of the Snoqualmie Valley with the sun peeking here and there — like a description taken out of a John Muir book. My dog, Boston, and I started up the new half-mile trail which had been freshly maintained with high visibility. It gave me a feeling of safety. At the end of the trail we took a slight left where the sign guides to the Teneriffe Falls/Mountain trails. There you walk about quarter mile to a ‘Y’ in the trail where you can either go right to the falls or left to the peak.
I chose to take a right to see the heavily flowing falls after our heavy rainfall. The trail leads you through a long corridor of trees which envelope you like a hug. It feels as if you are fully encompassed while seeing to the end of a tunnel. Sun rays came through from the tree line of the Snoqualmie Valley with a bit of fog, transmitting a feeling of a natural spotlight.
About one mile up, you see your first sight of the stunning waterfall, which seems to transport you to a tropical paradise. As you climb the trail, it continues to be quite rocky, so be sure to wear stable hiking shoes or boots. I also recommend wearing ankle gaiters and water-resistant hiking shoes during the rainier months — toward the upper part of the trail, it has turned into a bit of a waterfall itself. There are a couple viewpoints of the falls as you continue up the switchbacks along the trail to take in the stunning view.
As you continue up the trail, you get to an opening to feel the intensity of the waterfall. During this time of year, the water is flowing quite heavy, and you can feel the powerful misty breeze as it flows down the mountainside. While you think this is the final view, it isn’t. The trail becomes more of a steep scramble where your legs will begin to shake from all the lunges up the mountain. If you’re enjoying the hike with family, the last viewpoint is awe-inspiring for all to see. When I returned to the parking lot there were about 50 cars, as traffic had picked up as the morning went on. Beautiful views, friendly hikers along the way, and being outdoors was a perfect way to start my sunny Sunday morning. I hope you enjoy this gorgeous hike in our beautiful state just as much as I do.