If you’re looking for a hike that features forest, views of I-90’s stunning architecture, waterfalls and a mountain climb, Denny Creek Trail was designed just for you. Hikers are greeted by bubbling Denny Creek right from the trailhead. The trail cuts through the dense forest along the cliffs of Denny Creek, crossing the creek after about .5 miles. The trail begins a shallow ascent as it passes beneath the pillars of the stunning I-90 viaduct, winding upward into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

©Jenni Denekas

The trail winds downward, presenting hikers with a soggy Denny Creek crossing. The shallow water is easy to cross in the late spring and summer, and is often bridged by a log cluster. Make sure to look at the waterfall located just upstream before you continue on the trail. Roughly .5 miles later the stunning Keekwulee Falls rewards hikers for their climb with a steep waterfall that literally blows nearby Franklin Falls out of the water. The name means “to fall down” in Chinook Jargon, so take care when exploring the geometric rock formations surrounding the crest of the waterfall.

 

Although most weekend hikers turn around at Keekwulee Falls after a quick on-the-trail-lunch, adventurous hikers can continue along the trail as it switchbacks up the mountainside. Roughly .5 miles later, Snowshoe Falls is hidden within a narrow gorge. With a 70-foot drop, Snowshoe Falls is the tallest waterfall on the trail, so make sure to catch a glimpse of it through the trees. Follow the trail upward through the mountain, and you will be rewarded by a spectacular mountain meadow, still brimming with spring snow. Continue along the trail to reach Melakwa Lake, which is 41/2 miles from the trailhead. Backpackers can also follow the trail to reach Tuscohatchie Lakes (7.4 miles from the trailhead) and Kaleetan Lake (9.7 miles from the trailhead).

 

©Jenni Denekas

Length: 4.5 miles one way
Variety: Out and back
Elevation Gain: 2700 Feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Season: Summer Fall
Trail Open to: Hikers, Dogs
Passes Permits: Northwest Forest Pass
Facilities at Trailhead: Privy
Maps: Green Trails: #207 Snoqualmie Pass, #207S Snoqualmie Pass
USGS: Snoqualmie Pass

 

Driving Directions:

From I-90 East take exit 47 (Asael Curtis/Denny Creek). Turn left to continue along the overpass. Turn left onto Denny Creek Road and travel 2.5 miles, turning left just after the Denny Creek Campground. The trailhead is at the road’s end.

©Jenni Denekas
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