Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

Overview
Snoqualmie Falls is a 268 ft (82 m) waterfall
Waterfall
A waterfall is a place where flowing water rapidly drops in elevation as it flows over a steep region or a cliff.-Formation:Waterfalls are commonly formed when a river is young. At these times the channel is often narrow and deep. When the river courses over resistant bedrock, erosion happens...

 on the Snoqualmie River
Snoqualmie River
The Snoqualmie River is a long river in King County and Snohomish County in the U.S. state of Washington. The river's three main tributaries are the North, Middle, and South Forks, which drain the west side of the Cascade Mountains near the town of North Bend and join near the town of Snoqualmie...

 between Snoqualmie
Snoqualmie, Washington
Snoqualmie is a city next to Snoqualmie Falls in King County, Washington. The city is home to the Northwest Railway Museum. The population was of 10,670 at the 2010 census...

 and Fall City, Washington
Fall City, Washington
Fall City is a census-designated place in King County, Washington, United States. Located 26 miles east of Seattle, the community lies along the Snoqualmie River. The population was 1,993 at the 2010 census...

, USA
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is one of Washington's most popular scenic attractions, but is perhaps best known internationally for its appearance in the cult television series Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is an American television serial drama created by David Lynch and Mark Frost. The series follows the investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper , of the murder of a popular teenager and homecoming queen, Laura Palmer...

. More than 1.5 million visitors come to the Falls every year, where there is a two acre (8,000 m²) park, an observation deck, and a gift shop.

Most of the river is diverted into the power plants, but at times the river is high enough to flow across the entire precipice, which creates an almost blinding spray.
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Encyclopedia
Snoqualmie Falls is a 268 ft (82 m) waterfall
Waterfall
A waterfall is a place where flowing water rapidly drops in elevation as it flows over a steep region or a cliff.-Formation:Waterfalls are commonly formed when a river is young. At these times the channel is often narrow and deep. When the river courses over resistant bedrock, erosion happens...

 on the Snoqualmie River
Snoqualmie River
The Snoqualmie River is a long river in King County and Snohomish County in the U.S. state of Washington. The river's three main tributaries are the North, Middle, and South Forks, which drain the west side of the Cascade Mountains near the town of North Bend and join near the town of Snoqualmie...

 between Snoqualmie
Snoqualmie, Washington
Snoqualmie is a city next to Snoqualmie Falls in King County, Washington. The city is home to the Northwest Railway Museum. The population was of 10,670 at the 2010 census...

 and Fall City, Washington
Fall City, Washington
Fall City is a census-designated place in King County, Washington, United States. Located 26 miles east of Seattle, the community lies along the Snoqualmie River. The population was 1,993 at the 2010 census...

, USA
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is one of Washington's most popular scenic attractions, but is perhaps best known internationally for its appearance in the cult television series Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is an American television serial drama created by David Lynch and Mark Frost. The series follows the investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper , of the murder of a popular teenager and homecoming queen, Laura Palmer...

. More than 1.5 million visitors come to the Falls every year, where there is a two acre (8,000 m²) park, an observation deck, and a gift shop.

Most of the river is diverted into the power plants, but at times the river is high enough to flow across the entire precipice, which creates an almost blinding spray. High water occurs following a period of heavy rains or snow followed by warm rainy weather. This can occur during the rainy season which lasts from November through March. During high water, the falls take on a curtain form.

For the Snoqualmie People
Snoqualmie (tribe)
The Snoqualmie Tribe is a tribal government of Coast Salish Native American peoples from the Snoqualmie Valley in east King and Snohomish Counties in Washington state. The Snoqualmie settled onto the Tulalip Reservation after signing the Point Elliott Treaty with the Washington Territory in 1855...

, who have lived for centuries in the Snoqualmie Valley in western Washington, Snoqualmie Falls is central to their culture, beliefs, and spirituality. A traditional burial site, to the Snoqualmie, the falls are "the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer" and "where prayers were carried up to the Creator by great mists that rise from the powerful flow." The mists rising from the base of the waterfall are said to serve to connect Heaven and Earth.

The falls were first nominated for the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 in 1992 as a traditional cultural property for its association with the beliefs of the Snoqualmie people. However, the property owner, Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy is Washington state's oldest local energy utility providing electrical power and natural gas in the Puget Sound region of the northwest United States...

, objected to the listing. The falls were subsequently determined eligible for listing in the National Register. The owners rescinded their objection and on September 2, 2009, the falls were formally listed in the National Register.

Power plants


There are two hydroelectric power plants at Snoqualmie Falls, both currently operated by Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy is Washington state's oldest local energy utility providing electrical power and natural gas in the Puget Sound region of the northwest United States...

. Power plant 1 was built in 1898 and operates at the base of the falls embedded in the rock 270 feet (82.3 m) below the surface. It was the world's first completely underground power plant. Power plant 2 was built in 1910 and further expanded in 1957, and is located a short distance downstream of the falls. Approximately 1% of Puget Sound Energy sales comes from the plant. These two power plants provide 41,990 kilowatts of electricity, which is enough to service 16,000 average homes.

The 1898 generating system was designated an ASCE
American Society of Civil Engineers
The American Society of Civil Engineers is a professional body founded in 1852 to represent members of the civil engineering profession worldwide. It is the oldest national engineering society in the United States. ASCE's vision is to have engineers positioned as global leaders who strive toward...

 Civil Engineering Landmark in 1981.

The town of Snoqualmie Falls


The town of Snoqualmie Falls was located near the waterfall. It was associated with the Weyerhaeuser
Weyerhaeuser
Weyerhaeuser is one of the largest pulp and paper companies in the world. It is the world's largest private sector owner of softwood timberland; and the second largest owner of United States timberland, behind Plum Creek Timber...

 mill there. It had many structures including a hospital, school, community center, and many homes. When the town disbanded, many houses were moved to the nearby town of Snoqualmie
Snoqualmie, Washington
Snoqualmie is a city next to Snoqualmie Falls in King County, Washington. The city is home to the Northwest Railway Museum. The population was of 10,670 at the 2010 census...

.

Salish Lodge & Spa


The historic Salish Lodge & Spa overlooks Snoqualmie Falls. The original building on the site was erected in 1919. For 70 years, a small inn known as the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge catered to travelers to the falls with comfort foods. Generations of Puget-Sound area residents took family outings to the Lodge to enjoy the scenic view, country hospitality, and famous specialty breakfasts.

In July 1986, the real estate subsidiary of Puget Sound Energy (which owned the land) terminated the lodge's lease as part of a major redevelopment project in conjunction with Salish Resorts. The 1919 lodge structure was completely remodeled and reopened in 1988 as the 89-room Salish Lodge & Spa. The fireplace is the only remaining part of the original structure. The dining room continues to be recommended worldwide for its lodging, spa, and multi-course country breakfast.

In Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is an American television serial drama created by David Lynch and Mark Frost. The series follows the investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper , of the murder of a popular teenager and homecoming queen, Laura Palmer...

, the building stands in for exterior shots of the Great Northern Hotel.

Hiking


The top of the waterfall is less than 100 yards (91.4 m) from the parking lot, which has a gift shop, espresso stand, and bathrooms. The main views are from the side of the falls, with a fence separating visitors from the edge of a cliff. This area has picnic tables and benches, and a small grassy meadow called the Centennial Green, where weddings are performed through the summer. Here, the river trail descends 300 feet in half a mile passing though temperate rain forest with moss covered Bigleaf Maple, Douglas-fir
Douglas-fir
Douglas-fir is one of the English common names for evergreen coniferous trees of the genus Pseudotsuga in the family Pinaceae. Other common names include Douglas tree, and Oregon pine. There are five species, two in western North America, one in Mexico, and two in eastern Asia...

, Sword Fern
Polystichum munitum
Polystichum munitum is an evergreen fern native to western North America, where it is one of the most abundant ferns occurring along the Pacific coast from southeast Alaska south to southern California, and also inland east to southeastern British Columbia, northern Idaho and western Montana, with...

 and Salal and places to step off the trail and rest or enjoy the scenery. Heavy use makes wildlife sightings uncommon. The park does not allow pets. At the bottom of the trail is the 1910 powerhouse, not open to visitors, and a view of the falls. , the trail is expected to be closed until the middle of 2013.

External links