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Snoquera Falls Loop

Mount Rainier Area

Location

Mount Rainier Area -- Chinook Pass - Hwy 410
View map below

Length

3.9 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 975 ft.
Highest Point: 3100 ft.

Rating

3.56 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2021
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

With a trailhead so easily accessible, there's no excuse not to visit Snoquera Falls. Best in early spring, this lush, forested trail features a pretty fantail cascade plunging down a sheer, rocky wall.

From the roadside trailhead you immediately plunge into rainforest, more in tune with what you would expect to see in the Olympics. It's a casual stroll (then a more challenging climb) amid mossy and dripping cedar, western hemlock, big leaf and vine maple, and a forest floor occasionally carpeted with western Washington's harbingers of spring; skunk cabbage and trillium.

After 0.1 miles, the first junction leads to the short, interpretive Moss Lake Trail. Continue straight from here, and at 0.2 mile, arrive at an amphitheater. Continue straight to move around the amphitheater toward a sign visible a short distance ahead, at a 4-way intersection with a sign that may be a source of confusion for hikers. Read on for a more clear route description.

The shortest route to Snoquera Falls (1.3 miles from here) is the center trail, which heads slightly to the right and uphill. The path to the left is the longer way to Snoquera Falls (2.1 miles from this intersection), but let's get you to the waterfalls quickly; take the center trail and start climbing.

At 0.6 mile is a junction with a weathered and broken sign pointing left to 'Snoquera Falls, 1 mile'. Despite the signage, you won't arrive at the falls until you've hiked 1.5 miles. There are a couple of scramble trails which lead higher and closer, but they are rough and especially treacherous when wet. 

The volume in the falls changes dramatically with the seasons. In springtime, when heavy winter snows are melting rapidly, the falls can be roaring, filling the basin with cold spray. In the later summer months, the falls may reduce to but a trickle, eventually picking up again with autumn rains. If the water is too high when you visit and you can't safely cross the creek on the rock face, go back the way you came and plan a return trip later in the summer. 

If it's safe to continue, complete the loop. Though it's longer, a bit rockier, and steeper, it also passes some delightful old growth.

 

Snoquera Falls Loop

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.0328, -121.5579 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area -- Chinook Pass - Hwy 410

Snoquera Falls (#1167)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Buy the Green Trails Greenwater No. 238 map

Getting There

From Enumclaw drive east on Hwy 410 (the Chinook Pass Highway) through the town of Greenwater. Continue driving until you pass the Dalles Campground. About 2.5 miles, turn left into the Camp Sheppard Trailhead, take an immediate right into the parking lot for the Snoquera Falls, Buck Creek and White River trails. This is just a few yards south of Camp Sheppard Boy Scout Camp entrance. A toilet is available in the parking lot.

If approaching from the south via State Route 410, the right turn at the Camp Sheppard sign is one quarter mile beyond milepost 53.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Snoquera Falls Loop

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