Saturday, June 26, 2010

Twin Peaks, Snoqualmie Falls, Salish Lodge & the Snoqualmie Tribe

There is no Salish Lodge in the old postcard of Snoqualmie Falls. Salish Lodge was built in 1919, which would seem to indicate that the postcard was made before 1919.

Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most popular attractions in Washington, with over 1.5 million visitors a year.

When the Snoqualmie River goes into flood mode, after a heavy rain or heavy snowmelt, Snoqualmie Falls turns into an awesomely powerful spectacle. The ground actually vibrates and the spray from the falls becomes a blinding mist.

Snoqualmie Falls has always been well known in the Northwest. And then this TV show called Twin Peaks came alone, using Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge, turning the falls and the lodge into international iconic images.

The Snoqualmie Tribe lived in the Snoqualmie Valley long before Washington became a state. Snoqualmie Falls is a key part of the Snoqualmie People's culture. The falls were a burial site, with the Snoqualmie believing the falls are "the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer, where prayers were carried up to the Creator by great mists that rise from the powerful flow."

Puget Sound Energy operates 2 hydro power plants at Snoqualmie Falls. The first power plant was built well over a century ago, in 1898. It operates at the bottom of the falls, embedded in rock, the world's first underground power plant. In 1910 Power Plant 2 was built. It is located a short distance downstream from the falls. The 2 power plants generate electricity to power approximately 16,000 homes.

Snoqualmie Falls is about 300 feet from the visitor's parking lot. There you will find a gift shop, espresso stands, restrooms and the overlook structure. There are also picnic tables and benches and a grassy area called Centennial Green, which is a very popular wedding location.

A half mile trail descends about 300 feet, over a half mile, to the river below the falls. Before you get to the river you'll pass through some rain forest vegetation with moss covered trees and giant ferns. When you reach the river you'll see the 1910 Power Plant 2.

There is an official Snoqualmie Falls website with current information, such as the aforementioned Hiking Trail is closed until 2013. I assume it is being re-built.

The video below will give you a real good view of the Power of Snoqualmie Falls...


Steve A said...

Durango didn't mention it, but the Salish Lodge is an EXCELLENT place to eat, with that view of the falls and renowned food.

I'd further guess the postcard was made after 1900, because Seattle Rock was dynamited in that year. More story may be found at:

MacKenzie said...

Great post. For a little background on why the trail was closed you can find more information about the Snoqualmie Falls redevelopment project and the enhancements being made there by Puget Sound Energy (including a fact sheet, Q&A, newsletter, photos and more) by visit the Snoqualmie Falls project page on PSE’s Web site at:

Puget Sound Energy