Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Hike #3 Franklin Falls and Denny Creek

Length: 4-5 miles total for both hikes
Elevation Gain: 500 feet or so; uphill first, then turn around and down hill on the return trip
Views: forest, waterfalls
Wildlife: bugs, bugs, and more bugs
Kids: Some whining during the trail walking
Difficulty: toughest one yet

We decided to do the Franklin Falls hike after seeing it in the newspaper (it was also in our hiking book). It is near the Snoqualmie Pass summit, so this was a whole day trip for us. We started off by missing the Bainbridge ferry by about 5 cars. There was a lot of "if only Simon had gotten his shoes the first time we asked" and "if only we hadn't stopped when the cooler tipped over." But then we got over that and decided to kill some time wandering around the beach near the ferry. (Steve killed some time napping).

The tide was super low and from the ferry it looked like the two sides of the inlet were going to meet in the middle. I worried about the ferry hitting the sand, but it didn't. It had to sort of weave through the area so that it's in the deepest sections of the inlet. I think it does that all the time, but today you could see why.

Once we got to the Franklin Falls area we found that we had to go somewhere else to get a forest pass before we could park and do the hike. We had to drive a little farther up the road to get back on the freeway and then we realized that where we got on the freeway was where we were supposed to get off the freeway, so we ended up driving in a circle.

We did finally get our pass, find a space to park, eat the lunch we packed, and then we were ready for the hike. We started with the Franklin Falls trail. It was mostly uphill all the way there until the last 100 yards or so, which was a steep downhill climb. They boys really liked the area and played around in the water there for a while. If you stand in front of the pool of water near the falls, you get a nice spay of cold water to cool you down after the hike.

The return trip was quick and easy once we passed the first uphill section, since it was mostly downhill from there. The boys stopped to climb on a rock and do strange poses.

Then we stopped at the car for a quick drink before heading up to Denny Creek. This trail was over a mile long and was also mostly uphill, with even more elevation gain than Franklin Falls. I was beat after about 1/2 mile. I wanted to quit and go back, but Steve made me keep going. When we got to the creek there were a lot of people there playing in the water and falls. Some kids were sliding down the rocks in the water (although that wasn't that easy to do--rocks are not that slippery). The boys had fun here as well and we wished we'd been to this one first while the sun was still overhead.

Torsten tried to get under the falls a little and got sucked in.

Simon is showing just how cold the water was.

After our workout, we were definitely ready for some food (and it was dinner time by then as well). We stopped in North Bend and Steve found Los Cabos. I think he has some sort of supernatural ability to spot Mexican restaurants. Simon and I split Carne Asada:

After a stop at the fish store, we made it to the ferry and found we had a 40 minute wait until the next boat. But the sun was getting ready to set, so we enjoyed the scenery and let our muscles rest from our hike. It was a good day and definitely a hike we'd do again.

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