Franklin Falls Hike: A Waterfall Hike That is Easy Enough for Most Kids and Families
If you’re looking for an easy hike to do with the kids, or a waterfall hike that kids can do, I’ve got the solution for you!
Franklin Falls is a super kid friendly hike, and it’s one of my family’s favorite options within a short drive from the greater Seattle area (It’s just east-off I-90). It’s short, easy enough for most beginner hikers (do see my cautions in this post), and it ends with a great, big, “Wow!” Plus, right now the cooling mist from the waterfall would feel pretty great!
The first part of the trail is a wide, well maintained path. The trail parallels an old wagon route, and you can actually still see ruts from the wagon wheels in spots. Cool, right?
It’s a pleasant, shaded trail with pretty viewpoints. You do want to keep children back from the edge, but you’d do that on any trail, right?
You should know that the last bit of this trail down to the falls is steep and slippery. There are rock, “Steps,” but they’re often loose or wet, and so are more difficult than they look. Go slowly here and help kiddos and anyone who isn’t sure footed.
You should also know that the rocks at the base of the falls are boulders-you can get right up by the falls, but don’t be looking for a soft place to sit or a bench to relax on! Again, there is trip and spill potential here. I should add that several of our readers say they love this hike and have done it with even toddlers, so it may just be that I am a nervous Nelly (My family would confirm this for sure). Anyway…..
And, finally, you should know that the trailhead for this hike is the same one you use for the Denny Creek Slide-an UBER popular, summer option (and another fun one for families, IF you’re o.k. with your kids playing on wet rocks). If you go, go early in the day, or you will have a rough time finding parking. If all that doesn’t scare you off, you’ll find easy directions here at the Wta.org site. You’ll also want to read the most recent trip reports for any trail condition updates and tips from other hiking families.
And, finally, here’s a pic one of the boys took of me and the hubs on a hike here a couple of years ago. I tried to find a good one of Henry, but apparently I was too busy taking pics of the rocks that day. Such is the life of the blogger’s kids. Have you done any hikes yet this summer? I’d love for you to leave a comment with your recommendations!
Want more waterfall hikes?
(Affiliate link>) You may also want to pick up the new edition of Best Hikes With Kids Western Washington. It’s awesome! We have used the first edition for more than 10 years and not come close to doing all the hikes in it!