Twin Falls State Park, 02/04/09

Woke up on a Wednesday with an itch to get out for a hike and take some photos.  Since it was a last-minute decision, and it is February, I wanted to find something close.  Since I haven’t hiked in over three months, I wanted to find something easy.  A visit to Twin Falls seemed to fit the criteria.

The Twin Falls.

The Twin Falls.

Twin Falls State Park is just off of I-90 near North Bend, under an hour from Seattle.  I figured I’d take advantage of the morning’s overcast sky and take some long-exposure waterfall photos.  After packing my bag and making a sandwich, I left West Seattle at 09:00.  Forty-five minutes later I was in the parking lot, along with only four other cars–a great sight, made possible only by my midweek day off.  I was on the trail at 09:50.

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For the first fifteen minutes or so, the trail follows the river, which is rocky and clear with its promise of waterfalls in the distance.  The trail then turns away from the river and works its way up a hundred feet or so through three or four moderate switchbacks.  I confess: I was surprised!  I imagined a walk in the park, but ended up getting a little bit of a workout.  At the top of the switchbacks there’s a set of benches and your first view of Twin Falls in the distance.  This spot is apparently ~.75 miles in, and reached fairly quickly.  Up to this point I’d seen two or three people (and their dogs) on the way out.  It was fairly quiet.

The trail drops down again immediately, losing much of the elevation just gained, but it’s only several minutes before you’re climbing again, up several more switchbacks that bring you within earshot of I-90 above.  At 10:20 there’s a large spur to the right, which drops down via a good number of steps to a wooden lookout with views of the falls.  Alone, I set up my tripod and busied myself taking photos for a good 20 minutes, then headed back up the stairs.

As viewed from the viewpoint.

As viewed from the lookout.

Up the stairs and a few minutes further, you’ll cross a small creek and find yourself on a large bridge right over the river, with views upstream toward what I suppose are the middle falls.  There’s three distinct falls: the lower falls, seen from the viewpoint; the middle falls, seen from the bridge; and the upper falls, which I’d yet to see, and which you can’t really get a great look at from the trail.  After a few minutes on the bridge, I continued on.

Middle falls from the bridge; upper falls visible in the distance.

Middle falls from the bridge; upper falls visible in the distance.

After the bridge, which is ~1.5 miles from the parking lot, the trail climbs a bit more, past partial views of the upper falls (which I didn’t even bother taking a picture of).  I climbed for several minutes, wondering if there’d be anything interesting, and cursing myself for not taking a photo of the map at the trailhead.  At 11:00, I reached a level patch and decided I may as well turn around.  I knew that the Twin Falls trail eventually met up with the Iron Horse trail, but I had no intention of making a long hike out of it.  I figured I’d head back and try to find another viewpoint of the large lower falls further downstream than the provided overlook.

Back down river, I worked my way along the hillside and dropped down onto a rock outcropping with a different perspective of the falls.  This spot was 20-30 feet down on three sides, so I cautiously dropped to my knees and spent several minutes taking photos.  You can see how the view is different; but for the most part, the provided, safe overlook is plenty good.

From off-trail.  I was able to include the bridge in the shot.

From off-trail. I was able to include the bridge in the shot.

At 11:45, I was back on the trail proper and on my way to the parking lot.  At noon, I was sitting in the car eating my sandwich.  And I was back in Seattle before 13:00.  Four hours door-to-door, and I managed to get in ~four miles of hiking and spent a bunch of time taking long-exposure photographs.  It was a good morning.  As always, an extra photo or two at Flickr.
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3 Responses to Twin Falls State Park, 02/04/09

  1. Angelika says:

    I love the silkiness of the water falling down. Great job!!

  2. jeremy says:

    Thanks, Angelika! It was good long-exposure practice, and I like the way they turned out, too.

  3. Pingback: The Year in Review, 2009 Edition « Don’t Look Down

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