Encompass Blog

Great Hikes for Kids

July 13, 2022  |  Uncategorized  |  By Encompass

mountainsThe Power of Outside and Hiking!

The Snoqualmie Valley is filled with a wide range of hikes for all ages and fitness levels. The Encompass team put their heads together to come up with our Top Five list for families with young children. We’ve included a brief overview of each hike with a link to the Washington Trails Association for more details, safety considerations, and directions. Please note that each hike also requires either a Northwest Forest Pass or Discover Pass for parking which can be purchased either by the day or for a full season. Visit the links below for buying options.

Parking Passes
Discover Pass
Northwest Forest Pass

girl balancing on a bridgesmall boy in front of a waterfallFranklin Falls – At two miles round trip with a 400-foot elevation gain, this easy hike includes bridges, stairs, and a gentle incline, making it perfect for young hikers. The thick canopy of trees and beautiful endpoint with the falls make it a great hike for a hot day. Note: the final stage before the falls is a bit narrow along the rocks. It’s perfectly manageable but requires caution and guidance for younger hikers.

Parking: Northwest Forest Pass.

Learn More: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/franklin-falls 

boy sitting on water and rocksboys and a waterfallDenny Creek Natural Water Slides – The full length of this trail leads past Keekwulee Falls and onto Snowshoe Falls, registering at 6 miles round trip with a 1,345-foot elevation gain. But many families with young children choose to stop at the natural water slide area just over a mile from the trailhead and a mere 140 elevation gain. This area is filled with small pools and slides, perfect for cooling off on a hot day! We recommend treaded water shoes or sandals for the kids to change into once they arrive.

Parking: Northwest Forest Pass

Learn More: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/denny-creek

water fallskids in a hallowed treeTwin Falls – At 2.6 miles round trip with a 500-foot elevation gain, this hike starts out with beautiful stops along the river, sure to please the kids. Climbing begins as the trail leaves the river, but you are soon rewarded with a popular resting spot with a view. Continue on to the bridge with a view of the falls and you are there. Though you can continue across the bridge to the John Wayne Trail above, the trail never returns to the river and gets closer to traffic noise from the freeway.

Parking: Discover Pass

Learn More: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/twin-falls-state-park

viewpoint of trees and cloudsCedar Butte Summit – At 3.5 miles, 900 feet elevation gain, Cedar Butte is a great option if you’re looking for a slightly longer hike away from the usual crowds. The thick canopy provides plenty of shade on a hot day and ultimately leads you to the top for some forested mountain views. The trailhead is just across from Rattlesnake Lake, so if it’s a hot day, you can reward yourself with a refreshing dip in the lake after.

Parking: Discover Pass

Learn More: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/cedar-butte#hike-full-description

Rocky Mountain and treesLittle Si – If you’re looking to up the challenge for your young hikers, Little Si is a great ‘next level’ hike. At 3.7 miles round trip and 1300 feet elevation gain, the trail is filled with fun features along the way including side viewpoints and rock-climbing areas. At the summit, Mount Si and Mount Washington can be viewed on a clear day.

Parking: Discover Pass

Learn More: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/little-si

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