Ryan left again today for a month. We knew this day was coming, though things have been waffling back and forth this whole last year. If there’s one thing with which we’re familiar in the military, it’s the fact that nothing will remain the same or status quo. With his departure on the horizon though, we wanted to make the most of it hiking Twin Falls Trail in North Bend, WA. This is a super popular trail that’s been on my list for a while, but we’ve never been able to get there together. With a rare sunny winter day in sight though, we made the most of it, and off we went!
Hiking Twin Falls Trail
We left JBLM around 8:30 AM, and I knew that hiking Twin Falls Trail would only happen if we got there early enough. Since it’s only about an hour from JBLM, I thought we might be fine getting there around 9:30 AM in the winter. Spoiler alert: we were wrong. We went to the Twin Falls Trailhead, and it was completely full. Luckily, there is a secondary feeder trail about 4 miles up i90 called Upper and Lower Twin Falls via Twin Falls Trail. The trailhead tends to be a quieter, and the first half a mile is completely flat within Olallie State Park (like Winter Block Trail).
We started our hike in about 3-4 inches of snow, and by the time we veered off the trail to the right to tie into Twin Falls Trail, the snow pack was dense, winding its way into the forest, where it finally gave way to pure greenery all around. It was a neat experience hiking through different sorts of terrain in one hike, and this was an interesting challenge because our trailhead required us to hike down to the falls, then back up to return to the trailhead. It was a little deceiving!
As always, Twin Falls Trail is popular, and there were a lot of people but because we took the feeder trail, it was a bit quieter on the way down, thankfully. The intermittent sun would filter through the trees, and it looked downright magical as we made our way to the falls. We chose not to hike all the way to the bottom because we knew we had to hike all the way back up, and Mieke was sleeping through the latter part of the hike after crying the entire first half.
This is one of those hikes that presented unique little challenges for us, and it was cool to see how the boys have grown in their skills. They knew when to sidestep down certain spots, and they weren’t afraid to use their hands to brace here and there. For the most part, it’s a well-maintained trail and, above all else, it’s fantastic because it’s just over an hour from JBLM, which is a rarity. People hike this one all year around, and I finally understand why; the falls are beautiful, but the journey up and down the trail is just is gorgeous!
Tips for Hiking Twin Falls Trail
Trail Length: The Twin Falls trail is 3.6 miles out and back.
Level of Difficulty: This out and back hike is rated moderate with an elevation gain of about 700+ vertical feet.
Cost: You’ll need your Discover Pass for this trail or pay $10/day.
Dogs: Yes! Dogs are allowed on this trail, so long as they’re on a leash.
Tips: If doing this trail in the winter, make sure you have appropriate hiking shoes/boots that are waterproof and have a good grip. The combo of snow and dirty made for some slippery sections. I also recommend waterproof gloves for kiddos so they can put their hands down. Also, mask up. It’s hard to keep 6-feet apart here!