Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snoqualmie Falls and Flooding in the Snoqualmie Valley

It's that time of year again. It's the rainy season in the Pacific Northwest, and the time of year that rivers crest near or even above their banks. The Snoqualmie River is one of such rivers, as is the nearby Tolt River.

Yesterday the Snoqualmie River crested above flood stage, measuring 33,600 cubic feet per second at Snoqualmie Falls (46,000 cubic feet per second in the lower valley).

Of course, this is not even close to the river's volume during record flooding in 2009 when I composed this night image of the falls from the observation deck. Access to the falls was difficult with many road closures, and the drive a little unnerving while driving over a bridge very nearly at the level of the rushing water!

December typically marks another fun time to see the falls as well - during cold, freezing temperatures! Of course, this can happen in January and February too.

Unfortunately, the lower trail to the viewpoint near the base of the falls is now closed for reconstruction, and will be until 2013. However, I think the best views of the falls are from the upper observation deck anyway, which are still accessible.

Snoqualmie Falls is impressive to see at any time of year, plummeting 268' with shear power and strength. It is one of many waterfalls along the three forks of the Snoqualmie River, which also include Kanim Falls (200'), Nellie Falls (150'), Twin Falls (135'), Franklin Falls (135'), and many, many more.

Snoqualmie Falls is the most accessible of all the falls, with a paved trail from the parking lot and restrooms and gift shop. When was the last time you visited? Might it be time?

For more images, be sure and check out my Snoqualmie Falls Gallery on my web site!

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