Snowqualmie Pass

A recent daytrip to the Snowqualmie Pass area of the Cascades ended up as a hike on Denny Creek between the Campground and Franklin Falls.  It was a rainy, misty day, despite being near the end of July.  The trail is quite enjoyable, starting first as a bubbling boulder strewn river that quickly turns into a series of smaller waterfalls and ends at the larger Franklin Falls, which has a 70 foot vertical drop.  Views of the rivers are often from elevated positions amongst heavily shaded old growth forest, providing ample spots for looking down into the open river canyon.  The area also has an interesting historical significance, however, there is little at the site that would tip your hand to that fact.  Settlers heading for the Puget Sound area could take the Snoqualmie Pass Wagon Road, originally a trading path used by Native Americans, and later a mule trail used by fur traders, to cross the mountains on wagons carrying supplies and goods over this lowest of the Cascade passes.  In the Denny Creek area the old wagon trace is still visible.

On this particular day, given the weather conditions, I tried to focus on capturing several “intimate landscape” scenes, to capture the the energy of the Denny Creek, running strong and carving a path through the old growth forest that enveloped the canyon.  Due to the low light conditions, it was easy to slow the shutter speed down and capture the pleasing blur of the moving stream.

We ended our hiking with a quick stop by a nearby Golden Creek Pond, where fog and water and flowers all quietly converged (along with biting flies and mosquitos!)   It’s hard to believe, but in the 1970s and early 1980s, this site was a gravel pit created and used for building nearby I-90. Since then the area has been reclaimed as a natural recreation area. It’s hard to believe that this serene place was once a huge hole with heavy equipment loudly working about.