Summer is finally here in Seattle! We went on the best adventure this past weekend and I wanted to share it with you so that you can enjoy this with your family too. We hiked the Denny Creek trail in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest to the natural waterslides. It was SO FUN! Our kids are 9 and 6 years old, and this was the perfect hike for them. Keep reading all the way to the bottom for my tips to make it a great day trip!
The super-fun destination is the Denny Creek natural waterslides, which are about a mile in from the trailhead.
The creek passes over these large rocks and creates “slides” which are slick from some algae growth in the water paths with lots of small, shallow pools to play or wade in. The large rocks are also a great place to rest and eat lunch.
Bubble tape for the hike back to the parking lot makes all things right in the world. 🙂
Keep your eyes open to the beauty of Mother Nature!
GETTING THERE: We love the Washington Trails Association website for info on parking and directions to the trailhead.
PARKING: You need a Northwest Forest Pass to park in the parking lot at the trailhead. Single-day or annual passes available.
TOILETS: There are 2 toilets at the Franklin Falls trailhead which is right next to the Denny Creek trail. Use those before heading over the concrete bridge to the Denny Creek trail, as the toilets at the Denny Creek trailhead are closed due to lack of funding.
WHAT TO BRING: We bring the 10 essentials, even when day hiking. Each kid carries their own backpack with a jacket, water, and food. LOTS of snacks, since water play makes the kids ravenous!
FOR WATER PLAY: If the kids plan to play in the water, I have them wear their swimsuits under their hiking clothes. They pack water shoes & dry underwear in their backpack. I bring microfiber towels which are absorbent and pack small. We love these from Amazon.
NOTES: The water is melted alpine snowpack, so it’s clean but ice COLD! Stay close to the kids and make sure they don’t stay in the water for too long! I’ve read that the water levels vary depending on the time of year. Earlier in the season the water levels may be too high/fast for safe play. Always use discretion around water. We went in mid-July and it was perfect.
The hike doesn’t end at the waterslides. If you continue 0.7 miles beyond the waterslide rocks, apparently you get to a beautiful waterfall. It was a hard sell for my kids and they decided they didn’t want to go any further which I was totally okay with. We enjoyed this hike much more than Franklin Falls (also beautiful) because the kids just loved the final destination and could appreciate playing in the water a lot more than they appreciated looking at Franklin Falls. Plus we thought getting down to the bottom of Franklin Falls was pretty treacherous on the wet rocks which are constantly wet from the falls’ spray. We would definitely do the Denny Creek hike again! What are your favorite kid-friendly hikes in the Seattle area?