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12 Kid-Friendly Waterfall Hikes for Seattle-Area Families

Rambles alongside a roaring cascade, for every age

Lauren Braden

Published on: April 17, 2024

Little girl at a waterfall in Washington

Kid-friendly waterfall hikes

The Cascade Range is named for waterfalls — hundreds of them, big and small, that cascade down streams and plunge over cliffs, carrying huge amounts of water from winter rains and melting snow.

A giant roaring waterfall is a five-senses experience, while gentle cascades down a mountain stream will lull you to a tranquil rest.

First, some safety tips: Waterfalls are beautiful but can be dangerous, especially in spring conditions when mountain snow is melting and/or there has been lots of rain.

  • Never venture into the direct stream of a large waterfall, as loose rocks often tumble down with the water. Never climb up waterfalls, and don’t let children jump from high rocks into a waterfall’s pool.
  • If children wish to wade into a shallow backcountry pool or stream to cool off or look for critters, make sure they’re closely supervised and wearing sturdy shoes that can handle loose, slippery rocks.
  • Most importantly, always check conditions of trails and roads before your hike — one of the best resources available are Washington Trails Association’s trip reports, where you can get the most current conditions.

With those safety tips in mind, let’s get going!

First stop: Snoqualmie Falls

More great hikes for Puget Sound-area families:

Editor’s note: This article was originally published several years ago and updated most recently for 2024 with updated information and three new waterfall hikes.

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