Thanks to my enthusiastic cousin Sarvesh, I was able to venture out of Seattle city for the first time. He rented a Cadillac SUV and we took off on a scenic drive. Our first destination of the day was the Snoqualmie Falls Park, approximately 50 km from the city.
The Snoqualmie Falls Park overlooks a 268-foot (82 m) waterfall. It is said to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Northwest US and a popular scenic attraction in Washington state. We went there on a Saturday and the only challenge we faced was parking 🙂
Accessibility at Snoqualmie Falls Park
After getting out of the car we had to walk for over 1 km to reach the park. We crossed the parking lot, an over bridge on the highway that separated the park from the parking area, and finally reached the upper park. In addition to providing the best view of the waterfall, this area has a gift shop, a food stall, and bathrooms. The Park also includes a nature trail leading to the lower park.
The main view of the Snoqualmie falls is from the observation deck on the upper park. This deck is right opposite the curtain falls. A pathway leading to the observation deck also provides a great view of the falls from the side. All sections of this Park were accessible. At some places there were steps, but when we looked around a ramp was right next to it.
100 years of generating green energy
There were a lot of boards with information about Snoqualmie Falls and the adjacent hydroelectric project. The vision of this power plant is credited to Charles H. Baker, a 23 year old civil engineer. Upon first sight, Baker recognised the falls potential for power generation and formed the Snoqualmie Falls power company in 1898. The Snoqualmie Falls hydroelectric project has a distinction of being the world’s first completely underground power plant.
Most of the water for Snoqualmie Falls comes from mountain snow, which melts and feeds into the falls and Snoqualmie River. Some of the flow of the river is diverted around the falls for hydropower generation and then returned to the river before the falls. Today, well over a century after its construction, Charles Baker’s Snoqualmie Falls power plant continues to generate clean, cost-effective electricity for Washington homes and businesses.