The weather in Seattle was unusually warm and sunny for January so Bobby and I decided to join the majority of the population and head for the mountains for a day of fun in the sun! We headed out early in the hopes of beating the rush since we were planning on hiking to Teneriffe Falls which is very popular and the parking is notoriously bad. We left home just after 8:00 a.m. after having fed Jack his morning oatmeal and fruit for breakfast (yes our little hiker is already eating solid foods!). We arrived at the trailhead around 9:00 a.m. and were very pleased to see that we would be one of the select few who would successfully find a parking spot in the tiny little pullout that serves as this trails parking lot.
To begin this hike go around the gate and continue along the forest road for about a mile. We were sad to see lots of garbage littering this section of the trail and did our bit by picking up some as we hiked out. The WTA trip report says that there aren’t signs at the trail junction but I am happy to report that this has been remedied and this is a very well signed trail. There are lots of social trails leading off of the road so don’t be fooled by them. Continue along the trail until you reach a very obvious trail junction with a giant sign pointing you in the correct direction.
From here the trail begins climbing up and finally narrows a bit. It was a gorgeous morning with the sun peaking through the forest around us and there were a couple of beautiful peekaboo views as you make your way up.
One mile after the first trail junction you will reach the second, and final, trail junction. Again, WTA’s hike description says this isn’t signed but it is!
From here the real climb up starts! The trail becomes very narrow and you switchback up (more then 20 switchbacks!) popping in and out of the forest onto talus fields where you find yourself in the full sun with spectacular views that get better and better the higher up you go.
As you make your way up there’s a gorgeous section of trail that runs parallel to the bottom of the waterfall that makes you feel as if you are in a wonderful fairyland where all your dreams will come true!
After 3 miles on the trail with 1420 feet of elevation gain you finally reach the final destination, Teneriffe Falls! It is a roaring waterfall that is ridiculously picturesque!
Pro tip: we stopped at the awkward and inclined base of the falls, if you continue up a somewhat steep and eroded section of the trail there is a large flat area to enjoy the falls with more comfort!
We all ate some lunch and then headed back down. Throughout the morning we had enjoyed quiet and solitude on the trail meeting only an occasional other hiker along the way. As we sat at the waterfall more and more groups of explorers were also arriving. Our descent took longer then expected because of all the hikers making their way up that we had to keep stopping for to let them pass. Back at the small parking area the number of cars that had crammed themselves into the space was unbelievable and we were a little worried we wouldn’t be able to get our Explorer out! We had chatted with one other hiker who was headed up that said they had to park at the nearby Mount Si lot and that neighbors were charging $5 to park in their yards. Just a few people wanted to hike to this spectacular waterfall! We were very glad we had arrived early and had enjoyed a relatively undisturbed first half of our day on the trail!
Overall this was a wonderful hike with beautiful views and a spectacular end and turnaround point! It was challenging, but not impossible for this out of shape mama!