An early morning hike to Franklin Falls in the Cascade Mountains presented a beautiful assortment of northwest native plants. The dwarf dogwood, or bunchberry, carpeted the sides of the trail with it’s petite presence, like a bright little star lighting the way. When I saw the false hellebore I was astonished at it’s size, growing 3-4 feet off the forest floor. I was not familiar with this plant and was even more astonished to find out that it is one of the most violently poisonous plants on the Northwest Coast. Good to know and remember! I saw lots of the native Tiarella and Vaccinium, although I’m not sure which species of blueberry/huckleberry it was. The Twin flower was a pleasant surprise. It was just a small patch that I happened to glance on the side of the trail. I wish I had lingered longer because I missed out on its sweet scent. The Twin Flower was supposedly the favorite of Linnaeus, the famous taxonomist, and was named after him.
Franklin Falls is near Snoqualmie Pass on the South fork of the Snoqualmie River. The falls consist of three tiers totaling 135 feet. The final 70 foot drop is what we saw at the end of the trail, quite spectacular and misty wet. The rocks were sharp and the air vibrated with the pounding water, quite a change from the tranquil forest. The hike is only two miles round trip on a well kept trail with terrific views of the river. And a great place to see native plants!