Be awestruck at Snoqualmie Falls
This arresting 270ft-high river feature in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains is central to the spirituality of the native Indian tribe who have lived for centuries in this valley, and it’s perhaps this aura of mysticism that attracted Lynch while constructing his surreal otherworld.
The incessant sound similar to thunder and mist clouds rising from the bottom are a wonder to witness even in the drier months when its water volume is as its lowest, let alone in the wetter season when it becomes an epic flood.
For visitors there is ample free parking and a free viewing area offering a full panorama from dawn ‘til dusk, with lights attractively illuminating the setting after dark.
Relax at Salish Lodge and Spa
Perched just above and behind the falls, the iconic Salish complex doubled as the Great Northern Hotel owned by Twin Peaks’ nefarious tycoon Ben Horne, where FBI Agent Dale Cooper lodges during the murder investigation (also where a spectral giant materialises and someone’s soul gets sucked into a drawer-knob).
In real life, however, it’s one of the grandest hotels in the state, each of its 84 rooms boasting a fireplace and jacuzzi, and many with views of the river before it crashes over the falls. Accordingly, the tariff isn’t cheap but on location alone it’s worth the splurge (Agent Cooper must’ve wrangled a favourable rate).
Walk the Snoqualmie Valley Trail
One of the region’s more majestic hiking trails, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail follows a long-disused railway route snaking for thirty miles through the valley’s forests and farmland towards the Cascade Mountains. Perennially popular with walkers, cyclists and equestrians, the route also holds significance for Twin Peaks fans as it embraces not only the falls and hotel but also the steel trestle bridge along which Laura Palmer’s friend Ronette was found wandering the morning after Laura died.
Now called ‘Ronette’s Bridge’ in her honour, it has long been divested of its original lumber carriage purpose and is used only by hikers. The trail also passes near the venerable old mill which doubled as the Packard Sawmill, its grounds nowadays a rally track whose office fans will recognise as Twin Peaks’ Sheriff Department.
McClellan Butte Summit by Sean Munson on Flickr (license)
Dine in North Bend in the shadows of Mount Si
For a real taste of the show’s small-town charm, as well as the cherry pie and coffee beloved of its characters, head to this sleepy Seattle commuter town – home to the original ‘Double R’ Diner. Named Twede’s Café in real life, the restaurant was recently re-renovated by Lynch’s production team to resurrect the erstwhile rustic vibe of 1990 (destroyed by fire in 2000).
As well as purveying sizeable breakfasts and burgers to many a passing rambler, Twede’s also flaunts its heritage with a wall of Twin Peaks photos and memorabilia.
And looming over the town is the mountain made famous in its opening credits – Mount Si – whose 4000ft-high ascent occupies a sweet spot for both experienced and rookie trekkers: challenging enough for the former while not too arduous for the latter.
Image by Kris Griffiths