Unbelievably, it’s been 30 years since Twin Peaks arrived on screens, reimagining what a quality TV show could be – dark, strange and challenging. Here, we explore the show's iconic filming locations...
David Lynch and Mark Frost's 1990s mystery series did more than become a cultural moment – it also shone a spotlight on one of Wanderlust’s favourite (and wildest) regions of the USA – the Pacific Northwest.
Most of the show's landmarks were shot around the small town of Snoqualmie, just 30 mins drive east of Seattle, Washington, and sitting on the bends of Snoqualmie River. Set amid the region’s dense, ancient, mist-shrouded forests, Snoqualmie’s a great base to visit some of the show’s sites and also the region itself.
“A large house made of wood, surrounded by trees…” You know you've arrived in Twin Peaks when that grand aerial shot of the Great Northern Hotel and its attendant waterfall appears.
The Great Northern Hotel served as the town’s community hub and fiefdom of powerful Trump-wannabe Ben Horne, one of the key suspects in the murder of Laura Palmer.
The hotel’s exterior is actually that of the swish Snoqualmie Falls Lodge, now renamed as the Salish Lodge & Spa (stays cost upwards of US$250 a night). Worth it, as there's a Twin Peaks experience deal for fans of the series.
Right next to the Salish Lodge & Spa is the ferocious 80m-high Snoqualmie Falls.
Once an important trading point of the Snoqualmie people, it then became a key spot for loggers – floating their ways over the edge – and the odd ill-fated daredevil, too.
Park up, as parking is free from dusk til dawn, and enjoy the view from the upper observation deck. The lower deck offers killer views, too, though is often closed.
“This must be where pies go when they die.”
Just five minutes south from Snoqualmie is the place to grab a damn fine cup of coffee and some cherry pie. Both are very much on the menu – along with some intimidating-looking burgers – at Twede’s Café, a diner that’s stood in North Bend in some form or another since 1941.
Rest assured, the retro feel that caught series creator David Lynch’s eye still very much in evidence.
Like a ghostly wraith sleepwalking over the waters, the battered Ronette Pulaski somehow follows the forest-flanked train tracks over the bridge to bring a ghastly reality home to Twin Peaks’ residents.
In reality, the Reinig Bridge is a former rail road that’s now sees pedestrians and cyclists over the Snoqualmie River on the many trails dotted through the Snoqualmie Valley. It’s also only a five minute drive down Reinig Road to...
In 2017, a 'Welcome to Twin Peaks. Population: 51,201' sign popped up at 41471 SE Reinig Road in Snoqualmie. It's not the original that appears in the series, but it's such a draw for fans that it's already been stolen several times.
Nevertheless, last time we heard, it was still there in late 2019. If nothing else, head to this part of town to see that iconic opening credits image of the moody and decidedly un-twinned peak of Mount Si.
The mountain, a key landmark in the mythology of the local Snoqualmie people, is well worth a visit with a number of popular trails winding you through its dense forest (try WTA's guides). And yes, there are owls. They have eyes.
You may be thinking there's no 'DirtFish Rally School' in any episode of Twin Peaks you've seen, and you'd be right – but also wrong.
Eagle-eyed fans will recognise that the building now housing the school was actually the exterior of the Twin Peaks Sheriff Station. A mainstay, given the ever-growing number of mysterious disappearances, crimes and murders throughout the series.
Until 1989, the building was home to the Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Mill office. To this day, you can still see the sheriff's front office and take photographs with a Twin Peaks vehicle parked outside.
“She’s dead. Wrapped in plastic.” Visitors will make two discoveries at the Kiana Lodge, and thankfully neither of them are as grisly as Pete Martell’s in the show’s pilot episode.
Yes, Peaks Freaks can see the very spot where poor Laura Palmer’s body washed up on the shale, next to the vast log section tethered to the Puget Sound shorefront of this lovely event venue.
It's just a short ferry west from Seattle (although you should call in advance to make sure you’re not gatecrashing a wedding). There, you'll discover another connection: Kiana Lodge also doubled as Pete’s Blue Pine Lodge residence, but has gone through a few refurbs since then.
If you fancy a beer, a bite or even a bed for the night, you can follow the Snoqualmie River just a little north to Fall City, where you’ll find the Fall City Roadhouse and Inn.
Fans of the show will instantly recognise the exterior as Twin Peaks’ Roadhouse Bar, where they served both rough and tumble, as well as the setting for some of the show’s climactic moments.
However, a quick glance around the interiors may confuse you; the show actually shot bar scenes on a stage at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.
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