Over 30 years since it first hit our TV screens, Mark Frost and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks still captivates viewers with its dreamlike mystery. Set in the Salmo-Preist Wilderness, “five miles south of the Canadian border, and 12 miles west of the state line,” Twin Peaks is one of the most iconic fictional towns of all time: the very vision of American pastoralism.
It’s a quiet town, a normal town populated by normal, supposedly law-abiding people. But as the mystery of Laura Palmer slowly unravels, this otherwise unremarkable backwater in the Pacific Northwest gradually reveals its dark underbelly.
We follow Agent Dale Cooper – an FBI agent with a taste for Cherry Pie and good coffee – as he attempts to make sense of the mystery he has been tasked with putting to rest. On the way, Lynch and Frost paint an intimate portrait of a town on the cusp of madness, a town surrounded by rivers and forests and populated by bizarre individuals.
While the series may have finished long ago, super fans worldwide are still fascinated by the town of Twin Peaks. The many locations that Lynch employed to create the fictional settlement are now popular tourist destinations. Many of these, however, are distinctly unspectacular. Others, while stunning, are closed to the public.
Here, we’ve put together a list of six Twin Peaks locations you can visit and, more importantly, that you’d actually want to visit.
How to visit the ‘Twin Peaks’ filming locations:
Snoqualmie Falls, Snoqualmie, WA
One of Washington’s most famed scenic attractions, Snoqualmie Falls, is the 270-foot waterfall that appears in the Twin Peaks opening credits. Located just to the right of the Salish Lodge & Spa, the falls attract over 1.5 million tourists every year, most of whom have never even heard of the series.
This stunning natural wonder is an important spiritual site for the Snoqualmie People, who have lived in the Snoqualmie Valley for millennia. In their folklore, the falls are where the first man and woman were created and where payers are carried up to the creator. The mists at the base of the falls are said to connect Heaven and Earth.
Reinig Bridge, Snoqualmie, WA
In Snoqualmie, you’ll also find the bridge where Ronette Pulaski, a former classmate of Laura Palmer’s, is found crossing the Snoqualmie River after being attacked. This key moment serves as the catalyst for many of the show’s most important plot points.
As such, the Reinig Bridge – originally a part of the branch line for the Milwaukee Road railroad – is something of a site of pilgrimage for Twin Peaks fanatics. In 2014, however, it was almost destroyed when an arsonist decided to set it on fire, causing huge damage to the structure. Thankfully, firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze, and the bridge has since been fully repaired.
Twin Peaks Cemetery, Sierra Madre, CA
It is here, at the Sierra Madre Pioneer Cemetary, that Laura Palmer is laid to rest. This being Twin Peaks, the mournful affair is far from run-of-the-mill. While one of the mourners starts screaming “Amen” again and again, Laura’s father, Leland, decides to dive onto the casket as its being lowered to the ground.
It’s important to remember that, while this cemetery is not the real resting place of Laura Palmer, it is the resting place of over 1,700 very real occupants, so be sure to be respectful. The cemetery is a blissfully quiet space filled with cherries, sycamores, and oaks. With several stone benches speckled around the grounds, it’s the perfect place to sit and reflect.
Great Northern Hotel, Snoqualmie, WA
Surely the most iconic location in Twin Peaks, the Great Northern Hotel in Snoqualmie, serves as FBI agent Dale Cooper’s base throughout the series. The exterior shots that appear in the opening credits are of the Salish Lodge & Spa, where you can bag a room for anywhere between $175 and $300 a night.
For that hefty sum, you’ll experience the “quintessential Pacific Northwest Experience” in a luxury hotel that first opened its doors in 1916. At that time, it was an eight-room inn built as a rest stop for weary travellers. Today, it’s an 86-room luxury retreat specialising in fine food and spa therapy.
The Bookhouse, Cornell, CA
The cosy interior of The Bookhouse appears in episode ten of Twin Peaks season three, when Sherrif Truman, Deputy Hawk, Big Ed Hurley and Agent Dale Cooper saunter down to the location shortly after enjoying cherry pie and coffee at the Double R Diner. The interior shots for that scene were captured in a family-run restaurant in Southern California called The Old Place.
After opening its doors in 1970, this quaint wood-panelled bar and restaurant became a popular spot, attracting a unique crowd made up of movie stars, tractor operators, labourers, artists and ordinary Joes. Today, it serves a sumptuous selection of dishes cooked on The Old Place’s Oak-fired grill.
Laura’s Log, Poulsbo, WA
The shores just outside the Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo served as the spot where Pete Martell discovers the grisly remains of Laura Palmer’s plastic-wrapped corpse. You’d think a venue as elegant as Kiana would want to avoid advertising such a gruesome association, but apparently not. The lodge has a piece of driftwood by the entrance with a gold plaque reading ‘Laura’s Log’.
A short ferry ride from Seattle, Kiana Lodge was founded in the 1930s as a summer escape for affluent holidayers from the city. Today, it is a popular wedding venue – and it’s easy to see why. With its gently lapping shoreline, bald eagles and fragrant gardens, it doesn’t get more rustic than this.