Welcome to Twin Peaks: Population 51,201

When fans of the cult classic Twin Peaks journey to the Eastside, they visit all the requisite selfie-worthy sites: Salish Lodge and Spa, perched next to the pounding Snoqualmie Falls; Twede’s Café; and The Roadhouse Restaurant and Inn, to name a few.

Welcome to Twin Peaks: Population 51,201

Photo by Joanna Kresge.

But there’s one iconic location that up until recently just looked like a worn pull-off area on the shoulder of a winding country road. This small patch of earth now is home to a permanent installation of an easily-recognized “Welcome to Twin Peaks” sign, which mirrors a similar sign from the show’s pilot and opening credits.

The desolate spot along Southeast Reinig Road in Snoqualmie has sat vacant for nearly three decades, since showrunner David Lynch placed a temporary prop in the dirt. During that time, self-proclaimed Peaks Freaks (fans of the show) have been seeking out the location armed with makeshift poster board signs of their own.

Given the hype drummed up by the recent reboot, Twin Peaks: The Return, Snoqualmie Valley decided to lean into the Twin Peaks culture to further boost tourism and thereby supplement local business revenue, according to Dan Marcinko, the Snoqualmie Parks and Public Works director who initially brought up the idea.

“Fans have remained intensely interested in the film locations,” Marcinko said. “The more there is for people to do in a community, the more it drives foot traffic into our restaurants and gas stations.”

The idea quickly gained momentum when the city’s events and economic development consultant Lizzy Billington reached out to the Snoqualmie Arts Commission. Due to the absence of the original artist — Northwest painter and set designer Steven LaRose — arts commission chair Sally Rackets stepped up to paint the iconic sign despite not having an interest in the series nor a hand for painting letters.

“It took more time than I had thought it would,” Rackets said. “Painting that many letters by hand is not my forte. I was just wanting to give it the same look as if it were on planks, even though we did not use planks; we used a solid piece — I did the best I could.”

Looking to take a road trip to Snoqualmie? Setting navigation to 41471 Southeast Reinig Road will get you in the neighborhood of the sign.

is an assistant editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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