Twin Peaks movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Twin Peaks filmed?

About Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks debuted over 30 years ago, on April 8, 1990, on the ABC Network and quickly became one of the top-rated shows during that time. It was a critical success nationally and internationally, garnering tons of Emmy nominations. After two seasons from 1990 to 1991, the third season returned in 2017, more than 25 years later.

If you’re a fan of the show, you might want to take a tour and visit some notable Twin Peaks locations. But if you haven’t seen the series yet and are wondering whether it’s worth streaming or skipping, this guide includes some of the best scenes in Twin Peaks (spoiler alert!) and several filming locations you can check out yourself.

Directed by David Lynch and written by Lynch and Mark Frost, Twin Peaks remains one of the fascinating experiments on television. It’s also often listed among the greatest TV series of all time, helping creators broaden their ideas about how television could be shot and directed.

The story starts with the discovery of the plastic-wrapped body of the murdered homecoming queen, Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), in the small town of Twin Peaks, Washington. It revolves around the subsequent investigation of the brutal murder case led by an eccentric FBI special agent, Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan).

As agent Cooper begins his search for the killer, the clues he receives and the investigation lead him to a series of mysteries and strange secrets surrounding the town and its people. It seems like everyone has something big to hide. Cooper uncovers the double lives of the seemingly innocent townspeople and the paranormal events in what was supposed to be a quiet, quaint town. He also has a series of bizarre dreams in the ‘Red Room’ in the Black Lodge, and supernatural events begin to unfold.

Premiered in 2017 on Showtime, Season 3, Twin Peaks: The Return, picked up where the original series ended. It continued to explore the mysteries that made Twin Peaks compelling to viewers.

City Locations

Snoqualmie, WA; North Bend, WA; Sierra Madre, CA

Location Types

American, Oceanview, Diners/Coffee, Schools/Colleges

Location Styles

Luxury, Luxury Hotel, School, Americana/Anywhere America

Twin Peaks Locations

The small mountain town, Twin Peaks, is the fictional setting for the TV series. Although you won’t find Twin Peaks, Washington, on the map, you can visit Snoqualmie and the neighboring communities of Fall City and North Bend in Washington. These places were used heavily on the show, both for the mystery series of the 1990s and its return in 2017. Some scenes were also shot in California, including Sierra Madre and Cornell in Southern California.

Most of the landmarks that appear on the show were shot around the town of Snoqualmie, about thirty minutes east of Seattle. Its dense, mist-shrouded forests make it an ideal Twin Peaks filming location, which better supports the narrative and captures the show’s dark mood and cryptic tone.

The majestic waterfall that appears in the show's opening credits is actually Snoqualmie Falls. This spectacular natural wonder is a 270-foot waterfall, ideal for a relaxing summer getaway. It is one of the most famous scenic attractions in Washington state, attracting over 1.5 million visitors each year.

There’s no doubt that Twin Peaks has put Snoqualmie and its neighboring areas on the map. In fact, as filming returned to North Bend in 2017, fans of the popular TV series filled the downtown area to catch a glimpse of the Twin Peaks film set.

Fun fact:

Northwest Passage was the show's original working title until the creators decided on Twin Peaks. Also, it was supposed to be set in North Dakota, not Washington State.

The Ronette Pulaski bridge scene in Twin Peaks

Reinig Bridge, SE Reinig Rd, Snoqualmie, WA

In the show's Pilot Episode, a dazed, bruised, and dirty Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine) walks across the bridge with torn white slip and rope around her wrists and ankles. She is a student at Twin Peaks High School and Laura’s partying companion reported to be missing since the night before.

Imagine seeing a young woman in that condition as you do about your business early in the morning. So you can probably understand the switchman’s “What the hell?” reaction as soon as he saw Ronette lumbering across the bridge. It’s undoubtedly one of the creepiest scenes in Twin Peaks, but it’s also a critical moment that sets many of the show’s plots in motion.

Due to this scene, Twin Peaks enthusiasts started visiting the bridge, which they know as Ronette’s Bridge. But in real life, it’s called the Reinig Bridge, constructed in 1915. It used to be part of a branch line for the Milwaukee Road railroad but now serves as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the Snoqualmie River. It’s also one of the itinerary stops for the Twin Peaks tour of the Snoqualmie Valley.

You can take the Valley Shuttle that travels up and down the Valley with a regular schedule. It connects commuters to Metro bus stops between Snoqualmie, North Bend, Carnation, Fall City, and Duvall.

Laura Palmer’s funeral scene in Twin Peaks

Sierra Madre Pioneer Cemetery, Sierra Madre, CA

Who would forget the iconic funeral scene of Laura Palmer in the first season, Episode 4, Rest in Pain? There are so many things happening in this scene. We see Johnny Horne (Robert Bauer) and Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) yelling, “Amen,” after Reverend Clarence (Royce D. Applegate) finishes his message.

Then Bobby calls everyone hypocrites and fights with James Hurley (James Marshall), telling him, “You’re a dead man!” It’s also when Laura’s father, Leland (Ray Wise), breaks down and throws himself on his daughter’s casket as it’s getting lowered to the ground while sobbing and calling, “My baby!”

The filming location for the funeral is located in Sierra Madre, California. It’s the historic Sierra Madre Pioneer Cemetery, established in 1881. Many of the city’s original founding families are buried here, as well as the veterans who fought in the Vietnam War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Spanish American War.

If you plan to visit where Laura Palmer is laid to rest in the show, always pay your respects. Remember that it’s an actual cemetery with occupants, so be respectful at all times. There are several ways to get to Sierra Madre Boulevard, including the subway, light ray, and bus. The lines 187, 267, 487, and 489 have routes that pass near the area.

Diner’s scene in Twin Peaks

Twede’s Café, North Bend, WA

The Double R Diner appears multiple times in Twin Peaks. It’s a town institution and often a place for the townsfolks to hang out and gossip. It’s owned and operated by Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton) and specializes in coffee and homemade pie. It’s where agent Cooper spends time sipping on a “damn fine cup of coffee.”

Even the other characters in the show know how agent Cooper loves his coffee. In Season 1, Episode 3, Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer, while drinking her coffee in the diner, Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) tells Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle, “Agent Cooper loves coffee… Agent Cooper likes his coffee black.”

This and many other scenes for the Double R Diner were filmed at Twede’s Café in North Bend, Washington. It’s been the crown jewel of the downtown since the 1940s and has remained a local gathering place and a popular tourist destination. Thanks to its classic feel, picturesque setting, and scenic location, it was chosen as one of the important locations for the Twin Peaks production.

The building endured severe damage from a fire in 2000 but was quickly rebuilt and restored to its former glory. Then it was again used as the Double R Diner for the latest season in 2017.

Due to its convenient location in downtown North Bend, Twede’s Café is accessible by public transportation. It is close to several bus stops, but you’ll have to take bus 208 to get to the diner quicker and more conveniently.

The discovery of Laura Palmer’s body scene in Twin Peaks

Kiana Lodge, Poulsbo, WA

Of course, the list of the notable Twin Peaks film scenes won’t be complete without mentioning the part where Laura’s body was found at the beginning of the Pilot Episode. This event leads to discovering the town’s web of dark mysteries and its people's secrets.

While on his way to fishing, Pete Martell (Jack Nance) notices an object near the massive log by the shore. When he approaches it, he realizes it’s a dead body and calls the sheriff’s office, declaring, “She’s dead. Wrapped in plastic.” Although it’s a terrifying scene, the location where it was shot is quite the opposite.

The Kiana Lodge serves as the backdrop for this horrifying scene where the story began. It’s an elegant venue located on 1,000 feet of no-bank waterfront in a peaceful and welcoming setting in Poulsbo, Washington. Since its appearance in the TV series, it has attracted more visitors worldwide to tour the place, hoping to get a glimpse of what happened behind the scenes of the mystery drama. You can still see the massive piece of driftwood by the venue’s entrance, now known as Laura’s Log.

You’ll have to take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island or from Edmonds to Kingston and then drive to the venue. The crossing time for both can take up to 35 minutes.

The high school scene in Twin Peaks

Mount Si High School, Snoqualmie, Wa

Also featured in the Pilot Episode is the Twin Peaks High School. Here we meet Laura’s friends and some essential characters that played a significant role in her life. In the classroom, Laura’s homeroom teacher is taking a roll when an officer approaches, looking for Bobby Briggs. He briefly speaks to the teacher and says, “The principal will be making an announcement.” Realizing what has happened to Laura, Donna starts crying.

To shoot the high school scenes in the series, they used Mount Si High School, located in Snoqualmie, WA as a stand-in for the Twin Peaks High School. It featured red zigzag wall decorations that caught the attention of many Twin Peaks enthusiasts. Unfortunately for the fans, this iconic location no longer exists today.

The old Mt. Si High School was demolished in 2019, providing more space for the replacement 355,000-square foot high school. It now features three-story classroom buildings and scenic outdoor gathering spaces, making it one of the state’s largest high schools.

The hotel scene in Twin Peaks

Salish Lodge & Spa, Snoqualmie, WA

Perhaps, the Salish Lodge & Spa is one of the most exciting Twin Peaks filming sites you should visit if you want to go on a filming tour. It’s a stunning luxury hotel in Snoqualmie you’ll see in the opening credits of the series perched atop the majestic Snoqualmie Falls. Exterior shots of the hotel were used for the fictional Great Nothern Hotel, which serves as agent Cooper’s home base in Twin Peaks.

Many scenes in the series show agent Cooper inside the hotel he is staying at, including the opening scene in Season 1, Episode 4. Audrey, a concierge at the Great Northern Hotel, greets him by calling him Colonel Cooper, to which he responds, “Just agent, Audrey. Special agent.” However, it’s essential to note that the interiors for the hotel were actually filmed at Kiana Lodge and later recreated on a soundstage in Los Angeles.

The fastest and most convenient way to get to the hotel is by car or taxi. But you can also catch a bus by taking lines 554 and 208 with bus stops nearby.

Conclusion

It has been over 30 years since Twin Peaks first arrived on TV, but its awe-inspiring filming locations are still known today. The series’ fans continue to visit them, exploring the areas and taking photos at the sites that remind them of the thrilling experiences they’ve had while watching the thriller and mystery drama. It will take you to some historic sites and private locations and make you appreciate nature by featuring waterfalls and forest areas.

It takes the right location to create the perfect scene that will enrich and expand the characters and bring life to the story. That’s why every filming location should be chosen with much thought and careful planning to develop an authentic setting and create scenes that resonate with the viewers. Twin Peaks was able to do that, which is why the audience is not only drawn to the story but also to the sites where it was filmed.