‘Twin Peaks’ is back after 26 years, but it never really left these misty, moody towns

The logging town of Twin Peaks never really existed.

Like most settings of fictional television shows, the characters exist in spaces that are in part filmed on location and in part on a Hollywood lot. The influential 1990 TV drama “Twin Peaks,” made by David Lynch and Mark Frost, which returns for a belated third season this week, is no different.

Last fall, I toured the Northwest with some friends, and decided to check in on several of the locations of one of my favorite TV shows. These locations were shot for the pilot, then redone for a soundstage in Los Angeles. This includes the waterfall that dominates the show’s opening credits.

The bucolic exteriors of the Great Northern Hotel, where much of the series takes place, atop the iconic waterfall, were shot on-location in Snoqualmie, Washington, a short drive from Seattle. From the observation deck, the mist of the 268-foot tall Snoqualmie Falls lightly sprays your face. The interiors of the hotel, including the finely finished wood paneling and furniture, were shot an hour and a half away in Poulsbo, Washington.

I visit the actual Great Northern Hotel and find that in real life it is a spa. When I ask about “Twin Peaks” inside, a worker points to a stack of brochures. (The spa clearly gets asked about this a lot.) While some scenes were filmed in California, the brochure pointed to several other filming locations nearby.

My first stop in my unofficial tour is the Double R Diner, “Home of ‘Twin Peaks’ cherry pie.”

Twede’s Cafe, known as the Double R Diner in “Twin Peaks,” will once again appear in the new season of the TV show. Photo by Joshua Barajas/PBS NewsHour

Known to locals as Twede’s Cafe, and set in North Bend, Washington, the diner is less than a 10-minute drive from the falls.

It was built, I find, in the early 1940s, amid a growing timber industry in the mountainous area. Loggers, hunters and other locals frequented the spot in the early morning hours until location…

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