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Maple Valley, Washington
Lake Wilderness in Maple Valley
Lake Wilderness in Maple Valley
Official logo of Maple Valley, Washington
Location of Maple Valley within King County and Washington state
Location of Maple Valley within King County and Washington state
Country United States
State Washington
County King
Incorporated August 31, 1997
 • Type Council–manager
 • Total 6.18 sq mi (16.02 km2)
 • Land 6.00 sq mi (15.55 km2)
 • Water 0.18 sq mi (0.47 km2)
343 ft (104.5 m)
 • Total 28,013
 • Density 4,530.65/sq mi (1,749.18/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 425
FIPS code 53-43150
GNIS feature ID 1506457

Maple Valley is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 28,013 at the 2020 census. The city functions as a commuter town for residents, though there is an increasing amount of commercial activity in the area.


The area was settled in 1879 by three men who were improving a trail and brought their families in. When a name for a future community was proposed, the names Vine Maple Valley and Maple Ridge were suggested. A vote was taken by writing the names on slips of paper and placing them in a hat. Vine Maple Valley won by 2/3, but the word "Vine" was later cut by the post office because it made the name too long.

The town's early history mainly had to do with coal, lumber milling to build homes, and a railroad which ran through town. Coal was brought in from Black Diamond to the south, but the town itself also mined coal from Cedar Mountain. The mine was used as late as 1947. Rail workers for lines like the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Cedar River Watershed, closed off by the City of Seattle, meant more workers for those things. More residents meant more lumber milling. More lumber milling meant more workers. Suquamish tribe chairperson Martha George was born near Maple Valley in Sheridan in 1892, at a logging camp where her mother and grandmother worked as cooks."

The town grew inward. Blacksmith shops, hotels, saloons and stores took up the town in the 1910s and 1920s. Schools went up as well. Early schools were shacks at best. A two-room school went up in 1910, but a larger school was quickly needed. Tahoma High School, a three-story brick building, went up in 1920. Students made up the name by combining the first two letters in the town names Taylor, Hobart and Maple Valley. The school still serves the Tahoma School District as a middle school.

More residents meant farming and fishing became staples in the area, with milk, poultry and berry farming becoming the main grown food staples in the area. Fishing out of the Cedar River also became popular.

Maple Valley also saw resorts beginning in the 1920s. Lake Wilderness, once the site of a county lumber mill, quickly became a resort lake with the opening of Gaffney's Grove, which opened with a ballroom, restaurant and roller rink. Later, the resort grew to include an airstrip, lodge, rental cabins, a nine-hole golf course and a bowling alley. It remained in operation until 1964.

Increasing automobile use in the area gave rise to new roads being built. In the early 1960s, the construction of Washington State Route 18 between Auburn and North Bend ran through the city, requiring many landmarks to be either demolished or moved.


The city was officially incorporated on August 31, 1997. Today, the mostly residential city has shopping centers, gas stations, and housing. The Maple Valley Historical Society keeps records on the city's past, with two historical museums holding artifacts such as the city's first fire engine and photographs of old places in and around the city like Gaffney's Grove. The old Gaffney's Grove site is now a city park, and the Green to Cedar River trail runs through the city. The park includes a swimming beach, an arboretum and sprawling grass fields and sees the annual Maple Valley Days Parade each year in June. In 2011, Family Circle magazine reported that Maple Valley was one of the top ten family-oriented cities in the USA. Recently, the north side of Maple Valley has seen large growth, prompting major renovations to shopping centers in the area known as 'Four Corners'. This area houses restaurants, gas stations, and stores of all kinds, such as Fred Meyer, Safeway, Walgreens, Goodwill, among many others. Also in this area, construction on the new Tahoma High School has begun.


Maple Valley is located at 47°21′58″N 122°2′41″W / 47.36611°N 122.04472°W / 47.36611; -122.04472 (47.366160, -122.044692). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.90 square miles (15.28 km2), of which, 5.72 square miles (14.81 km2) is land and 0.18 square miles (0.47 km2) is water.

The main bodies of water in the city limits are Lake Wilderness, Lake Lucerne, Rock Creek, and part of Pipe Lake. The Cedar River passes through unincorporated King County very near the northeastern border of the city.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 112
1910 112 0.0%
1920 225 100.9%
1930 250 11.1%
1940 122 −51.2%
1950 800 555.7%
1960 800 0.0%
1970 350 −56.2%
1980 900 157.1%
1990 1,211 34.6%
2000 14,209 1,073.3%
2010 22,684 59.6%
2020 28,013 23.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
2020 Census

Based on per capita income, one of the more reliable measures of affluence, Maple Valley ranks 93rd of 522 areas in the state of Washington to be ranked.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 22,684 people, 7,679 households, and 6,159 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,965.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,531.2/km2). There were 7,997 housing units at an average density of 1,398.1 per square mile (539.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.8% White, 2.1% African American, 0.5% Native American, 4.5% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, 1.7% from other races, and 5.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.7% of the population.

There were 7,679 households, of which 49.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.1% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 19.8% were non-families. 15.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.30.

The median age in the city was 34.2 years. 32.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 31.8% were from 25 to 44; 23.3% were from 45 to 64; and 6.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.4% male and 50.6% female.

Points of interest


The entirety of Maple Valley is served by the Tahoma School District. There is one high school, two middle schools, and six elementary schools. The district operates its transportation facility adjacent to SR 18 on Petrovitsky near the city limits. The Central Services building is located next to Rock Creek Elementary School.

The Tahoma School District at one point had its high school in neighboring Covington. In 2015, a bond measure was passed to build a new and more centralized high school for the district. It was to be built in a small unincorporated area southeast of Four Corners that was completely surrounded by Maple Valley, known informally as the ‘Donut Hole’. The area was annexed into Maple Valley and the new three-story Tahoma High School was completed in 2017.

Most of the district's schools are located within the city, with a few exceptions:

  • Tahoma High School (Maple Valley)
  • Maple View Middle School (Covington)
  • Summit Trail Middle School (Ravensdale)
  • Glacier Park Elementary School (Maple Valley)
  • Rock Creek Elementary School (Maple Valley
  • Shadow Lake Elementary School (Maple Valley)
  • Cedar River Elementary School (Maple Valley)
  • Lake Wilderness Elementary School (Maple Valley)
  • Tahoma Elementary School (Hobart)

Notable people

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