With the amazing weather we’ve had lately, and wedding season quickly approaching. I decided to take my daughter and another photography friend out hiking as a little Mother’s Day gift to myself. I know, I am horrible.
I knew I wanted a waterfall, and since most of the Columbia Gorge waterfalls are still closed due to the horrendous wildfire , I looked north on the Washington side. I have a list of falls I want to visit bookmarked in my browser, so I have lots of options.
One that i’ve always wanted to hit has been Falls Creek Falls. I have visited Panther Creek Falls and camped on Forlorn Lakes, so the Carson/Trout Lake area is always on my go to list.
We headed out of Vancouver around 8:15 and got there about 9:45, after taking a quick detour along the wrong road. I thought it would quiet and hidden away. I was wrong. I think especially because of a lot ot trail closures. The parking lot was filling up, but we still found a spot easily and grabbed our gear.
A quick walk through the woods and we were at the first bridge. The creek rushing beneath, and the sun bursting through the trees. I loved the construction of this one. Two cables sunk into the ground and the wood is built up around it.
We stayed and shot there for a little bit and then continued along the trail. There was a smaller tree down on the trail, so a quick and easy climb. At this point, the trail was pretty flat and just meandered along the river bed. About 1/2 mile in we found a spot that dropped down along the river and stopped to enjoy the flowing water.
After this spot, the trail starts a gradual incline, not too steep, but enough for a rest now and then if you’re out of shape (like me) and have a minion with you.
About a mile in, the trail starts to get steeper. You’re higher above the water, but even on a hot day, still covered in trees which make it super comfortable.
Rounding the bend after this little stop, you start really pushing it. Thank goodness for my hiking poles! I never knew how much these would help my knee if my friend never told me about them. Curse you old high school sports injuries!!!
After the steepest part of the trail, you come along this awesome cliff face on the interior of the trail, and a little peek of what is about to come. This is still a little bit from the main attraction, but man was it pretty.
The trail desecneds here to the outlook of Falls Creek Falls. She was HUGE and gorgeous. Definately one of my new PNW favorites. My daughter told me she wants to take Dad here hiking….but maybe after a bit becuase she was tired. She forgot all of that though when she found another girl her age and started chasing the chipmunks that were scrounging for treats.
This was just the lower two tiers and most of it isnt even visible. To see the upper part, there is a steep, animal type trail that leads along the cliff. I read multiple reports that it’s not that safe for kids, so we just stayed below and enjoyed the view for a long time.
There is even a lower rock ledge that is easily accessible, you’re just soaked in so much mist that I didnt take my camera down there.
After snacks and water, we packed back up and went back down the trail. Heading back is always so much faster than heading in. We made it out to see the parking completely overflowing onto the gravel road that leads to the lot. Lots of careful manuevering to make sure we did’nt hit any cars on the way out.
And of course, no trip out to Carson would be complete without a stop at Backwoods Brewing . Their beer and pizza are a great way to reward yourself from the hike.
Until the trail calls again, hopefully much sooner than later!