Skookum Flats Trail is a 4.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Buckley, WA that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, birding, and mountain biking and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Mostly shady with large old growth trees. View of the waterfall is obstrucked by vine maples. Hike up the east side of the Skookum creek for partial view of the waterfall. west side of the creek is a difficult rock scramble.
Easy trail with magnificent view of the falls. Might get a little hard for kids ounces you make the assent to the falls at the end, but the path is well marked. Stay left on the way back there are a couple forks that will take you down to the river but the main trial is always on the left on the way back from the falls.
Family/leisure trail. Very limited parking with toilet across from the TH. Trail is well marked and an easy stroll. The only challenging part is where you leave the trail to climb up to the Falls (short steep climb). I only saw 3 other hikers and 1 biker on the trail, but there were other bikers at the TH. The TH is clearly marked, well maintained and easy to find. I saw no trash, but one hiker I talked to said if you get off the trail there is a lot of trash. This a good trail for families and those that just want to walk, but there are no real points of interest (the Falls was dry, probably time of year). I gave it 3 stars because of the lack of photo opportunities (I did see a Bald Eagle flying along the river).
Arrived at the trailhead at 9:45 am. Only 3 other cars, very limited parking. NW Forest Pass or Interagency pass required. Trail conditions were very good. Relatively flat most of the way with a few ups and downs. Lots of trees down, but cleared across the trail. Description of hike has "heavily trafficked." We passed one hiker on the way into the falls, and a couple of biking groups and hikers on the way out. Trail runs parallel to the White River with a couple of opportunities for view/pics. Arrived at the sign for the "falls." Trees down in this area and you can see where other hikers have walked. Trail is steep. Is all the elevation gain in this one spot? Hahaha. Scramble up the trail to the bottom of the falls. Space to sit, catch your breath, have a snack and enjoy the views. Not much spray. Would love to see this hike in the spring time.
very challenging trail for mountain biking. love it, but at the end I got so tired, thought i could make it all the way through.
Nice hike for the family. Didn't go to the end, just enjoyed the trail and the woods.
Great day for a hike! Took the kids and the dogs. Some people said we wouldn't be able to make it to see the falls. But we climbed up and over fallen trees and made it! Great time.
This trail was great. It's an easy hike, easy to find and well maintained. I was able to take my small dog and 11 year old that didn't complain once. The falls were glorious. You follow the river all the way down. I would totally do this hike again, and the falls at the end makes it all worth while.
Went on the 2nd of Jan. The roadway off do 410 was totally snowed over. As was the entire trail. Saw many with snowshoes but also some families were struggling along with small dogs. The hike itself was beautiful with small scenic detours, downed logs that are found often but all are passable. I would totally recommend this hike to the experienced trekker as snow trails can be difficult and hike up to the falls is difficult in the slippery snow.
I chose this trail because in the book Best hikes with kids which was published in 2006 it mentioned a suspension bridge on the trail. However we later found out that the bridge was washed out that winter after the book was published so there is no longer a bridge. Highly disappointing to find this out after finishing the hike.
I have hiked this twice so far. The first time I brought my dog who did really well. We started late around noon from the Buck creek road #7160. I found the parking lot for the trail head pretty easy on the left hand side after the one lane bridge.
Once I parked that is where I ran into problems I started walking up what I thought was the trailhead but instead it takes you to the campgrounds. I found another young man who was also lost with his dog. We agreed to head back to the parking lot and help each other find the trail.
The trailhead was hidden in the bushes across the street from the parking lot. Once on the trail it immediately looks like there are two routes one that is lower and follows the river and one that is higher. The lower route dead ends pretty quickly so we soon figured out the upper trail that starts to the left is the correct path.
Once on the trail I let my new hiking companions travel ahead since I knew they would be faster than me. The trail was nice and shaded so we were cool the entire hike. The trail does not follow the river the entire time but you do get glimpses of it throughout.
There were several mountain biker groups that I passed and politely let them pass since it seemed like a advanced trail for bikes and I would expect that you would struggle and some parts if you were new to mountain biking.
Since I started late I did not make it to the end of the trail but I did make it just past the waterfall. All in all this was a nice quiet hike with very few people on it. The Buck creek end seems to have the least amount of people.
I enjoyed it so much I brought my family out on the 2nd hike.
I guess we got off in the wrong direction, but all we saw was 2.5 miles of Ranger Creek campground (many of the campsites were full of trash) and a few views of the river, and an air strip in the middle of the forest. Stay away from the portion that heads south from FS 7130. Definitely not worth your time. If i'd seen a waterfall anywhere I"d have been
Nice rolling trail where the mountain river meet. Nice bridges and rock ledges. You can get close to the falls but the view of them isn't great. Good canopy for hiking in the rain.
Nice hike for all skill levels. Basically an entire flat trail until you get to the turn off for the Skookum Falls. The ascent up to the falls is very steep but it is not far and worth the effort. We went on a spring Sunday where the weather was warm and there was not too many people so the "heavy" usage claim I would disagree with; especially when compared to the I-90 corridor trails.
hiked this one with my girlfriend and we had a blast. was our first hike and had a few amazing views. will be back to this one for sure!
This is a very nice trail. Not very much elevation gain, but lovely river views and a waterfall. The trail is mostly well maintained, with a few areas that are rocky and exposed. I started from the trailhead on FS-73 and walked past the falls about an extra mile. It took about 3 hours total. The big, old trees and the blowdowns that have been cut were a highlight. Good trail for dogs and I saw a mountain biker, so there is a bit of traffic. All in all, a very nice hike for a rainy day.
I started from the Buck Creek side and it was nearly 7 miles to the waterfall's base cutoff trail. I went over a few bridges with running creeks, cool moss growth and a fair amount of old growth timber. Overall, it was pretty easy hiking. You'll know you're there cause the sound is tremendous from the water falling on flat rock. I made the steep scramble to the base of the falls for some amazing pictures and a cool off session to boot. Definitely worth the sweat and work. The location is convenient and id definitely do it again.
I consider this more of a connector trail rather than a destination trail. However, when the weather gets hot this cooler trail makes for a nice break from the heat with a waterfall reward!
On the whole, this is one of my favorite parts of Washington State. I highly recommend it.
Nice trail but few trail markers with quite a few side trails makes it tough to stay on right path.
A friend and I spent the better part of a day hiking through the easy terrain to finally find the falls. The reward was definitely worth the walk of 5.5 miles (one way) from the east end of Buck Creek. Spectacular views of old growth, calming streams, winding river and of course, the falls, make this hike a "must". Do yourself a favor and take the time to make the scramble to the base of the falls. you won't regret it