Trapper Creek Trail is a 23.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Stevenson, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
From Vancouver, east 55 miles on Highway 14 to the town of Carson. Turn north on Wind River Road and drive 10 miles to Forest Service Road 3065. Turn left and drive 1.5 miles to the signed trailhead at Government Mineral Springs.
Did this trail yesterday and learned that sometimes trail maps lie about mileage. We started with the Observation Peak trail (#132) and recommend doing the trail in this order. We prefer to get the hard inclines early on. We reached the summit in about the time we expected.The trail is absolutely gorgeous, and was the steady climb we expected As the available maps seemed to suggest that the summit was at or near the midpoint, we lunched there and expected a relatively steady hike back down the Trapper Creek side.
The Trapper Creek side is equally as beautiful as the Observation Peak side, and has some spectacular features. This is not a trail for children. There are many places that require somewhat ginger footing on a trail that is in places as narrow as 8 inches wide. All in all it is a magnificent hike, just know ahead of time that the loop is 17 1/2 miles long, not the 13.1 that the map at the trailhead purports.
We chose this trail as our first REAL backpacking trail. Looked relatively easy in the book. 2,800 feet of elevation over 6.3 miles. Packs were between 40-50 pounds (too heavy we realize now). The hike in is pleasant and the trail is in good shape and marked well. We did a loop of Trapper Creek Trail 192 to Observation Trail 132 (13+ miles total). It's an uphill grind most of the way, there are some breaks when you go downhill just to head right back up again. This seemed very difficult due to the pack weight. It was slow going and after about 6.5 hours we were all pretty dead and made camp for the night only about 5.5 miles in. There are plenty of opportunities to refill water along the way (filter it). This trail is difficult but a very good workout. I think next time I might try to do it with a day pack and see if it's easier.