Explore Gifford Pinchot - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
4 days ago

Road closed 5 miles from the trailhead due to snow. But I am excited to go back in the Spring.

Awesome view! On a clear day 3 gorgeous mountains. Pitch dark when we headed back to parking lot, best place to do stargazing! Lots of shooting stars too.

Beautiful view of the waterfall and Lake. Did this hike a few years back. I would do it again.
For such a short hike it seemed like we were so far away when we got to the lake and falls. We were tempted to keep going on another trail we saw at the lake but since we were on our way back home we decided it wouldn’t be a good idea not knowing how far and how long it would take.

snowshoeing
16 days ago

This was my first snow shoe hike, we had really bad luck with rain and low visibility. But it was still a really good hike, my only complaint is the noise from the snowmobiles we had to deal with.

on June Lake Trail

18 days ago

Great winter hike. Easy out and back completed in snow boots. Bring snowshoes if you have them.

This was a really nice hike with incline. The waterfalls are gorgeous

The falls were gorgeous and the hike along the water was relaxing. Not technical, pretty easy

This was a great trail. There was only a little snow in some spots, and we only saw only one other person. The waterfalls were spectacular!

Did this hike a while back. Did not disappoint, very beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike itself is expected to be closed due to washout on FS2324 until Summer 2019, so we didn’t not complete this hike

hiking
1 month ago

This was a very beautiful hike! Easy to do but requires shoes with good traction. There is a section after the bridge that allows you to go down by the water but we were unable to venture down due to slippery conditions. Highly recommend this hike in summer/fall!!

This one is fun. Suspension bridges and ladders make it especially unique. Great views of waterfalls and cascades. I did the entire trail and as other reviews have said just be careful and know that you probably shouldn’t bring pets/children. At the split near the beginning of the trail I veered right and went over the bridge. I think this is the better route because you get great views of the falls on the way back up.
Here's a video of my experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF5ragxSIw8&t=4s

***After the 30 foot ladder but before the next bridge there is another smaller ladder that is somewhat hard to find. It leads to a short out/back trail on a ridge that pays off with extraordinary views.

Travelers note:
Forest pass: YES
Parking fee: $5 without forest pass
Travel time from Portland: about 2 hours
Driving conditions: road to the trailhead has a fair amount of potholes and such. Drive is possible in a car but probably better to have a vehicle with clearance.

This is definitely not an easy hike ( I'd say moderate to hard) but well worth the visit. On a clear day (I visited on 11/19/18) you can see mt hood, mt Adam's, mt Rainier and mt st Helen's. It was also very windy, blow you over and freezing windy at the lookout. The trail this time of year in November is frozen ground practically the whole way. The trail is slippery and your feet are constantly sinking into dirt/ice. It's a constant climb up a semi steep mountain. The final push to the road to the lookout is very steep. The road to the lookout is not bad but still an incline. Starting out on the trail I used Google maps (which was not clear in the dark where the trailhead was) and when I got to falls creek horse camp it was still dark 6:30am. You can start this trail a little uphill and practically right across from the bathroom through a picnic area or the true trailhead is past the second camp entrance uphill and to the right. trail was fairly easy to navigate. You'll want to stay on 171 to get to the lookout. There was a trail right after the Indian racetrack sign at the beginning and to the left, I didn't take it and have no idea where it goes. This trail was very beautiful this time of year but do use caution and it was very helpful having trekking poles. At the lake junction you'll want to make a (I'm not sure where left takes you, the trail was frozen over in a mini pond, think the sign said shortcut but couldn't make it out without trekking on the ice.) right and then look to the left for the 171. You could make a loop of this hike but I'm not sure how many miles it would add as the shortcut way looks like the longer side, might be fun though. You do need a northwest forrest pass to park here, there is no pay station here so pay for a day pass before you get here. There is one vaulted toilet at the camp, but no toilet paper. I hiked a little over 7 miles total and it took me 3hrs up and 2 hours down with a break or two at the top and at the lake.

Just do the bottom half of the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, serene setting and landscape.

Great hike! It’s a long haul to the falls, but completely worth it!!

Road to the trailhead is very well maintained for a forest service road. There are a few pot holes but they’re more like speed bumps and easily avoided, my Honda Civic had no issues getting there if you’re worried. Trail to the base of the falls is easy and short, if you want more of a challenge hiking to the upper trail #152 has some steeper sections. Couldn’t really see the falls from the upper trail but found some cool camp spots with a view for backpacking.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing views. We could see mount rainier, Adams, hood, and Helens.

hiking
2 months ago

Just a heads up. It's hunting season. Worth the $5 to buy an orange hunting vest so you don't get shot. Ran into a couple hunters who informed me of hunting season and let me borrow a vest. Better safe than sorry. Suspension bridge was awesome.

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice hike. Not very steep, except for the short trail that takes you up to the Falls Creek Trail #152. I went up to the base of the falls and then to the viewpoint above the falls and then completed the loop and my Alltrails app recorded 6.5 miles.

Great hike! We didn’t intend to do this one, but we were finished hiking Ape Caves and realized this was so close. The first two sections are pretty great...rather short...so totally doable. Parts were a little scary since it was so wet out. The bridge was quite frightening for someone who is afraid of heights. More than adequate amount of signage. I would recommend this hike when it is dry out. Gorgeous views. Did not attempt to hike the most difficult part, I read in forums that it’s quite dangerous when wet.

hiking
2 months ago

Relatively easy trail. Follows creek most of the way to the falls. Awesome little peekaboo of the falls from the trail before you get to the lower viewpoint.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous day, beautiful hike. The Johnston Observatory closes for the season in less than a week, so it wasn’t crowded at all. We only saw 10 other people on the trail today.

Wonderful hike and an easy trail to navigate once you've found the trailhead. If you're hiking upstream the actual trailhead can be tricky to find if you don't have service or good directions. If you're unfamiliar with the area I strongly recommend getting familiar with directions because GPS commonly fails here.

hiking
3 months ago

I e only ever done the very short part of this hike where we loop back after the suspension bridge but this time we decided to go right and continue on. I looked at the map and I saw where we could stay in the Lava Canyon trail by keeping left at the bridge. Once we hit SCOTT trail we took a little break over looking the river. We decided to go down SCOTT trail u til it met up with the upper part of Lava Canyon trail. It is t marked but you can see the trail to the left. Also I knew it was only .3 of a mile. They really should put signage there. The upper trail is all up! Looks like an old Forrest access road overgrown. But we had to take a couple short breaks to rest. It’s over 3 miles up. I believe we climbed about 1204 feet. I could definitely say no dogs past the suspension bridge and this is definitely rated HARD in my book. Scary at times. I am glad I did it.

This was by far my favorite hike of 2018. Challenging, beautiful, fun and plenty to see. Went of trail to get behind and underneath some waterfalls, but nothing too crazy!

Must do this trail. Awesome photo ops, wry exposed so bring water, sunscreen and your camera.

Great hike. Best fall colors.

Don't believe the negative reviews, there are plenty of signs and I believe only two pot holes that I can remember. The road is well maintained and you can easily get to the trail head in a car (I did) and there is a large parking lot with a bathroom. It was absolutely beautiful, the fall foliage is incredible right now. I did however almost hit a heard of Elk so be watchful on the main highway!

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful!

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