Explore Gifford Pinchot National Forrest - 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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Absolutely beautiful!

on Hummocks Trail

4 days ago

First, the directions through this app are wrong. It took me to a closed road. I found the trail by accident. It's right past Coldwater lake, on the left, right before the gate that they close to Johnston Ridge. Huge parking lot and no bathroom. There were 2 other cars in the lot but we didn't see anyone on the trail. Great views of Mt. St. Helens.

backpacking
5 days ago

Incredible 4 mountaIn views: Mt Adams, Mt Rainier, Mt St. Helen's and Mt Hood. Take gaitors!

hiking
11 days 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

went out for a bit today (11/27/18) and it was nice up there. a little windy and foggy but overall a nice hike. I only did about half of the trail because o was short on time but I did not encounter any snow. the road is as bad as always but I still manage to make it up in my Subaru Crosstrek with relative ease.

hiking
18 days 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.

hiking
27 days ago

Steep. The road to the trail is well marked and well maintained. Little slick in November, probably not great in the rain. The trail is up the road 8810 just before where it narrows, about 50 yds back down the road from where you stop. There’s a sign. If you’re not on an obvious trail that’s marked at the trailhead, go back and look. Trust me when I say you don’t want to try going up the wrong way. (I did find the trail eventually). It doesn’t get less steep, but keep going to the top. The view of Mt Adams is spectacular. Mt St Helens is 80 miles away and looks great also. You can easily see mt hood as well. I understand Rainier is visible but it was clouded over. It’s very cold and windy on top, so layers. Trip down is a breeze.

A hidden gem. Multiple shots of the peaks as you hike. the panorama is the cake!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Boyfriend and I were the only ones on the trail until the very end! Amazing views. We could see mount rainier, Adams, hood, and Helens.

hiking
1 month 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.

Gorgeous, unbelievable views! Ridiculously windy at points, thought we might blow off the side. Also be warned the last few miles of the forest road are pretty rough and require an agile 4 wheel drive vehicle (ideally with high clearance).

Lovely hike! We did it in rainy conditions so there were a few tricky parts. The bridge was wicked fun!

It was mostly paved. If you want an off-the-beaten trail, this one is not for you.

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
1 month 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.

This is a great moderate hike with really nice views. Not busy at all, although we did see a couple people on the hike.
The last turn onto Indian race track (going counter-clockwise) was a little difficult to see at first, so keep your eye out.

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.

60 mile an hour winds at the ridge made it pretty difficult to go the entire distance but it was absolutely gorgeous with all the fall colors.

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

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail. Amazing views of St. Helens pretty much the whole way. The trail is well marked except for one spot - take "Harry's Viewpoint" for the trail to the top of the ridge.

It was a bit of a challenge for being out of shape, but WELL worth it

Beautiful Fall colors going on right now! We only saw one other group today. It was not only beautiful, but very quiet. We will definitely be back.

hiking
2 months ago

We were not able to do this hike because the driving directions lead you to a point that is a 2.4 mile walk from the marked starting point of the hike. (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/46.265431,-121.644099/46.27116+-121.63655/@46.2650469,-121.6492751,15z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m7!4m6!1m0!1m3!2m2!1d-121.63655!2d46.27116!3e2?hl=en&authuser=0)

hiking
2 months ago

Great Trail.. Love the waterfall at the end..

This was my first hike and I would not classify this trail as easy. Beautiful hike.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was beautiful with open and changing views the entire way.

The trail itself was clearly defined on the ground and by tall posts and signage. The terrain is smooth and you experience a few small inclines that most people can manage.

It is exposed to the elements so bring sunscreen/ hat, water, and a rain jacket.

Started this hike around 9:30am on a Sunday with very few other hikers.

Car park and visitor center was bustling around 12:30

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike went early,had Trail to ourselves. Will go again.

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked to Blue Lake. Pretty good climb for awhile. Thousands of wild blueberry plants with ripe fruit. Traveled 9/15 through 9/19. 2 rainy days but clear other days. Cold at night with some frost. No mosquitoes this time of year. Have to camp in designated areas, not much dry firewood

Nice hike in the remoteness of Indian heaven wilderness. Not a tough hike per se but gradually goes up hill most of the way. Can scramble to summit with a little bit of finesse without much difficulty if you’re sure footed. Not a hard trail to find with trail labeled.

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