Explore Southwest Washington - 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
1 day ago

Driving the last ~mi on the way in is rough in spots but a car can make it, just take care. Excellent views at the very end above the treeline. All-around great hike with interesting landscape throughout.

Too hard and far to drive to there.

hiking
4 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.

hiking
8 days 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.

Sweet and short trail. Very peaceful.

hiked this on 10/28, got .15mi from the end and turned back due to snow and thunder. once we got back down 500ft or so it turned back to rain, and by the time we got back to the rock fields we had some sun and views of Mt St Helens. didn’t see anyone else which was kind of nice. trail was easy to follow, steep in some parts, and near the top some narrow parts with a sharp drop off. if you’re planning on doing this in the next few weeks, plan accordingly.

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.

great easy trail for dogs too.. . yes there is a decent up hill but nice trail.....amazing waterfall. totally recommend....a must see

hiking
30 days ago

Great hike with beautiful forest scenery, moderate elevation gain, and rewarding views from the top. It took us about 3 1/2 hours total which included a short walk on the Loowit trail at the top and a lunch break. You start off in a rock field, then most of the trail is through forest, and towards the end the trees thin as you walk through loose gravel. The uphill section wasn’t too steep but still tired us out. Bring lots of water. We veered off the trail at one point and used the All Trails app to get back on track. Really helpful.

Great easy hike with a beautiful waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

Trails are well marked and easy to walk, but nothing special to see. The lake was disappointing.

started the trail late than we wanted to, so we were racing against the sun. trail is pretty scenic and you get different views of your surroundings the higher you go — spirit lake, mt adam, mt rainier. saw two deer throughout the whole hike.

we took a wrong turn and made a left at the split towards the top of the trail. there was signage (from 2017) saying that the trail to the right was closed because of washouts, but we should’ve ignored it and continued on to get the full view of mount st. helens. the trail we took (to the left) sort of just... ends — with only a partial view of mount st. helens.

i’d go back to explore trail right next time i’m in the PNW

hiking
1 month ago

Perfect hiking conditions—70 degrees, no wind and almost no one on the mountain on a Monday morning. Leaves are changing colors and amazing views the whole way. Easy drive from PDX, took about an hour after crossing in to Washington. I’d rate the trail moderate only for length—it was never steep or difficult terrain. My only negative on this trail is it is a dry trail, so be sure to bring enough water for you and the dogs. You’re in the woods for all but the last mile, so you don’t have to worry too much about being overexposed to the sun.

hiking
1 month ago

I loved everything about this hike. Great views at the start and at the finish of the hike. We went to the Loowit trail and headed right for a quarter mile or so. Beautiful views of Hood.

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.

Today I was going to do Cape Horn, but when I drove up the colors had not changed enough to be worth it. Instead I came to this old favorite. A beautiful day for a hike up and trail run back! It was worth it the colors had just changed enough. You can tell it’s been a dry year two on the main side creeks were completely dry, but the main Falls is as beautiful as ever. Not as crowded as normal. The road is much better than it has been in the past, but there are some pot holes. I have an all-wheel drive RAV4 and only had to slow down in one spot to put in perspective.

We were enjoying the fall foliage colors on the drive up so much that we missed the “Falls Creek Falls” trailhead sign and accidentally drove up another 10 miles. We turned around and found a nice local who told us where the trailhead sign was - I really think there’s only 1 sign marking this turnoff, which is on a blind corner. So watch for mile marker #15 and the access road is just around the corner on the right {if you are coming from Carson}. If you cross a short bride named Moore Bridge, you just missed the access road. Access road to trailhead had just a couple small potholes, which are totally avoidable.. it was a pretty smooth dirt road, though I’m sure it gets rutted up once the rain starts. Hike to the falls are 1.7 in with a slight incline as you get closer to the falls. We were short on time, so we came back down the same trail instead of doing the longer loop. Beautiful rich fall foliage colors are happening right now {Oct 13th}

Great intermediate hike! The trail isn’t clearly marked but it didn’t take long to find. Look for a few steps that start going up and you’ll get to an information board at the beginning of the hike. I love hiking trails that aren’t super crowded and this was it. Came across 2 people on the trail. My dog and I both thoroughly enjoyed this hike! Beautiful trail and beautiful lake. I drove up from battle Ground and drove home down to the gorge making the full loop. Both directions to the trailhead were clear and easy to drive on. Coming from battle Ground, the last 8 miles is gravel but it isn’t too rough.

Great hike. Best fall colors.

I loved these views!! Went yesterday and arrived at 3pm and made it to the campsites by 430 or so. It’s an easy hike that goes through tons of beautiful fall foliage, and at this time all the leaves are smelling and crisp and like autumn rain! The sun was out and I got amazing views of Spirit Lake, St. helens, Rainier, Adams, and Mt Hood. It was crazy!!! Wish I could’ve made it to the top. Planned to camp there and completely forgot drinking water and discovered it was a dry trail. Had to turn around once I ran out. So pack a ton of water, and wear sunscreen! I’m definitely coming back to this hike. I loved that we didn’t go through many trees, because that meant open sky and views pretty much the whole way. I used directions from the WTA website and they helped so much. There’s a lot of junctions and sometimes it can be confusing. Print something out beforehand and make sure you know where you’re headed.
Forest roads along the way were paved for the most part with some random yet kinda common cracks and potholes. like really bad ones. They’re not gravel roads, but it looks like the road split in half, maybe due to the eruption of St. helens? Some of the paved roads are cracked and caved in so just drive slow. All vehicles should be good.

Beautiful view of the falls

THIS HIKE WAS EPIC!! We got off trail a bit and went up and up and up and then got back on the trail and wound our way down and not only was it a terrific workout it was breathtakingly beautiful!!

Great loop for all experience levels. Awesome panoramic views of the Columbia!

Finding this hidden gem is hardest part. We ended up passing it, making a u-turn and then just walking back. I suggest if you just google maps to Panther, park at the very large shoulder (it has a bunch of rocks as a slope to your right) get out of the car and walk back on the right side of the road. Once you see this small rock structure (it’s literally 3 rocks stacked on top of each other), there on the right side of that is the trail to Panther Creek. Short walk to the platform and there in front of you is the massive Panther Creek falls. Definitely worth the drive.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful!

Beautiful trail to backpack in the fall. The leaves are vibrant and less people on the trail!

This is a really beautiful and easy hike up to the falls. They're spectacular when you reach them. Saw lots of other people and dogs. The road to the trailhead was okay for my sedan. I was a little worried about the potholes but there were only one or two small ones and nothing too serious.

Great Trail..

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

Well worth the drive to this trail. Over 1,400 feet gain in under 1.8 miles is a great workout. Total miles per my Fitbit is 3.54 miles
We saw 3 people on the trail so we basically had the trail to ourselves. It was quiet with gorgeous views on the top.
It wasn’t a hard hike for me but it was a great workout for sure so it’ll get your heart pumped up. -:)

We saw all 4 mountains. Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainer, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams. It was a little windy on top so definitely bring layers.

The rock wall was totally cool towards the top, you could tell it was man made but Wow, what a work! You will zig zag up toward the summit. We walked out to the summit, however the summit is not marked nor there is a sign in book.

We enjoyed every second of the hike and I felt an enormous gratitude on this hike. I appreciated the fall colors dancing under the sun showing their colorful glory.

If you hike it twice in a row you will get a great training hike for something bigger in the future.
Don’t forget your hiking poles on this one.

Happy hiking!

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