dogs on leash

nature trips



wild flowers


kid friendly

trail running



mountain biking

no dogs


horseback riding




dog friendly


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.

Too hard and far to drive to there.

Very difficult trail. Very cold weather.

4 days ago

Great hike, serene setting and landscape.

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

6 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!

9 days ago

Take wind gear. You’re pretty exposed at the top so when the wind whips some ash & dust in your mouth & eyes it’s a bit crazy. Chilly but scenic & beautiful hike, I would go again.

9 days ago

Beautiful November day for a hike, but WINDY for most of the way. Take layers if you want to be comfortable. Fall colors were pretty, where there were trees! I'm a bit puzzled by the trip reports that report on hazardous trail conditions. I'm a pretty timid hiker, but this route is absolutely enjoyable with only about 20 footsteps total where I had to watch my footing. Just a gorgeous hike, with awesome views of St Helens (as expected, but wow). Will definitely go again.

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.

Got a clear day today 11/12 and it was phenomenal views at the top. With the exception of the first half mile and maybe last half mile (which are steep) the hike is pretty chill. Well worth it on a clear day, def be prepared for wind and dropping temps up top. Happy hiking

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.

9 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.

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).

horseback riding
11 days ago

Easy trail with little ups and downs. Rain forest woods so nice and cool when it’s a hot day. Very quiet in November. Beautiful tourquoise colored lake with a view of a mountain from either end.

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.

13 days 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.

Gorgeous views! A little slippery in spots but not too bad considering it was rainy. Kinda brutal, uphill alllll the way.

Don't take Berger Rd! It's terrifying!

17 days ago

Great introductory hike for a newbie. Not saying it was a breeze - my legs definitely felt the up and back but due to moderate length well accessible to all with the right shoes (I had tennis sneakers which were not ideal!) Anyway this walk has now got me up for more - !

Sweet and short trail. Very peaceful.

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.

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.

Had some steep hills, a bit slippery with the wet leaves and dirt! Gorgeous trail and views!

was little steep and was raining for new bees like myself would have taken hiking poles.

The view at the top was SPECTACULAR- we saw all 5 peaks and it was totally worth the hike. Loose gravel and rock for much of the trail- definitely bring your poles. Lots of clear cut in the surrounding hills.

Not a terribly hard hike but the rocky trail makes it a little unsteady.

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.

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

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.

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.

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