Explore the most popular birding trails in Gifford Pinchot National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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

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

hiking
2 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
3 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.

hiking
5 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!

hiking
9 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.

This trail is hard but worth the effort for the amazing views at the top. Very rocky and steep.

Hiked it today which was a beautiful sunny fall day, there were more people on the trail than I expected, but it was fine.

We did do the backside loop around Pyramid on the way down, there was some bushwhacking at the top end of it but it cleared out and was fine the rest of the way. I’m glad we went that way because we had a southern view and also we cut out a big chunk of steep downhill on the rocks. (Yes the trail is not maintained, but it’s doable)

The end result is amazing. BUT if you don’t like the first 200 yards of the trail, I’d head straight back to the car. The trail itself is a solid constant elevation gain but the rocks are killers. Maybe I didn’t have the right mindset starting out

Great easy hike with a beautiful waterfall.

Extremely steep most of the way up but the views at the top are worth it! Didn’t see anyone else on the trail and it was a beautiful clear day.

MAKE. SURE. YOU. HAVE. A. DISCOVERY. PASS. prior to leaving for this hike. The road to the trailhead is unforgiving if you don’t have a 4x4 vehicle or maybe a Subaru or the like. Upon reaching the trailhead, we noticed the signs requiring a discovery pass, yet there was nowhere to obtain one locally, not even a fee drop box. Luckily, we had just enough cell phone service to obtain one online and leave the info on a piece of paper that we left on the dash. 3 vehicles had tickets on them when we got there. The trail itself is steep and very rocky, so much care must be taken not to break an ankle or fall. Make sure you bring a headlamp if you may end up doing part of it in the dark. The views are INCREDIBLE at the top. Well worth the hassle to get up there. I agree with the hard rating. I have done some tough hikes, and this was taxing, but awesome overall. DO IT.

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.

1 month ago

Have done this twice: last year in late June I did the loop and this year (while hiking PCT) I just went straight through Coyote Trail. It’s beautiful, but there is a lot of loose rock, meaning sketchy footing, meaning constantly calculating each step in order to not fall or skid down a steep cliff to critical injury. The trail is easy enough to follow, but not used enough or maintained enough for it to remain flat, so some slopped parts offer more obstacles. If you’re confident in your footing and not afraid of height, do 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.

hiking
1 month ago

Road in and trail are in good shape. Other than 1 rotten tree down near the lake it’s a hike just about anyone can do. Can see why it’s one of the most used trails in the area. Lots of campsites and a few facilities once you get to the lake. Definitely is the flattest 1500 feet of elevation I’ve ever climbed lol. For the middle of October it was some great weather. Low 60s and lots of sun.

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