Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Great easy hike with a beautiful waterfall.

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.

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}

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!

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!

As long as you don't expect grand views of the neighboring sites the walk to Lake Packwood was very nice.

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.

Beautiful falls from the base and very nice hike, but the signage is terrible, as is the road to get to the parking lot. We took a turn that we thought would loop around to parking, as described, and ended up turning an easy 6 mile hike into a 12 mile excursion filled with frustration. Download the map ahead of time...lesson learned!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked to Lost Lake via Packwood Lake Trail #78 Sunday of Labor Day Weekend for an overnighter. 20 miles RT (counting a 4 mile RT to the Old Lookout above Lost Lake), with 4216ft elevation gain including Old Lookout that took 5hrs to Lost Lake.

As expected, the parking lot was packed and started a second parking row. Arrived and on the trail by 9am. Arrived at the Packwood Lake in 1.5 hrs, had a snack and continued on Packwood Lake Trail #78 UP 4 miles to Lost Lake. This section is step climbing approx. 2500 ft. Mosquito Lake is overgrown by brush and not really suitable to stay, however there is a nice campsite next to it. Afterward there is a nice meadow with the first views of the Goat Rocks. From there the Junction of Coyote Trail #79 is just ½ mile and Lost Lake is another ½ mile after that. I arrived at Lost Lake at 2:15pm.

I made camp, had lunch and left for a 2 mile side trip up to the Old Lookout site above Lost Lake. Left at 3:30 and arrived at 5pm. Beautiful. There is a 360 degree view including Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, The Goat Rocks, Old Snowy and the White Pass ski lifts. Spent 30 minutes up there and headed back. Made it back by 6:30pm.

From the Old Lookout, down to Lost Lake and to the Junction of Coyote Trail #79 is part of the detour of the PCT around the Miriam Fire near White Pass.

Lost Lake had a lot of people, and some sites were open. There are at least 6 sites with lake access, maybe more. 2 were open. The water level at Lost Lake was VERY LOW, about 12-15 ft below years past. There are more camp sites available, however they don’t have lake access, but a seasonal stream is nearby. They are about ½ mile past the lake.

Going down the next day was quick and took 3.5 hrs vs 5 hrs going in. Tough hike after Packwood Lake but easy starting and finishing. Lost Lake is beautiful and a peaceful place to camp with no bugs this trip anyway. Well worth the effort!

Great hike, fairly easy. Will have to take the trail to get to the top of the falls next time!

There is a stretch of unpacked road with deep potholes, just drive slow and try to avoid them. A Honda Civic and a Prius made it to the trailhead. Dog friendly with trash can and a bathroom at the trailhead.

7/22/18 - Trail is well groomed, road is good except for a small gravel portion, which was not bad. Expect for people to drive really slow specially if it's a small vehicle or minivan. A bit of advice - Never go on a Sunday, specially if it's a hot day. Lower Lewis was packed cars parked on both sides of the road with more behind us. We decided to skip Lower and went to Middle then went up to Upper, there was no more then 20 people at either. Happy travels!

hiking
2 months ago

Been up there twice in the last month. Did the short trail the first time, the long trail the second time.

Worth every step, and the rough forest service road to the trail head.

backpacking
2 months ago

Great 2 night trip. Bugs were not a problem. Lots of other people around but there are plenty of campsites if you dont insist on being at the lake. Roads have a lot of washboard but if you drive a reasonable speed any car can handle them without issue.

Very nice loop trail, all though the Falls Creek Trail #152 is more of a Mt. Bike trail and the rest of the loop is more for hiking. Falls Creek Falls Water Fall is very refreshing and great for pictures and videos. Cool camp grounds and swimming area up at the top.

hiking
2 months ago

it was a very nice and beautiful hike. There are lots of potholes but not as bad as some roads we've seen in Washington. The signs were minimal but that's why we have the All trails app and map. The trail was mostly soft and shady. The lower view of the falls was an oh my God moment. the upper falls and views looking down were nice of the valley but you can't see much of the lower falls. A short hike further is the small falls by a camp site.

I loved this hike! every step was beautiful. Clearly, based on how low the lake was, and the dry (or low) creek beds along the trail, it had been a dry summer. Otherwise it would be too treacherous for me to enjoy the hike. The first leg (~1 mile) is up & down, but ~2/3 is UP. Definitely helpful to have hiking poles (unfortunately I did not bring poles, but made good use of a fallen limb aka walking stick).
As you near the lake there are boulders to climb over and I lost the trail here, but found it at the end of rock climb--and was able to find/follow on return trek.

Beautiful falls but due to poor signage and lack of signage it is very easy to get lost. The road up to the parking lot is absolutely terrible so I wouldn’t recommend going unless you have an off-road vehicle.

Falls Creek Falls. Easy hike with some good inclination to make your heart beat a bit. While studying this hike before I went everyone said “be aware of the potholes” and it deterred me from going. I finally went and if you just drive under 10 mph there shouldn’t be a problem!

I've been in the lower falls..
no words can describe how beautiful it is... Amazing...

backpacking
2 months ago

Trail is maintained well and we found lots of spots near the lake. Bugs weren’t much of a problem (August 19). Total burn ban is in effect so no camp fires. Great for a 1-night backpack.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail but too crowded. The waterfall is worth it!

backpacking
2 months ago

Great hike! Awesome payoff! Went in using the actual hiking trail, easy and clear except for a few horse pies!

Arrived 8:30am, no other hikers on the way up. Flowers were in full bloom. My husband and I continued up High Camp, steep terrain but views up there were worth the butt and calf pain. On the way down around 11am we experienced the full bug attack. Recommend wearing a fly mask, and start your hike early before bugs come out.

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