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Bells Mountain Trail

MODERATE 141 reviews
#2 of 5 trails in

Bells Mountain Trail is a 16 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Yacolt, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, horses, and mountain biking and is best used from February until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 16.0 miles Elevation Gain: 3,372 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

From Moulton Falls, the trail begins with a one mile steep incline through lush forest. Towards the top of Bell's Mountain, the trail goes through a clear cut. The trail is well marked every half mile but there is a road crossing near the top of Bell's Mountain that is a bit hard to pick up. When you hit the road, turn left and follow the road around to the right for about 100 yards. There is a cairn where the trail picks up again. The trail continues along the slopes of Bell's Mountain and Spotted Dear Mountain and and then descends and runs along or near Cedar Creek until the end, which is just South of the Cold Creek Day Use Area. Many folks hike the entire 7.7 mile trail as a point-to-point and have someone pick them up at the Cold Creek Day Use Area. Others just do an out-and-back from Moulton Falls. Either way, it's a great hike with spectacular views!

hiking
flooded
muddy
1 day ago

Great 1000’ climb in the rain. Lots of mud , not a lot of people.

hiking
11 days ago

Fun hike-snowed a good foot or so high up on the trail so that was fun.

hiking
muddy
20 days ago

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
over grown
rocky
2 months ago

Killer leg workout the first mile up, but if you can trekk that far you're in for some beautiful views. Gorgeous whether it's enshrouded in fog, or on a clear sunny day. Moulton Falls can get pretty crowded, so if the day is looking pleasant leave EARLY. Bring poles for the beginning/end sections, beware of loose rocks. Fine mix of challenging & easy, this trail connects to many other trail systems around Silver Star!

running
4 months ago

great workout with the steep elevation at the beginning and end. no issues picking up the trail when it hit the service roads. did not encounter poison oak, but I have read other reviews suggesting it's presence so be on guard. some technical sections you can only power hike. several miles around the middle you can put the speed on, but watch for rocks and go slow if you have ankle issues. the big elevation drop at the end (doing the out and back) was a big killer on the legs. quite the workout. some sections a little overgrown but the fallen trees on the path have been cleared. no signs of Sasquatch.

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked this trail 2/18/19. (moultan falls area) Trail is in good condition with a few trees over the trail and snow starting in the forrest and growing to a foot or more on the ridge. Trail was packed down snow from previous hikers. Snow had iced over in the forrest and on the ridge in the morning, so microspikes and trekking poles are helpful. I got to the upper lot at 7:00 am and at 7:10am they opened the gate to the parking area. There is parking on the side of the road from the upper lot if you want to go early before they open the gate. The upper lot has plenty of great parking, but not bathroom. There are picnic down the hill from the parking area. Saw a ton of people as I was making my descent, which was expected for a holiday weekend for most people on a Monday. I was the first one in the lot and on the trail. Also hiked this trail (started at Moultan falls) 3/25/19 got pretty close to cedar falls on the map. 14.4 miles. 6/24/19 bridged the gap on this trail, this time I started at yacolt burn trailhead, has handicap parking. Lots of parking and 2 vaulted toilets with tp. (across the road is bells mountain trail from the yacolt burn trailhead) hiked in 3 miles to where I turned around on a previous hike. Cedar falls is pretty small, but there is a nice viewing area close to bridge. Cedar creek is definitely not as swollen as it was in March. Saw lots of poison oak in clear cut areas and/or close to clear cut areas. Very large old growth stumps. Some horse poop and this is a popular biking trail or so I've heard. Hiked 5.78 miles, 530ft elevation gain. 2hrs 12 mins moving, 2hrs 20 mins total stopped for 7 mins. This is a pretty easy trail with little elevation gain and loss, great for small children. Total miles if hiking from one parking area to the other parking area is 20.18 miles. There are also trail markers every mile or so in blue to indicate how far you have gone on the trail.

hiking
over grown
7 months ago

Fun trail, overgrown in a couple parts but otherwise good shape. The trailhead facilities are quite nice. my Garmin clocked 4K elevation gain. Note: the the Milton falls trail head area gets super busy after 9am. Bells is usually pretty empty, handful of hikers and mountain bikers.

hiking
9 months ago

Not kidding about the steep first mile, but views are worth it!! Took my 11mo puppy with me and he loved it, keep an eye out for ticks, we came across two. We did not see anyone else till we reached the top and at the very bottom. Great hike for a nice workout and will be coming back in the summer to do again!

hiking
10 months ago

Awesome trail. Pay attention when you come to roads you just might miss your exit.

hiking
10 months ago

We were dropped off at Cold Creek and hiked to Moulton. Lots of little streams (all with bridges) made for some pretty scenery. Between mileposts 3 and 1.5 snow had been well packed and refrozen to make a nice and slick ice covered trail. Will definitely be doing this again

Sun Dec 16 2018

Beautiful view of a snowy MSH. Saw a bear in the lower clearcut area.

running
Sun Dec 09 2018

Fun long run with my lab today. First time being on the trail. Passed 8 people, all but 1 were within the first mile. Trail is marked efficiently so you do have to look for the markers in a few areas, specifically the road crossings.

hiking
Sun Nov 04 2018

Good hike, wasn't muddy like I thought it would be with the recent rain. The beginning is pretty steep for most people so I wouldn't bring children. The rest is relatively easy. If you plan to park a car a both ends to only hike 8 miles then make sure you have a Discover pass. Because as we know WA likes for all of us to purchase yet another pass to add to our collection. Or you can do the full 16 (17 if you account for the walk to the parking lot) and park at the falls. There are two road crossings between miles 2.5 - 3.5. For the first, follow the road downhill to the left, then there will be a wooden sign to reenter the forest on the left after about 100 yds. The second crossing take a right, then almost immediately (about 10ft) look to the left side of the road for your trail. There is a small marker post with the blue trail sticker on it. The rest of the trail is straight forward and well marked with mile markers every half mile. We will definitely hike this trail again in the future.

hiking
Wed Sep 05 2018

Loved the hike! Did it with my sister. Took us a little over 4 hrs to complete only because we accidentally got off the trail....We had started at Cold Creek Camp Ground.

hiking
Sun Jul 22 2018

When we got to about mile 3 someone moved the sign and sent us in the wrong direction. We were way off track on a very hot day. Needs better signs

backpacking
Mon Jul 16 2018

Went this weekend and did the full trip. Closer to 18 miles once account for for the hike to the campsites and back. Extremely hot, coming back was more challenging than the first day. Partially because you’re sore. Partially because it’s up almost the whole way— albeit not as steep. Biggest con is the forest area is extremely thick so there was zero breeze. Bugs were fine, but we did see snakes closer to the end of the trail. Also, it’s not quite bushwhacking level, but once you’re to the lesser travelled part it does become overgrown. Would do again on a cooler weekend for sure.

hiking
Tue Jun 19 2018

Nice views and a good little work out

hiking
Thu Jun 07 2018

Loved this hike. my very good friend Laura and I did this today the only complaint was we had a bunch of ticks on his because the trail is over grown in spots, and the other sad part is when you go over road and get back on the trial it ends on another road and there are no signs saying which way to go. steep steep steep!!

hiking
Wed May 23 2018

Out and back 17.5 miles. Trail well marked. Nice mix of open meadows, lush forest & lots of wildflowers. Views are fantastic on clear day. Took a little break at Cold Creek day use area and headed back. Day use area has no trash cans so be prepared to hike your garbage out with you. Saw animal droppings, looked like belonged to horses as they also use trail.

hiking
Sat May 19 2018

Hiked on May 18: well-marked trail until 3.7 Miles. After that there is no trail. Beautiful scenic views, tons of wildflowers. Be sure and check out Yacolt Falls on the way back.

hiking
Thu May 17 2018

Beautiful sunny day in spring. Tons of flowers. A good heart pumping hike to a beautiful view of the mountain. i was greeted by hundreds of butterflies in the clearcut revovery zone.

hiking
Sun Apr 29 2018

hard not moderate but still good went here with my son and we had a good time. lots of snow too.

hiking
Sun Apr 08 2018

Great trail the first 2.5 miles are quite beautiful, with moderate inclined, water falls, view and just simply beautiful. I did it in rain more rain and heavy rain with 35 miles in hour wind at the top. I recommend the trail in late spring when is full of flowers. Go be free.

hiking
Wed Mar 28 2018

This is a national recreational trail - intended to preserve and celebrate our nation's pathways. The trail was built by the Chinook Trail Association. We began our one-way hike in the Cold Creek Campground and headed north on the trail with a car at each end (Moulton Falls parking lot). A good early spring hike with light rain throughout the day and patches of snow off the trail at the higher elevations (max 1600' . The trail south to north is 8 miles; 22 wooden bridges, 2 steel bridges, and a turnpike (all in good condition). Easier to go this direction since it is gradual up to the Bells Mountain trail top and then descending is easier. For the most part in mature mixed forests and follows two streams (Cold Creek then over a ridge to another unnamed one). The trail needs maintenance - duff retains water in low areas and berms need knocking down. The trail hinge has mostly disappeared from ( from milepost 3 to 8). Oregon grape, ferns, silal and other encroaching plants constrain the trail width but still passable. Most of the trail drains need cleaning out (the culverts are working well). Fir seedlings have been planted in the clear cut areas and a 15 year growth of Douglas Fir in other areas, with some thinning in older areas of restoration, makes the trail an improvement over previous years. Few realize this trail starts at Hantwick trailhead (2 miles west of the Bells Mtn trailhead) and goes 1.6 miles past Cold Creek park to the Yacolt Burn trailhead on Dole Valley Road. The extension of the Cold Creek to Yacolt Burn trailhead was improved this winter by the Washington Trails Association. A great hike with lots of forest and large trees (my score is 3.5/5.0). I do it each year about this time.

hiking
Sun Jan 28 2018

One of my favorite trails! Great scenery and awesome view!

hiking
Mon Sep 25 2017

I got a couple miles into this trail before seeing some droppings that made me uncomfortable. I was alone so I decided to turn back to Moulton Falls. The initial ascent is pretty steep but the setting is breathtaking. I will come back to this trail! One of the lushest settings I've been in in a while.

hiking
Wed Aug 09 2017

This trail goes on forever, it's very green, can be pretty steep, but has great views after about 2 miles.

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