Lewis River Falls Trail

MODERATE 72 reviews

Lewis River Falls Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cougar, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.7 miles
1053 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly





horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips





wild flowers


Possible to make a 7-mile loop hike, out and back along this 3.5-mile long trail touring the three colossal waterfalls on this trail. Park by the restrooms. A gravel trail sets off; take a right-hand fork to heard to an overlook of Lower Falls. Continue on the riverbank upstream, ignore all left-hand forks, after half a mile the gravel path turns to duff. After another mile, cross a footbridge; you can take a left here for a half-mile loop to Copper Creek's other waterfall, which you may save for the return trip. Continue along the Lewis River past Middle Falls to Upper Falls; the final 0.7 mile of the Lewis River Trail passes humble Taitnapum Falls and follows Quartz Creek to a bridge on Road 90. This is a section of trail no. 31 that starts at the lower falls recreation area. there is no cell service.

1 month ago

Waterfall payoffs every couple miles plus a birch forest, lots of forest to explore and very quiet in January. Will be back.

5 months ago

Loved this hike.

6 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous day on the trail. Very dog friendly with plenty of cool off opportunities for everyone. We went to the upper falls from lower falls, around 5-6 miles in total. Worth the drive off of I-5!

6 months ago

camp sites well taken care of. Only bad thing is the outhouse toilets smell horrible. Other than that the trails and waterfalls are absolutely beautiful. Will definitely come back next summer.

7 months ago

amazing views and fairly easy trail to maneuver

7 months ago

Beautiful falls. The middle falls and the swimming holes are definitely worth some time spent. The lower falls is huge but not very much parking at the lower river falls lot.

8 months ago

Great hike water falls were amazing

8 months ago

really good place to go didn't have to hike here cuz they got the Road open park has reserved spot

8 months ago

Gorgeous! My favorite was the middle falls, you could get right down on the water on a giant slab of rock with your toes in the water and right in front of the raging water. We went right during a thunder storm and the sounds were amazing. The water hitting the plants and the thunder rumbling through the valley.

8 months ago

PERFECT place to take my two high schoolers. Just the 3 of us, nice day, good exercise, loved running back up the trail racing them until I could barely breathe. Then one would pass me.... you get the pic. We will definitely be going on more hikes together.

9 months ago

We camped at Lower Falls over the weekend. The swim/beach area at lower falls was closed due to the fast currents. The bridge bringing you to middle Falls is closed right now as well so we had to start our hike at middle falls. All of the falls were an amazing sight. The traffic was light on the trails and there was plenty of awesome photo ops. Highly recommend for all. We even saw a stroller up at the upper falls.

10 months ago

The road is closed about a mile from the trail head, coming from Cougar. Parts of the trail are blocked by trees and fallen rock but still able to hike the whole stretch. Beautiful hike!

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Beautiful Waterfall!

Friday, September 30, 2016

One of my favorites! You hike through the forest and along the river, so it's shady and, at times, very steep. Definitely keep close tabs on your kiddos on this trail, and definitely bring swim clothes! The water is irresistible and there's plenty of access points at lower falls. And watch out for mountain bikers! Pit toilets with no sinks. A few pick nick tables at lower falls. Dog friendly.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Beautiful trail through the woods and along the river. Spectacular waterfall views! The trail from lower falls to the middle falls parking lot is moderate, with the end a bit doggy as you hike up a loose rock pile. The stretch from there to Middle Falls is steeper and slower. We didn't make it to Upper Falls because the trail was muddy or covered by debris in places. The entire experience was gorgeous and I'll definitely return. My biggest regret: I didn't pack a bathing suit. You must go swimming at Lower Falls!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

One bad ass spot to swim jump or go floating down the river pretty clean park Good camping spots the hike is nothing lower falls is right next to the parking lot I would recommend getting there by 930 am its 1 hr 50 min from Vancouver if not you'll have no spot to park or sit the park fills up fast Middle falls has a quarter mile hike and smaller parking lot which detours the crowds but its a way better spot than lower falls again show up early it fills up fast

Monday, August 08, 2016

the best hike to the best waterfalls

Friday, July 01, 2016

Terrific hike with plenty of spots to jump in the water! Highly recommend!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Relaxing, something for everyone

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Spent last weekend at the lower campground - loved hearing the falls all night long in the camper. Saturday we hiked all the way to the horse camp and enjoyed the many sights along the way. The road is a bit rough in a few spots but slow down and it is worth it once you get there. Saw many wildlife, the falls are amazing and the campground was cool. Cant wait to go again

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The road near the trailhead has a few unmarked undulations that are at times fairly severe, so be mindful and keep an eye out. Easy hike with a few rolling hills, but beautiful views of the river and multiple waterfalls. This was a bit of a drive from Portland for a relatively short day hike, but I'd like to return and camp nearby to see a few additional trails. The main trail has a detour near Middle Falls due to slide, but the detour is brief. Upper Falls is spectacular and if you're up for a short scramble, offers a chilly swim. Dog-friendly.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Tried to do this hike on 05/07/2016 coming down from the north side on FR25 THE ROAD IS CLOSED AND WASHED OUT. Could not hike it this weekend, really disappointed. Will try again soon, just wanted others to know about the road.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Beautiful scenery! Lush and green, we even found on our hike Chanterelles and Cauliflower mushrooms which were excellent eating when we got home. We were lucky to see a Pika in a big rock pile that was covered mostly in moss.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Absolutely beautiful!! Long drive but we took our time when we got to the falls. The experience was unforgettable, we even got to watch a person jump at Upper Falls into the pool. Wish it was me :)

cross country skiing
Monday, August 17, 2015

Awesome if u have a poet map which we didn't and lost service and got lost and found the trail 2 hours after we past it and had to turn around ... Over all tho best place j have been so far defiantly worth it

Monday, June 22, 2015

My wife and I have been doing this hike for years. Great for families and dogs. Lately we've seen more an more mountain bikers on the trail, which is great, too! Its a very versatile trail with minimal vertical elevation gain or loss. Not sure why its labeled as "moderate" and something like Saddle Mountain is considered "easy." I found Saddle Mountain in the Oregon coastal range far more challenging, top to bottom. That said, you're going to get your "steps" or miles on this trail for sure. Plan for the full day if you're coming from the Portland or Vancouver area as the drive alone can take up to 2.5 to 3 hours depending upon traffic and route. You can reach the Lower Falls campground either from Carson, WA; or via Battleground and/or Woodland. Both ways are spectacularly scenic, but coming from Woodland, I find it is easier to get distracted by other equally interesting points of interest that can eat up the day before you even reach Lower Falls.

For the folks that are publishing that Middle Falls is inaccessible do to the slide... Although it is true that the slide occurred and that the detour takes you up and around it, you are entirely able to backtrack down to Middle Falls, which IMHO, is the most fun and most scenic. I have swam in the main pools below the large fall several times and seen many trout, its an absolute blast! (video and pics to come)

A word of caution... If you are the adventurous type and you decide to brave the portion of the trail to Middle Falls that is currently blocked do to the slide, beware that the 150 or so yards leading up to the slide is also EXTREMELY unstable. That entire hillside is slowly peeling away from the rock face upon which it is settled. I'm no geologist, but that's how obvious it is. As you look upon the up-slope side of the trail you will notice several areas in which micro-slides have/are peeling the loose roots and mud away from the face. There are multiple fissures in the hillside. My guess is that it'll only take one or two more good rains before other sections start peeling away, and as stated in an earlier review, I don't think its reparable at that point.

In any case. A beautiful trail with wonderful vistas and unique man-made and geologic features along the riverbed.

(Oh, for the very patient, or brave, walking up river from Lower to Middle Falls is also extremely rewarding and not exceedingly difficult)


Friday, May 22, 2015

This is a beautiful hike! Right now the middle falls have a detour due to rock slide, so plan to view lower and upper falls.

Monday, May 18, 2015

This trail is incredibly scenic. Right out of the parking lot, you see Lower Falls, and it is awesome. After soaking in the views, head down the trail, which undulates along the river. Currently, Middle Falls cannot be seen along this trail, as there is a detour in place that sends you on the loop up to the Middle Falls parking lot before dropping back down on the other side of the detour. This is due to a 150 foot section of trail that fell into the river earlier this year, and there is no projected date yet of when (or if) it will be fixed. You will see Copper Creek Falls on the detour route and then eventually, Upper Falls. If you continue past Upper Falls, make sure to take the spur trail to the viewpoint to see the top of it. Heading north and east on the trail again, you will pass Taidnapum Falls before exiting into the parking lot at the Upper Falls trailhead, the official end of the trail. Turn around and go back the way you came, or walk back along the road. We saw only two other people beyond the parking lots when we went, and enjoyed this hike immensely. There is only one cliffy area so keep an eye on kids, dogs and folks with poor balance here and you should be just fine. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The waterfalls are incredibly beautiful; and there are so many! Unfortunately, we went on a really hot day when there were loads of simmers disturbing the peacefulness of the sights and getting in my camera shots. The elevation gain seems low, there were a lot of up and downs; sometimes steep, too. I would love to do this hike again. It's just pretty far from Portland.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

First time on this trail today. Lovely: three different falls, easy-to-follow, maintained trail. Saw people dipping their feet in the icy water. There was evidence (!) of horses on the trail, as well as a couple kids riding mountain bikes on the trail ... we did not appreciate that at all! (The trail is not THAT wide in all places!) Saturday afternoon: there were plenty of people on the trail, but not overly crowded compared to what we expected for late summer. I'd go back in a heart-beat, but it IS a long drive to/from Portland when there are also other beautiful options closer to home.

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