Little Mashel Falls Trail

MODERATE 608 reviews

Little Mashel Falls Trail is a 5.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Eatonville, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
646 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

views

waterfall

bugs

muddy

over grown

The recommended way to see the falls is by entering from Highway 7. Follow the yellow diamonds on the trees, and there are 2 brown signs (1 for lower and 1 pointing up the trail for the upper). Muddy areas, due to recent rains, can make this trail slippery at times, so beware and be careful at all times. The trail takes you through a set of three waterfalls. Two are medium sized and the third is very large. About 125 ft drop. Access is a little tricky but well worth it. The largest of the three major waterfalls in the gorge, the Little Mashel River drops over a small punchbowl before sliding down a smooth concave lip and veiling 125 feet into a pile of large boulders in the gorge below. If you are fortunate enough to visit the falls in the spring when the river is at it's peak, you'll encounter a spectacular wall of water and spray. In the late summer, the falls become much more placid and tame, and actually provide an opportunity to walk behind the falling water. All three waterfalls along the river here are popular locations for the locals to come and hang around.

hiking
15 minutes ago

great fun family hike

40 minutes ago

Went today. The trail is closed until October 1, 2018 for logging. Now have to enter through Smallwood Park. Was about 3 miles to the lower falls.

hiking
17 hours ago

ALERT-- HI THEFT WARNING. Our vehicle was broken into while we hiked. They busted the car window out and when we started to look around it appears this is a regular occurrence here given all the broken glass in the parking area. The falls were beautiful and the hike was kid friendly.

1 day ago

Start a little ways out of Eatonville, cross over railroad tracks. Great hike from TomTom Falls; the river was low, so we followed the river to the top of Little Mashel Falls. We went back up and around down to lower Little Mashel Falls great place to swim. Returned on a Wooded Trail above the little Mashel River.

hiking
10 days ago

Coming from the perspective of an avid hiker this was nice walk in the park. That being said, there are some steep inclines but they're short, maybe 1/4 mile or less. Most of the hike is a very slight, 3-5% incline. Doable hike for all skill levels. However, during the steep parts there are a lot of steps so if you have bad knees it may be difficult.

hiking
15 days ago

Love this trail. Signage could be better.

17 days ago

This has to be my favorite trail ever! This place is unmarked. The only way to find it is by seeing a large side dirt pull out. Leave your car there go through the brush until you see the train tracks. Follow the train tracks to the left. Cross the pass and you will encounter the falls. Super easy. You can climb down and find 2 other sets of falls!!!

walking
25 days ago

The waterfall is incredible, but unfortunately the walk to it isn’t much of a hike — not to mention, the trails aren’t marked well at all (aside from signs someone wrote on printer paper at the beginning). We followed the directions on the Washington Trails website, which helped up until the turn to the falls. A rock that once had “FALLS” written on it is now covered in graffiti, leading us to miss the turn and walk an extra 2-3 miles on the same boring, relatively flat gravel road. I also ran into others who were lost and confused as to where to turn to the falls. Once you know the route, it’s not bad, but first-time visitors could have difficultly because of the lack of trail markings.

walking
25 days ago

there are two ways to go one way is a long gravel road or the other is near rail road tracks up near the actual road.. (do your research) which is 100xs quicker I found out after walking the 3 miles of gravel road!! my fault. once you get to the actual trails and waterfalls they're amazing. wouldnt recommend doing it after it rains very very slippery near the river... obviously

29 days ago

Watch out for vandals! I had nothing in my BMW X5, but they broke out the rear driver side window. They bolted when the alarm went off. The experience ruined a great morning and I am out 400 bucks. I have been coming here for twenty years since high school and have never had a problem. It’s just so sad.

1 month ago

I went there yesterday (with the family and dogs) and following directions from the UW research park to keep left we ended up hiking up the mountain trail several miles before realizing we must have gone in a different way. After going back on the gravel dirt path where those directions said to keep left at the yellow diamond we found the middle falls were only about 30 min or so from where we went in. If you want to hike for 2 hours start at the UW research park. If you want to take a path from outside of Eatonville on the road to Alder Lake there is a large lot on the side of the road to park and you can walk into the forest, cross the railroad trestle and be a lot closer to the trails for the falls. It is harder to get small children and dogs in this way as there is a steep decline where you have to ride down on your butt or use the rope someone put there to help descend. There are lots of wading areas by the trestle and smaller falls before the river goes down into what is known as the upper, middle, and lower falls. Well worth it! Will definitely do again soon! Likely will take the same way again as it feels like more of a nature hike, can spend more time exploring the trails/falls, and didn't see any of the litter that was mentioned on the other path! The kids and dogs all enjoyed the swim!

I love this trail I love climbing the waterfall at the end up to the two other waterfalls it’s beautiful

1 month ago

Done this hike twice. First with a friend and second with relatives that has 2 - 7 year old kids. I rate it as easy but on the way back- from the waterfalls- it is pretty steep. Make sure you have good shoes though since going down can be slippery esp. if it rained. Highly Recommended!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Went on this hike on Saturday. yes, it is a gravel road much of the way, but still fun and worth it!

1 month ago

Always a nice hike, railroad tracks are cool and in the middle falls some swimming holes!

1 month ago

Very well maintained trail! People there to help you find the falls and also lots of signs!

hiking
1 month ago

Not impressed--a hike? yeah not so much..do you LOVE walking on a long road covered in rocks as Pierce County officials cruise by you? How about TOO MANY PEOPLE? Do you enjoy seeing trash EVERYWHERE? Then this is the walk for you..its not a hike, kid friendly? Maybe...There are no views of anything lol except a dirty trail littered with garbage (water bottles, candy wrappers, misc clothing items) ...seriously..save your energy and go elsewhere, this isnt one of those "hidden gems" this is one of those dirty creeks that run along a highway that just happens to have a drop off that creates a waterfall...otherwise, 6 hours of my life I will never see again....

hiking
1 month ago

I rate this as a 4 because the waterfall makes up for it all!! The trail itself is pretty boring to and from. It is a gravel road with no real views. Fortunately there are some indicators to the falls, but not well marked. We went on a busy morning, so just follow the crowds. It can get a bit jam packed at the falls itself because it narrows down toward the falls. Still one of the best falls I have seen up close and it's worth the jaunt.

hiking
1 month ago

Went to the lower Falls very beautiful and pretty definitely a hike going back up but over all worth it we brought our 2 yr old in a hiking pack so it was easier , coming back an ambulance past us on the gravel trail , like everyone says please please be very careful we saw 2 girls trying to climb up the Falls and obviously someone got hurt when we left people get hurt here all the time so please be cautious!

1 month ago

The falls were beautiful, but be warned that most of this hike is along a logging road. A very nice logging road, but if you are looking for the single track experience there is only a short and fairly steep bit of it from about mile 2 to the falls

1 month ago

Katrina engelbretch's review below is awesome!! Thank you! I hiked this trail about two weeks ago and it can be a little confusing! Her directions were perfect! The map on the app is also helpful. Nice, easy hike with beautiful payoff at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Close to Tacoma so we saved lots of travel time . The water falls were beautiful. We went to the lower falls. Will be back for the upper falls soon.

hiking
1 month ago

awesome trail. Some pretty steep parts but it was a great 7 mile loop we ended up going

1 month ago

Love this area! Been on this one three times. Beautiful waterfalls and swim holes. Lots to discover and fairly easy hike. Just a little climbing. Water shoes are ideal so you can walk in the water. Lower falls trail from the forest station connects with the trail starting at the railroad access by climbing the rocks at the last falls. Trail continues after the railroad track.

hiking
1 month ago

There are a lot of crossroads and it is pretty hard to navigate where to go unless you have a map. However, once you get to the falls it’s amazing!!

hiking
1 month ago

The All Trails directions lead you to the UW Pack Forest parking lot. There's a portapotty and a faded map. The map sucks but if you follow the trail map from the app it's not confusing at all. On the gravel road there are a few forks, but the app is clear. Once you get into the falls area, it's amazing! Great views! There are many trails down there but that's where the trail map on the app stops, so we just explored and loved it. We didn't get confused or lost while down there. Some parts near the falls are very steep and slippery, so while most of the hike is fairly easily, I would be wary of taking little kids to some of those spots near the falls. There are lots of places to hop into the water to cool down. I lost count of how many people I saw on the trail, but everyone was very kind and helpful with directions and tips to the best spots.

hiking
1 month ago

Great short hike with a steep payoff, great falls you can swim in.

2 months ago

Great family hike! You’ll need to park at the gravel lot near the port o potty. You’ll hike up a gravel road for about 1.5 miles before it splits to a Y. There were no signs so it was very confusing. But you’ll want to go to the LEFT! Another half mile and you’ll come to a rock painted “Falls” where you’ll turn left once again. Trail starts to head downhill until you come to another three way split. It’s marked here with a yellow diamond on the tree where you’ll head to the Right to the lower falls. You’ll also see where you can go to the upper falls. We went to the lower falls only. Absolutely breathtaking! Our 2yo hiked nearly the entire way there and back, only being worn in the sling for about 1/2 mile at the beginning and 1/2 mile at the end.

2 months ago

It was beautiful. a little confusing but worth it for sure

2 months ago

Good day hike

Load More