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Visited: April 22, 2017
Description: An amazing hike to one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southern Washington.
Length: 6.1 miles or less, really depends on where you end up parking
Elevation: 1150 feet
Duration: 2-4 hours… Again, depends on where you end up parking
Parking: If the road isn’t closed, there’s a parking lot at the trailhead. But if the road is closed due to fallen trees, you’ll have to park as close as you can and walk to the trailhead.
Best time to go: Anytime, winter might be difficult though.
Bring: Water, camera, light snack/lunch, waterproof jacket if weather calls for rain.
It was the second day of our waterfall challenge and we decided to head north across the Oregon border to Washington! A new day with rested knees, these HikeSnobs were ready to take on more waterfalls. There were a few waterfalls within Gifford Pinchot National Forest that we’ve been dying to check out and Fall Creek Falls was at the top of the list.
Before Fall Creek Falls, we had a few other waterfalls we wanted to check out. Our first stop was Lower Lewis Falls but were quickly derailed with a freaking closed road. We were only 4 miles from the trailhead but we decided to turn back because the actual hike was 6 miles roundtrip and we didn’t have to time to hike an additional 8. 😢
We headed off to another waterfall, Big Creek Falls, but were unable to find it 😣😖 Then we spent 30 minutes getting lost and backtracking 3x before finding Curly Creek Falls… It was a silly mistake on our part though because we just didn’t drive far enough 😅
It was barely 9AM and it was already a frustrating morning! Finding Curly Creek Falls was a pivotal moment for us. We knew that we could salvage the rest of the day and find some damn waterfalls!
With a slight less defeated attitude we headed towards Fall Creek Falls. After making a turn from Winding Road onto a side road, we knew we were just a few miles from the trailhead. We passed a car on their way out and flagged them down to ask about the conditions. They told us that the road was covered with fallen trees and that you couldn’t drive too far in.
Ughhhh wtf…… of f*cking course 😠😤
Today just wasn’t our freaking day! The Hiking Gods were really testing our patience… but we weren’t turning back this time. We drove as far as our car would let us and parked on the side of the road before making our way on foot.
The next 3 miles consisted of us climbing over wet and sometimes icy trees. Just a mile in and we were over it. Our poor knees (hurt from the day before) were already starting to the feel the strain from all the climbing we had to do.
After what felt like an eternity, we finally reached the parking lot. Now for the actual hike! Lets hope there aren’t anymore fallen trees 🙏🏼🙏🏼
The trail is an easy gradual incline on a dirt trail. There are a few bridge crossings as you hike along the river. The best part of this hike was how empty and secluded it was. We had the whole trail to ourselves which is a nice change from the Columbia Gorge we experienced the day before.
About 1.5 miles in from the trailhead, we reached a second foot bridge that crossed over a thunderous rush of water. The power and the sound of the rushing water was absolutely amazing.
We were finally getting excited on this hike. This waterfall was exactly what we needed to motivate us to keep going. Right after the second bridge crossing you may encounter some other mini waterfalls that run off onto the trail. Be careful with your footing as you cross.
As we continued hiking, we knew we were getting really close. We could hear the sound of rushing water and it was getting louder with every step we took. Just a few more trees to climb over! 😒
As we hurried our way down, we began to catch glimpses of the waterfall. We were just seconds away from the most spectacular view.
Surrounded by the mist of the falls, we were in complete awe! There is no real way to truly describe the magnitude of the falls. Standing 335 feet tall, the powerful falls were much more massive than we’ve ever expected it to be.
After a long and frustrating morning, we were so happy that we didn’t turn back on this waterfall. It was truly incredible and more than made up for the horrible morning. Now if only we could teleport back to our car….
- Not sure how maintained this trail is, fallen trees on the road to the parking lot may not be removed.
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