Summary: This is a relatively easy hike for the casual hiker and worth every step of the 1.5 miles out for the waterfall at the end. Kids will easily take this hike in stride. The trail is good and well maintained, and there are only few and short moderately steep areas. The waterfall - well, realy a triple waterfall - at the end is worth the walk. This has to be one of the most spectacular falls in the Pacific Northwest. As you near the end of the hike and hear the falls - LOOK UP! You can only see the top stage of the falls from one point on the trail, and it's rather surreal seeing all that water apparently cascading out of the trees. Up close, the second stage is very powerful, and the third is a 100ft spout into a "punchbowl". On a hot day, the temperature at the end of the trail closest to the falls drops 8-10 degrees due to the mist. It's very refreshing, aside from the beauty of it all. Grace (11) and Dave (7) give this hike a double thumbs up!
Trailhead: From the Oregon side of the Columbia, cross over at the Cascade Locks (small toll) and take the highway east toward Carson. Take the Wind River Highway (Hwy 30) North 15 miles to the junction with Forest Service Rd. 3062. Turn right headed east, drive 1.5 miles and turn right onto Forest Service Road 57. The trailhead is 1/4 mile up this road. This area is gated from December to April. (Lat:45.907 Lon:-121.94012)
Trail Guides for Falls Creek Falls, 15 miles north of Carson, WA :
Pacific Northwest Hiking 1000 Hikes in OR and WA
by Ron C. Judd and Dan A. Nelsen (Avalon Travel Publishing)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Gifford Pinchot Nat. Frs., Wind River Info/Work Center, 509-427-3200
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Steve Snyder, who has posted 13 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Viewer on 8/9/2012
This was an excellent hike. I think the description is very accurate as to difficulty and value. As to the previous comments about the NW Forest Pass, I am confused. We didn't display a pass and saw no evidence that one was needed. As of this date, there is no signage at either of the Falls Creek trail head parking areas about the NW Forest Pass.
Reviewed by Dana on 7/9/2012
Definitely not easy. I'm with Toni on this one. Not sure what elevation you start off on, maybe 1500 ft, but the elevation when it's humid is brutal. (my friend said it works out to an 8% slope). Total elevation of falls is 2310 (see link: http://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/nws/falls.php?num=5245) Very limited flat areas & you must be careful not to trip on your face due to the small rocks and tree roots. Luckily most is in shade. There are areas where you can dip your feet into the creek. Once at the top, yes, it's beautiful & about 15º cooler. Parking pass issue is deceiving. Bought pass at the Texaco station just a bit out of Carson ($5) but didn't see any signs saying you needed to display pass
Reviewed by VLS on 7/8/2012
Nice hike, somewhat tiring for older or out of shape. I agree with others in stating "where do are tax dollars go?" . Why does everything have to cost? The NW forest pass is such a scam. There is no where to pay when you get to these parking areas but there is always some unseen entity lurking to hand out tickets.
Reviewed by Toni on 6/30/2012
I would call this hike moderate, not easy. It starts out fairly level, but is continuously uphill for the rest of the 1.7 miles to the falls with a couple of dips. If you're in good shape, you could do this in 2 hrs round trip. But for the 50+ or out-of-shape person, it's more like 3 hours, which is what it took me and my friend with some breaks, a little lunch stop, and 10-15 minutes at the falls. You will need to walk on some rocks over a small creek, and go across a suspension bridge, but the falls is spectacular and worth every step. The trail is great. It follows Falls Creek with wonderful views of the river, old growth trees with new growth in the heart of the beautiful northwest forest. Don't forget the NW parking pass, and water.
Reviewed by Viewer on 4/16/2012
Hiked it on April 15th. Quite a few people up there, and there was snow on the roads, but any small SUV or even Subaru would make it to the trail head no problem. Trail in great condition and a really fun hike! Don't miss the sign just outside of Carson reminding you about needing the NW Parking Pass. They can be bought at the gas station in Carson with cash only though. Great hike and would do it again without thinking twice.
Reviewed by Viewer on 4/3/2012
Very nice hike the waterfall is spectacular. One thing I did notice there is no mention of NW parking pass, and the parking area isn't marked very well. We wound up with a $50.00 parking ticket without even realizing it was a pay area. Not a very good way to end the trip. Funny where do our taxes go.
Reviewed by Rico on 7/2/2011
This was my third time hiking Falls Creek Falls... Took my 7y.o. daughter and she powered right through it. The falls are truly a sight to behold. Perfect, off the beaten trail, hike in the heart of the gorge... its a total winner.
Reviewed by jdd on 7/4/2010
I hiked this in June and it was very nice. Nicholas (almost 7 yrs. old) liked the falls but not the hike. The hike is nice but we got sort of confused. Don't worry. Both FCF Tr. and FCF Tr. A end at the falls. Huge and majestic falls.
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