Take a Hot Hike to Cool Off at Falls Creek Falls

After weeks in the mid to high 90s in Portland, it was time for me to get out of the city and cool off with another waterfall hike. So this last weekend, I headed over the the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge to check out a few that I’d never been to before. Half way along a short, gradual hike to Falls Creek Falls, children’s laughter could be heard in the trees. I was not the only one looking to sink my toes into cold water and feel the spray from the waterfall. Good thing, there was more than enough of this stunning waterfall to go around!

Falls Creek Falls

Follow trail 152A for 1.7 miles for Falls Creek Falls. Along the way, the trail meanders through the forest with several side trails that take you down to the creek. If you want to cool off in the water, take one of the early trails to the calm water as the trail starts to climb gradually for the second half of he hike. The final stretch of the hike walks along the volcanic rock cliff with vegetation clinging to its tiered layers before dropping down to the main viewpoint of the falls. Bring along a snack or brown-bag lunch to soak in the view here! You’ll also notice several foot paths and trails leading to other areas along the creek or up in the bolder field at the upper falls from here. Use this at your own risk (rocks will be slippery( and try to tread lightly if you do explore.

Getting there: From Portland drive east on I-84 to Cascade Locks. Take exit 44 and cross the Bridge of the Gods into Washington. Turn right (east) at the end of the bridge onto WA-14. Continue for 15 miles, then turn left on the Wind River Highway toward Carson. Then drive 14.8 miles through the town of Carson. Stay on this highway when it splits to the left, then turn right onto Forest Road 3062. Then follow the signs to the trailhead in a little over two miles. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead but not other services and a NW Forest Service pass is required to park.

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