Washington Hikes

Falls Creek Falls

On our last day in the Gorge we got up early again and had breakfast out on the deck one more time before packing up and heading home.

We stopped at the North Shore Cafe again so I could get coffee and then we started the drive toward home–with one stop first: Falls Creek Falls hike in Gifford Pinchot wilderness. It was sort of on the way to the Bridge of the Gods just by Carson. It was a really beautiful drive through the forest and then you go off the main road and drive about 2 miles–VERY SLOW miles–on a dirt road with humongous potholes. It was slow going and very bumpy. We got to the parking lot and it was about half full (when we left it was all full).

The hike started out in the trees immediately and we hiked alongside a creek that was sometimes pretty fast. There was a suspension bridge we had to cross that was pretty cool. Usually Bella is super freaked out by bridges and won’t cross without a lot of coaxing and help but she did GREAT! Maybe she is getting over her fears.

It was nice that this hike was in the forest and shaded. The day was warming up nicely. Logan loved the hike. He babbled and high-fived Michael and talked to people and dogs that we passed on the trail. 🙂

The hike was deceptively uphill. It gave us some nice breaks and leveled off here and there (unlike Weldon Wagon trail hike that was constantly uphill) and we got to a fork in the trail and saw this sign:

We were almost to the waterfall! Apparently this hike is a 6-ish mile loop but we didn’t plan on doing the whole thing. And talking to some hikers that were coming down the trail, apparently the other part of the hike is a lot of scrambling on rocks. Not ideal with a dog and baby.

We got to a few parts of the trail where there were washouts but for the most part it was a well-maintained hike.

There was another little bridge near some mini waterfalls. It was cute!

Then we were finally to the waterfalls! It was about 10 degrees cooler by the falls. They were gorgeous! So much prettier than Multnomah Falls, in my opinion.

The falls would have been a perfect place to have a picnic lunch but we didn’t have one. 🙂 So we headed back down the trail. Logan was on borrowed time and would need food and out of the hiking backpack soon. We are good if we have 2-ish hours to hike with him. He’s getting better, though, each time we go.

I posted a video on my Instagram if you’d like to see it. 🙂

Pretty good stats for a hike! Afterward we drove to Cascade Locks, crossing the Bridge of the Gods back into Oregon, and stopped at the East Wind Drive in for lunch. FABULOUS burgers and curly fries! The place is always crowded. I’ve only been there for ice cream cones after hikes, so it was nice to get food there. We’ll definitely be back!

We went to the Cascade Locks marina and park for lunch –devoured our burgers–SO HUNGRY! And then let Logan run around a bit for the drive back to Portland.

It was a pretty fabulous little vacation for us!

Moulton Falls

Saturday morning we packed up after breakfast and drove just under an hour to a hike in Southern Washington — Moulton Falls. I’ve seen photos of this hike for awhile and it was on my list but with a baby/toddler we didn’t really want to drive too far to go for a hike. But lately we’ve been able to time it right so that Logan’s nap happens in the car on the way to the hike. It’s worked well so far–not so great this time, though!

Logan only took about a thirty minute nap this time. Not ideal but better than nothing. We drove through some really pretty countryside once we crossed the river into Washington. It was a rural area with farms and trees and rolling hills, goats and horses. It was kind of an overcast, misty day.

There’s no fee for the hike/park, which is nice. There’s a big parking lot with port-a-potties and the trail is clearly marked. The first mile or so is paved, very flat and wide.

This trail would be ideal for a trail runner. We saw a bunch of runners of all ages, shapes and abilities. It was also a good trail for kids and families. It wasn’t strenuous and it was fairly safe (with a few cliffsides/drop offs in areas).

After a little over a mile the pavement ended and it was dirt and gravel.

There were train tracks, a little pond, and some tiny waterfalls along the trail.

Look at my happy girl! She was so stoked to hike!

We came to a little fork in the trail with a sign. Apparently there were a ton of other hikes that shot off Moulton Falls trail. I will have to research these for later:

We kept going and then got to the bridge!

We crossed the bridge and hiked down to the river and it bended around and gave a great view of the bridge from below.

It was so pretty. And peaceful and quiet. The trail wasn’t that crowded. Maybe the clouds scared people away.

It was getting a bit late so we turned around and headed back.

Even though the hike was pretty flat, we both felt exhausted afterwards. It was a long hike–2 hours and just under 6 miles–which is a lot for us at this point and A LOT for Logan. He was pretty done!

We got back to the car and I fed Logan and then we ate a quick lunch and headed home. We were on a time crunch to get to a birthday party that afternoon. Unfortunately Logan refused to nap on the drive home like we planned! No idea why he’s refusing naps lately!