North of Carson, Washington and about 45 crow-flying miles northeast of Portland is an easy hike to an amazing 200-foot, three-tiered waterfall on Falls Creek.
Because of the many grand waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, Falls Creek Falls gets little respect. It would likely be a signature state park in most places in the country.
On a nice early spring morning I hiked to the viewpoint of the lower falls, enjoying the colorful scattering of wildflowers along the trail.
Several miles later and I was at the viewpoint overlooking the upper falls.
Now here is a tip for those of you journeying to Falls Creek Falls soon. Instead of turning back on the pleasant loop to the trailhead, continue on.
For the next mile the trail continues along the creek underneath an overstory of mature hemlock trees. The trail is covered with their tiny, soft cones.
Soon a pleasant campsite will be passed near a small waterfall. Then, the secret – – – the trail leaves the dark cover of the tall trees and enters an idyllic open valley with pleasant meadows.
This is the place to enjoy your lunch and saturate yourself in the magnificent scenery. You may be joined by a curious pika or two.