North of the Columbia River Gorge is an easy hike to an amazing 350-foot, three-tiered waterfall on Falls Creek.
Like the Silver Falls area, Falls Creek Falls gets little respect. It would likely be a signature state park in most places in the country.
On a beautiful spring morning I hiked to the viewpoint of the lower falls and reveled in the sounds of the water crashing into the cavernous bowl below.
After a healthy climb to a viewpoint above the Falls, I continued another 3 1/2 miles on the trail.
The variety of sights for a relatively flat trail was amazing. For the first mile the trail continued along the creek underneath the shade of mature hemlock trees. The trail was covered with their tiny, soft cones.
Soon a pleasant campsite by a small waterfall was passed. Then, the trail entered an idyllic open valley with pleasant meadows.
The last mile or so of the trail led through an open forest of hemlocks, noble firs and lodgepole pines. For once I didn’t see any deer but there were plenty of fresh deer and elk tracks to be spotted.
I picked a nice spot, enjoyed lunch and saturated myself in the magnificent scenery. Life doesn’t get much better.