Hike 21 – Falls Creek Falls

falls creek falls

Last night I got to have a party with all of my favorite people in attendance. Even though I’ve technically lived in my house for six years, I’ve never had a party. Everybody brought delicious food. Josh Kanable made nachos. Robyn Simons made gluten free mini pizzas. Merriment was had. It was delightful. Unfortunately, it also made me dehydrated and achy and disorganized. We have absolutely no system for how we choose our hikes. Most of the time it just works out. This week, on Friday, Josh Kanable showed me a hike he really liked and I decided it would work. I didn’t really do much research or think it through.

We struggled a little bit to find the hike. It’s on the Washington side of the gorge across the Bridge of the Gods and then a little bit further east. The roads were icy and a little snowy and I definitely don’t have a snow-ready car. Sid handled like a dream and we made it to the right road finally and then we hit the road closed sign. The road to the trailhead is closed from December 1 to April 1.

We thought about it for a little bit. We turned around to head out and find something else. Then we parked and decided to just hike in. The Falls Creek Falls hike is a 6.2 mile loop with 1150 feet of elevation. However, when you have to hike 2.5 miles in and 2.5 miles back out, it’s an entire day adventure.

The road in was scary. It was covered with a layer of ice and snow. It was pretty dangerous. We tried to stick to the sides but it was really hard to negotiate. It felt like so much longer than 2.5 miles. We thought we would never ever reach the trailhead. Then we did. The hike was gorgeous. It stays mostly on the side of the rushing river. Today the river was ice-covered and amazing. There are neato bridges across the river. We joke around a lot about hike “features” and today beyond the bridges there were also ice traps and quick ice. Ice traps are ice underneath the dirt that you don’t know is there until you eat it. Quick ice is dirt that looks totally normal but it actually had ice underneath of it that has now melted and when you step on it you sink up to your ankles.

The trail was absolutely abandoned and amazing. When we finally reached the waterfall, all of the walking was worth it. Not only was it the prettiest waterfall we had ever seen, but it was frozen and there were amazing ice sculptures all around it. We took a ton of pictures and then headed back out. We then walked up to the upper trail and got to see the waterfall from the top plus an amazing extensive valley. It was worth the crazy uphill trek to get there.

On the way back down we ran into three women hiking. We were not alone! We hiked back on the other half of the loop and finally made it to the parking lot. It was definitely hard to finish but not be finished. The last 2.5 back to the car was hard but worth it. We got a great day of hiking in and we saw some truly beautiful terrain. Thanks for the recommendation, Josh!

For information about Falls Creek Falls click here.


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