Hiking: Falls Creek Falls
There is one thing I have learned about making it through the winter in the Pacific Northwest, which is that you have to go outside. Growing up in upstate New York, winter meant staying inside. I did not understand why people liked snow sports because our winters were gruesome and cold. If any part of your bare skin was exposed to the frigid air, you were pretty miserable. Winter was about hibernation and I carried that mindset as I moved across the country.
Here the winters are much more mild, but I still wouldn’t always say it’s pleasant to be outside. It can be cold, very often rainy and certainly grey. But you can’t stay inside from October to April (let’s be realistic.. our winters are long); that’s 3/4 of the year. That’s the stuff that makes you feel completely stir crazy and like you want to crawl out of your own skin. You can spend long periods of time outside almost every day of the year here, providing you have some effective rain gear and layers. Doing outdoor activities, not only keeps you from feeling stir crazy but it feels GOOD! Once you get past the initial uncomfortableness, you can warm up fast and the fresh, crisp air is invigorating. So zip up your rain jacket and try out this lovely hike that I did a month ago.
Hike: Falls Creek Falls Loop
Date: October 28th, 2017
Hiking Buddies: Stacey and Anna
Total Distance: 6.2 miles (loop)
Elevation Gain: 1150 feet
Permit Required: None
Beer Pairing: Backwoods Brewing-Copperline Amber
This hike included the most beautiful waterfall I have ever seen and the trail to get there was pretty quick and easy. We began on the south side of the creek and took an immediate veer off to the right. The path was well maintained and easy to follow. Shortly after crossing a suspension bridge and then a footbridge we were at a view point of the falls in what seemed like no time. It almost felt like we didn’t deserve to see this beauty yet since we had barely put any effort in, but nontheless, I was thankful.
We stayed for awhile to take in the view and then via a tip from a helpfu stranger, found a narrow path to scramble up the side of the waterfall. This definitely wouldn’t be suitable for everyone, but it was a fun adventure for us. We had to grab onto several roots and rocks to make our way up. At the top of the falls we were just feet away from the water rushing down dramatically. We then took a trail up to the left, which brought us to the highest point of the hike at a campsite. This upper trail (#152) took us back on the other side of the loop via a gradual descent.
We missed a small, difficult to find path to the left that led to a footbridge over the creek and instead traveled through a campsite and down an old road for a good 15 minutes before we were positive that we needed to turn around. If you do this hike and notice that you are on a wide road, this is your clue to turn back and very carefully look for the small trail that takes you over the creek. It’s not marked but is just before the campsite.
After crossing the bridge and bearing left, we were at the parking lot in about a half mile. This was a beautiful hike, a stunning waterfall and a do-able length. I highly recommend it!!!