Lower Lewis River Falls



You assume ALL risks and liabilities for yourself and anyone or anything you bring with you on the hike. You acknowledge this personal liability and accept complete responsibility through your RSVP.


July 27th, 2013


Gateway Transit Center: SE Corner ( I drive a Mini Convertible)


DEPARTURE time is promptly at 7:00am. It is recommended that you show up early to meet fellow hikers and arrange carpooling. I will be there at 6:45am.


I am scheduling this at the end of July to allow enough time for the snow to melt. Weather should be fine.


Yes. You will need the Washington Discover Pass - $10 per day or $30 annually.


Strongly encouraged. Gas recommendation is for the driver to start with a full tank and then fill up before returning to Gateway.


the recommended donation based on $0.10 cents/mile to the driver would be around $20/person (this includes the cost of the permis) based on a 95 miles one-way (or 190 miles RT) trip from Gateway.

Please indicate in your RSVP:

1. Are you a driver or a rider?

2. If you are a driver, how many can you take?


The goal of my hikes, in order listed, is to:

1. Have fun

2. Enjoy the beauty of nature (I am a waterfall junkie)

3. Take photos (again, I am a waterfall junkie)

4. Exercise

I am adamant about staying as a group. Splitting up is not an option. This means that we can only go as fast as the slowest hiker.

· If you cannot hike as a group, then please don’t RSVP. This is not a race!

· If you cannot hike at least 2.5 mph, then please don’t RSVP.  This is not a walk.

· Know both your limitations and skill level. This is a key essential to #1 – Have fun.


I have a NO TOLERANCE policy for no shows on my hikes. If you sign up and no show, you will not be allowed to sign up for my hikes again.

The RSVP cut off is Thursday at NOON. If you cannot attend the hike, please remove yourself from the list by NOON giving people on the waitlist time to RSVP.


Waitlist is manual. If a spot opens up, you must sign up. All people on the waitlist have equal chance of getting in at the last minute.


This is approximately a 2.5 hour drive one-way, but well worth it as this is our own little Niagra.

From Portland take I-5 to exit 21 for WA-503 E toward Woodland/​Cougar. WA-503 will turn into FR 90, turn right at the Pine Creek Visitor Center. Lower Falls Campground will be on your right hand side after you pass mile marker 28 on FR 90.




Hike Type: Out and Back

Distance: 6.6 miles (round trip)

Elevation gain: 320 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Pace: 2 – 2.5 mph

Dog Friendly: No

Est. Return: Between 5 and 6 pm: Depart 7:00am + 2.5 hour drive + 3 hour hike (7 miles @ ~ 2.5 Miles/Hr.) + 1 hour lunch + 2.5 hour drive


This is one of the premier waterfall hikes in the area.

From the Lower Lewis River Falls Trailhead make your way down any of the use paths to views of Lower Falls. The trail on the edge of the bluff is the Lewis River Trail (#31). Walk to the right as far as you like for different views of the waterfall. There are dozens of different segments and literally hundreds of vastly different photographic possibilities. There are a couple of informal side paths that lead to the river for views at water level. When you've had your fill of Lower Falls head back up the Lewis River Trail.

Continue past the trailhead and the restrooms. This first part of the trail travels through the large campground and is quite busy. There are lots of use paths, but if you stay right, you can't go wrong. Soon you'll climb a small hill to the edge of the campground. There's a sign here marking the Lewis River Trail. Continue east up the hill and head upriver.

The trail soon passes quite near FR 90 and you may hear and see cars. After a bit though the trail drops away from the road. There's a small footbridge above a seasonal waterfall. This bridge is currently unsafe and closed. Hikers can pass on the upstream side of the bridge. (observed [masked]) The concrete remains of Sheep Bridge are soon visible near the river. Next you'll come to a couple of trail junctions, first with the Wright Meadows Trail, the second with the Middle Falls Trail. Both of these trails provide alternate access from FR 90.

Next comes a bridge over Copper Creek. Copper Creek flows under the bridge and immediately slides over a block of basalt forming Lower Copper Creek Falls. Walk about 100 feet farther and you'll find a rough path leading back to the base of the waterfall. During low water, you can walk out on the rocks from this same place, to get a good view of Middle Falls. Returning to the trail, there's a good view of Middle Falls from a switchback.

The trail switches up the hill here a bit to another junction with the Middle Falls Trail. Copper Creek Falls is about 1/4 mile up this trail. Back on the main trail you'll walk about a mile to the base of Upper Falls. There's a lot of alder growing up here, but there are still a couple of decent viewpoints. The first one involves walking out on a large log to the edge of the river. The second viewpoint is easier. Just stay on the main trail, cross Alec Creek on a bridge and when the trail switches back, you'll find a great view.

The next part of the trail is a steep climb, but the climb is short and the rewards are great. The trail works up the side of the Alec Creek Canyon gaining about 150 feet in a quarter mile. Then the trail heads back along the top of the bluff to the top of Upper Falls. There's a short side trail that leads down to a couple of great views.

The last waterfall is the smallest of the bunch, but it's only a 1/4 mile, so it's worth the trip. This is Taitnapum Falls. There's no access to the river here, so your only view is the from the trail. When you're done here, return the way you came.


If you are not familiar with the 10 essentials for hiking, please check out REI’s link below. You are responsible for your own well-being, safety, health and comfort on the hike.



·         A day pack

·         Water, Water, Water

·         A lunch and some high-energy trail snacks. We will take one 30 minute break at the Upper Falls and another 30 minute break at the end of the hike when we return to Lower Falls for photo ops and snacking.

·         Be prepared for both sun and snow on the trail. Two or three light layers of clothing that can be adjusted or removed as necessary weather dependent ABSOLUTELY NO COTTON or BLUE JEANS.

·         Water resistant sturdy hiking shoes/boots

·         First Aid items

·         Sunscreen

·         A whistle (preferably around your neck)

·         A water-resistant hat (Optional but recommended)

·         Rain jacket and pants (Optional but recommended)

·         Gloves or mittens(Optional but recommended)

·         Flashlight or headlamp

·         Toilet Paper/Freshette(Optional but recommended)

·         Spare Socks (Optional but recommended)

·         Trekking poles (Optional but recommended)

·         Camera (Optional but recommended)

·         Sunglasses (Optional but recommended)

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm really sorry, all. I planned to be on the hike until just now. My daughter is a wedding florist and tomorrow she has a big event. I figured it out that I need to be helping her take everything out to the site. Have a great time!

    July 26, 2013

  • Connie

    Jen, I realize that you have a firm policy regarding canceling guidelines and I totally respect that. I would feel the same. You are wonderful for leading this hike and I can't say enough about taking that responsibility. I came home today and one of my dogs had thrown up all over the place so I need to watch him for 24 hours. Have a wonderful time!

    July 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry if its an inconvenience to cancel at this time.

    July 26, 2013

  • Todd

    May sign up later if there is room and my schedule clears

    July 26, 2013

  • Connie

    Hi Jen, thank for leading this hike. I need to carpool with someone with a pass. I am happy to contribute for gas and pass costs. Do you have room in your car? Thanks.

    July 25, 2013

    • Jen

      Connie, I will have room for two people in my car as I already have one passenger committed. I have a Mini Convertible and will riding with the top down on the way home. You are welcome to join me or we can find someone else as we will figure out carpooling at Gateway Saturday morning.

      July 25, 2013

    • Connie

      Hi Jen, thanks for quick response. I'm not sure about top down tomorrow as it's going to be quite hot. But I trust that all will work out one way or the other. Cheers.

      July 25, 2013

  • pam

    My schedual changed and I have to work :(
    Have fun!

    July 25, 2013

  • michaela

    Grrrrrr WISHED I couldn't go, maybe next time!

    July 25, 2013

  • Celeste

    Forgot about previous engagement.

    July 23, 2013

  • Connie


    Is the permit required per person or per car? Thanks.

    July 22, 2013

  • Bill K.

    Please disregard previous msg. I tried again and the site did put me on the list.--- Thk u ;-)

    July 21, 2013

  • Bill K.

    Event info. advises 14 attending AND 2 spots available But..it does not place me on hike when I RSVP. Pls. clarify -- Thx.

    July 21, 2013

  • Dave

    I may need to be out of town next weekend. :( but it frees up a space for someone from the waiting list.

    July 21, 2013

  • Roberta M

    So if I was the first to see this posting just past midnight please ass me. Thanks!

    July 21, 2013

  • Roberta M

    Saw an opening for the hike but couldn't change my status off the wait list.

    July 21, 2013

  • pam

    I have a wa discover pass :)

    May 29, 2013

    • Susan

      Hi all this is a beautiful area - I was up there a few weeks ago camping - snow is all gone. Note that this is actually *not* a discovery pass area - it is all in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest - the NW Forest pass is the one you want. Have fun!

      May 30, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Pass? For what? Where do you get a pass?

      July 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm really excited for this hike!

    July 15, 2013

  • Evy

    Can I rsvp Yes here for the spot that just opened up?

    July 15, 2013

    • Jen

      No. You need to use the regular RSVP system.

      1 · July 15, 2013

  • Kathy

    Two-thumbs up for a well written hike description. Now, if people would only read them and understand we do this for safety reasons. I might have to borrow your NO SHOW policy.

    May 29, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Don't think might, use it. It is inconsiderate to others who really want to go. There are some chronic abusers out there and I fully support this....

      May 29, 2013

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