Hey All, how about a fun, not to difficult hike for starting off the hiking season to Little Mashel Falls?
The name of this waterfall should not be construed as a descriptive in any way, shape or form. The "little" in the name stems from the river, and is actually quite the opposite of the waterfall itself. The largest of the three major waterfalls in the gorge, the Little Mashel River drops over a small punchbowl before sliding down a smooth concave lip and veiling 125 feet into a pile of large boulders in the gorge below. All three waterfalls along the river here are popular locations for the locals to come and hang around
Though its listed in the GNIS as the official name of the falls, Little Mashel Falls is also known as Bridal Veil Falls
LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS
The waterfalls of the Little Mashel River could formerly be accessed from a large pullout along the Eatonville Cutoff Road, however signs have recently been erected indicating this is no longer allowed. We had previously thought this to be on the part of the city of Eatonville, but apparently the land is owned by BNSF Railway and they are concerned over people using the trestle across the river upstream from the falls in order to access the trail system. We have been told that the property owners are vigorously enforcing this posting and WILL tow cars found to be parked there. Instead, these waterfalls must now be accessed from the official entrance to the Pack Forest off of Highway 7. We have not yet attempted to access the trail system via this method, but it looks to be about 3 miles from the entrance to the forest to the Falls Trail trailhead (whether the road can be driven or must be walked or biked, we do not know). From the trailhead, the trail takes off along an old two-track heading into a grassy fields After following the trail for about 1/3 of a mile, take the right fork at the first junction, and then the first left thereafter. The trail steepens at this point, and splits again - the right fork leading to the top of the falls and the left to the bottom. Total distance is about Â¾ of a mile from the road. Option 2 is to take a hard right on a trail that drops from the railroad tracks right down to the river, then follow the riverbed downstream to Tom Tom Falls, and climb down the cliff next to the falls and pick up the trail and head downstream from there. This cuts about Â½ a mile of walking off of the trip, and ads a little more fun, in my opinion, but is not something that should be attempted for parties with children or frail adults (or when the rocks are wet for that matter).
Difficulty rating: 2.5 (1 is easiest, 5 is most difficult)
Miles round-trip: 7.5
Total Ascent: 1300ft
Highest Point: 1728ft
Total Distance: 7.5 miles
Location: N 46°[masked], W 122°[masked]
Required Permit: None
This meetup will last approximately 5 hours
Best time of year: Year-round
There are many trails branching off the main trail, please be prepared to hike with the group so we don't get separated! Though short and fairly easy it is also easy to get lost on these trails!!
Directions from Olympia if you want to meet at start of trail. Note we will not be meeting at trail head but at 2nd parking lot of Pack Forest.
To get there, from Olympia head towards State Route 7 to the University of Washington Pack Forest, on the left. Go through first parking lot at entrance and park up in second lot just before road is chained off.