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Lower Falls Creek Trail

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One-hundred-foot Upper Falls may be this hike's key attraction, but it's by no means the only one. The thick forest along the lower half of the trail shelters plump huckleberries in the autumn and clumps of beargrass in the early summer.

The waterfall comes into view about 2 miles into the hike, and you find a wide, deep pool of crystal-clear water just above the falls. Local populations of white-tailed deer and elk frequent this 50-foot-wide pool, and there is a beaver den along the shore-don't be surprised if the big wood eaters make themselves scarce, but you might hear them slipping into the water and signaling their family with a loud ker-splashing slap of the tail. Lounge around the pool, admire the thundering falls, and explore the surrounding area before returning the way you came.

Stay right to follow the Lower Falls Creek Trail to the south as it rolls gently along a previously logged slope-the logging scars are well covered by regrowth. The trail stays to the south side of the creek, reaching a second trailhead in about 0.5 mile. Keep moving up this trail, and in a mile or so you'll cross the creek and then keep moving up the north bank of the creek.

The falls at trail's end are well worth the 4 miles (round trip) of modest forest walking.
Driving Directions:

From Carson, drive 15 miles north on Wind River Road (County Road 30) to its junction with Forest Road 3062. Turn right (east), and drive 1.8 miles to the trailhead.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 19 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Lower Falls Creek Trail — Apr 11, 2013 — Bob and Barb
Day hike
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There is a new and very large graveled parking area for Trail 152 and 152A. FS 3062 now ends at the ...
There is a new and very large graveled parking area for Trail 152 and 152A. FS 3062 now ends at the Lower Falls TH parking lot. The road to the former Upper Trail has been blocked off. The trail to the lower falls viewpoint is clear and in excellent condition. Falls Creek was flowing strong and the falls were SPECTACULAR as always! This is an easy 4 mile RT hike and a highly recommended hike for all ages!!!! This can be a very popular hike, but today we saw only one couple and a grandma with her 2 adult granddaughters. From Carson, drive 15 miles north on Wind River Road (County Road 30) to its junction with Forest Road 3062. Turn right (east), and drive 1.8 miles to the TH. There is a restroom and picnic table at the TH.
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Lower Falls Creek Trail — Jul 13, 2012 — Bob and Barb
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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We had hiked this trail on 6-29-12 and returned today to see the progression of the candy stick plan...
We had hiked this trail on 6-29-12 and returned today to see the progression of the candy stick plants which had just started their bloom on the 29th. Today some were past their prime, but a few were still pretty. We also found some fringed pinesap and one gnome plant in the same area. The main attraction, however, is still Falls Creek Falls one of the most beautiful falls we have seen! We would give it a 5 star plus rating! Its three tiers total 250 feet, but because of the angle of the falls one cannot view all three tiers together.
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Lower Falls Creek Trail — Jun 29, 2012 — Bob and Barb
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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According to the sign at the TH it is 2.2 miles to the falls. The new toilet has been installed sinc...
According to the sign at the TH it is 2.2 miles to the falls. The new toilet has been installed since we were there last July. It appears the forest service is going to enlarge the parking area as many trees have been cleared. The trail was in excellent condition and the falls were beautiful as always! There were only 2 cars at the TH on our arrival which made for solitude compared to the week-end and holiday crowds! There were few blooming flowers, but we did find candy stick in the same area we saw them last year. Most were in the early stage of bloom.
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Lower Falls Creek Trail — May 27, 2012 — Pushingtin
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Water on trail
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The Wather was beautiful and the trail was clean and very managable. Went with a group of about 12 p...
The Wather was beautiful and the trail was clean and very managable. Went with a group of about 12 people including several small children. The first 2 mile leg to the Falls was perfect for everyone. Plenty of water, Lots of green foliage to see. trail can get busy and is a tight squeaze in a few spots, but overall was wonderful. There is only one spot the trail is water covered about a mile and half in, but less than ankle deep of crystal clean spring run off.
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Lower Falls Creek Trail — Apr 18, 2012 — Tomas
Day hike
Issues: Water on trail | Snow on trail
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Work was taking me down south, decided to stop & take a drive up the gorge in search of a hike. Had...
Work was taking me down south, decided to stop & take a drive up the gorge in search of a hike. Had a few options, chose this one due to so so weather. To get to this trail, take left off of Highway 14 onto Wind River Road (signed to Carson) and thru the town of Carson. About 15 miles to past Carson Fish Hatchery & road forks. Go right to stay on Wind River Road which is also County Road 30. Turn right on FR 3062. There was a little snow at the turnoff from earlier plowing but no snow the rest of the way to the trailhead. Go right again for Lower Falls trail (Upper Falls trail is to the left). Only one other vehicle at trailhead.

Hike to falls is about 1.7 miles. There is a nice suspension bridge not too far in. Only patches of snow on the trail were in this area, but very small. Also only about 2 blowdowns; easily crossed. The trail goes along & above Falls Creek most of the way. Falls Creek is a torrent right now. I later passed 2 ladies coming down & they gave Falls Creek Falls a 5-star rating. Soon after I passed a trail junction to the Upper Trail. Not too far before the end there is a steel bridge back over Falls Creek. The falls are reached soon after. 100 foot high falls very impressive! This site had them on a best waterfall hikes a while back. On way back I hiked the connecting trail to the upper trail for a bit more workout. It is short but steep. I did not hike the Upper trail but returned back to the lower trail. No wildlife seen but I heard some pikas in a rocky crossing.

Good hike to check out if down in Columbia Gorge area.
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Falls Creek Falls by John Hultquist.jpg
Photo by John Hultquist.
Location
Lower Falls Creek (#152.1)
South Cascades -- Columbia Gorge
Statistics
Roundtrip 5.0 miles
Elevation Gain 800 ft
Highest Point 2200 ft
Features
Rivers
Waterfalls
Old growth
User info
Good for kids
Guidebooks & Maps
South Cascades
Green Trails No. 397 Wind River

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