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Whipple Creek Park

Southwest Washington > Vancouver Area
45.7451, -122.6950 Map & Directions
Length
3.1 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
110 feet
Highest Point
200 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy
The tall Douglas firs at Whipple Creek are reminiscent of the Cascade foothills. Photo by Ryan Ojerio. Full-size image
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids
  • Fall foliage

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

A deep-forest experience without the drive. Whipple Creek Park is a 300-acre green oasis in the midst of farmlands to the west of the Clark County Fairgrounds. This hike loops through colossal Douglas fir trees and waist-high sword ferns to provide a primordial experience where you are dwarfed by nature. There is a small meadow for a picnic and the remnants of a grist mill to explore. This hike is a great way to escape urban life and be immersed in a peaceful forest environment. Continue reading

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Hiking Whipple Creek Park

A deep-forest experience without the drive. Whipple Creek Park is a 300-acre green oasis in the midst of farmlands to the west of the Clark County Fairgrounds. This hike loops through colossal Douglas fir trees and waist-high sword ferns to provide a primordial experience where you are dwarfed by nature. There is a small meadow for a picnic and the remnants of a grist mill to explore. This hike is a great way to escape urban life and be immersed in a peaceful forest environment.

Whipple Creek Park has over four miles of mixed-use trails. This hike combines the South Ridge and Grist Mill Loops to provide variety and capture the highlights of the park. The park is heavily forested with a labyrinth of trails, both marked and unmarked. To avoid getting turned around, download a copy of the park map from the Vancouver Clark Parks & Recreation website and take a copy of this guide with you.

The trailhead is on NW 31st Avenue. Park at the paved area near a raspberry field, and then walk down the road 200 yards to the trailhead marker and a white gate. Go around the gate and continue down the road to where the trail takes off to the left into woods with grand fir, cedar, big-leaf maple and Douglas fir.

Just after starting downhill on the trail, you will come to a junction. Stay to the right and continue downhill. At the bottom of the hill, you will come to a junction with a bridge off to the right. Go right, cross the bridge, and go uphill to the junction with the South Ridge Loop.

At the junction, go right and continue your trek uphill. Shortly after reaching the top, you will be rewarded by a pretty little meadow with a picnic table. After enjoying the meadow, follow the trail to reenter the woods. You will soon come to a junction with the trail on the left heading uphill. Take the trail to the right and start downhill. The woods open up here, providing nice views to the right.

When you come to the next junction, go to the right and in 30 yards go to the right again to connect with the Grist Mill Loop. Follow the trail downhill to Whipple Creek. When you get to the bottom of the hill, go left and cross the creek. The stone remains of the grist mill will be on your left.

After checking out the grist mill, start uphill. When you come to an unmarked trail off to the right, stay left and continue on the main trail. The trail passes through woods with alder trees, and then turns to the left to parallel a barbed wire fence with farmland to the right.

You will come to a junction in about 60 yards after reentering the woods. Go to the left. At the next junction, go right and in about 20 yards go right again to rejoin the South Ridge Loop.

Go uphill until you come to a junction. Take the trail to the left to stay on the South Ridge Loop. At the next junction, take the trail to the right and follow it until it intersects the trail you came in on. Turn right, cross the bridge, and turn left at the trail junction. Go up a short heart-thumping hill. When you get to the junction at the top, go left to return to your car.

NOTE: This is a deep-woods experience where the trails can be muddy. Wear shoes you don’t mind getting dirty, pack some precautionary insect repellent, and bring your childhood sense of adventure.

WTA worked here in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013!

Hike Description Written by
Patricia Coulthard, WTA Correspondent

Whipple Creek Park

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 45.7451, -122.6950 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Whipple Creek Park is in Ridgefield, WA just west of the Clark County Fairgrounds and north of Vancouver. From downtown Vancouver take I-5 North to exit 9 and follow 179th Street west for about 2 miles. Turn left (south) on NW 31st Avenue. Go about 0.2 miles to a paved parking area.

(Note: there are three other places you can access the park including the large parking area of of NW 21st Ave. on the north end of the park), where there is parking for about 40 cars, but be mindful that horse trailers can park here, which could quickly diminish available parking.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Southwest Washington > Vancouver Area

Vancouver-Clark County Parks

Guidebooks & Maps

Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation Whipple Creek Park Trail (online)

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Whipple Creek Park

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