Falls Creek Falls
Central Gorge, Washington
Autumnal shot of Falls Creek Falls. (photographer: Cate Hotchkiss)
Hike Details
Out and back
3.4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:
750 feet
Trail Features
Family Friendly:
Trailhead Pass:
Trail Details

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On the Trail

This easy, 3.4-mile, out-and-back hike along beautiful Falls Creek leads to one of southern Washington’s highest waterfalls, 335-foot Falls Creek Falls. The hike gains 750 feet in elevation.

Permits & Pets

This area is in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. No permits are required. Dogs can be off leash.

Trail Notes

  • From the trailhead, Trail 152A follows Falls Creek 1.7 miles to the waterfall. Along the way, a cable suspension bridge spans a rock gorge, giving spectacular views of the creek’s whitewater. Continue uphill, crossing a creek to the base of the waterfall. It drops in three tiers: a 109-foot fan, then a 135-foot drop across several segments, which come together for a final 91-foot drop into a narrow amphitheater gorge. At high-water levels, prepare to get sprayed at the base of the falls.
  • Return via the same route.
  • Please always stay on the trail and clean your boots before and after you hike. Hikers and their dogs are common vectors for spreading invasive seeds.
  • A restroom is at the trailhead.

Post-Hike Explorations

At the Government Mineral Springs Road fork you passed on the way in, turn onto this road to explore a grove of old-growth cedar and Douglas fir, a mineral spring, and a historical recreation site. From 1910 until it burned down in 1935, a large hotel stood here, where people drank the mineral water. Nearby, a one-way loop road encircles a former campground in a beautiful grove of old-growth trees. The campground operated from the early 1900s to the 1970s.

In 1937, the Civilian Conservation Corps built a guard station cabin here at the campground. It has been renovated and can be rented out at recreation.gov. If a vehicle is parked near the cabin, someone has rented it for the evening; do not explore immediately around it.

In the 1970s, after several trees fell, the campground was closed, and moved to an area just beyond the old-growth grove. The pump to “Iron Mike,” the mineral springs, is near the new campground. It’s a soda springs, with a large amount of dissolved sodium salts, mostly sodium bicarbonate. It’s naturally CO2-charged. Drinkable, yes; palatable, no.

The return drive back down Wind River Road passes Carson’s only brewpub.

Other Hikes Near This Trailhead

Panther Creek Falls

Directions & Travel Tips

From SR 14 at the Bridge of the Gods (tolls are required on the bridge), drive 5.9 miles east on SR 14 to Wind River Road. Turn left; in 8.5 miles pass through the community of Stabler. Drive another 5.7 miles and come to a Y intersection; Government Mineral Springs Road is the left fork. Take the right fork, Wind River Road/NF 30, drive 0.7 mile to NF 3062, and turn right.

The route from the start of NF 3062 to the trailhead is 2.4 miles, as follows: On 3062, keep left on 3062 where NF 055 comes in on the right; keep left on 3062 where NF 056 comes in on the right. In another 0.9 mile, turn right on FR 057, which leads to the trailhead parking area.

Note: The road to the trailhead is gated December 1 to March 31 at a point 2 miles before the parking area. During those months, park near the gate and walk the road 2 miles, adding a total of 4 miles to the hike.