Friday, May 21, 2010
It's taken me awhile to finally post this!
A week and a half ago, Chris drug me and the kids out of the house on a little walk at Moulton Falls. This was kind of rare, normally I'm the one rarin' to go on the hikes, dragging Chris out. I'll admit I was a little cranky with it all, too, but it turned out to be a great little walk and we found Yacolt Falls, which surprised us. Thanks babe!
Moulton Falls is just past Lucia Falls, another few miles. There's actually a trail connecting the two; we really want to do that one, and now that we've been there and seen the trail, I think it'll be possible, with the jogging stroller.
The actual waterfall itself is right next to the parking lot. You just go down a little flight of steps, and boom! there you are.
The actual trail starts on the opposite side of the parking lot; you walk across a little bridge running parallel to the road. This bridge crosses where the Yacolt River is dumping into the East Fork of the Lewis River.
Isaac was afraid to ride his bike across the bridge! Chris had been here before, on a mountain bike ride with a friend, so he knew the trail was going to be bike-friendly. Right across the bridge there were the cleanest restrooms I have ever seen in a county park--maybe b/c peak season hasn't picked up too much, but I was impressed!
The trail was very wide, made of compacted gravel, definitely no crazy hiking or anything. It slopes up and around, to a high bridge. The hill wasn't steep at all though, both boys made it up on their bikes without a problem.
And then it was pretty much a flat walk along the river.
This little wet hillside...
We made it back to the car, slowly. There are tons of other trails linking to this one, some just small little jaunts down to the river and picnic spots, some connecting into extensive trail networks (Bells Mountain and then tons of hikes on Silver Star Mountain--there are sooooo many of these that Chris and I want to do. It will be fun as the kids get older exploring this area and becoming more familiar with it. I totally take for granted that I have all of this practically right out of my door).
When we got back to the little bridge right by the parking lot, we noticed a trailhead immediately across the road. I asked Chris if he knew what it was; he didn't, and suggested we check it out. I hesitated, mainly b/c I'd carried Isaac for about half a mile, but we decided to go for it.
This trail was much more narrow, the kind of trail I grew up on, backpacking with my parents. However...Danny and Isaac absolutely loved it! They tore down this trail at a speed that I had to walk fast to keep up! They'd both been dawdling along the other nice trail, Isaac ended up being carried--but no sir, not on this side. And we were rewarded with beautiful little Yacolt Falls. We had been about to turn around, Chris went just a bit further and heard the roar of water...so of course we kept going.
There was a fun little steel bridge to cross (well, Isaac didn't think it was fun, though Chris did coax him across on the way out). Apparently it's a drawbridge, I have no idea why.
There's actually two falls, split by the rocks--the one on the right is a little obscured by the maple tree, but it's the best I could do. You can hardly see Chris in this picture, he blends in nicely to the rocks!
Everything Chris and I found online totally downplayed Yacolt Falls. We had no idea what it was when we found it: the only sign was one with Clark County park rules, nothing telling the name of the river or falls. However, we were all far more impressed with Yacolt Falls than with Moulton Falls! It is peak waterfall season right now, especially with all the rain we've had, so I guess it could be flowing a lot heavier than normal. We dug it though :)