Lewis River Falls

Sorry for the late-week post! I have been a total slacker this week. This post is actually from last weekend… this weekend my Dad visited from Michigan and we backpacked the Green Lakes area in Central Oregon, blog post on that coming in the next couple of days.


Last weekend, we did something a little different from our usual hikes and backpacks. We had another heat wave move through the area, and something about a steep, sweaty, dusty trail on a 98 degree day did not sound awesome.  Instead of torturing ourselves, we decided to spoil ourselves a little and headed out to the Lewis River Falls area in Washington. What started out as my idea of finding a good waterfall/swimming hole and parking ourselves for the day with some beer did actually end up turning into a 5 or 6 mile hikey-walk. Ah well, at least I felt less guilty that way. 🙂


It was, as we expected, an extremely hot and sunny day. The bright sunshine made it difficult to take photos of the falls, and for some reason I was feeling uninspired that day (photographically speaking). So, I’m not super proud of these photos, but wanted to share anyway!


We hit the stretch of river that includes Lower, Middle, and Upper Lewis River Falls. We started at Lower Falls, which is very close to the parking area and campground, so naturally it was also the most crowded area. We took a little scramble trail down to the water and proceeded to wade out to the waterfall, which was quite enjoyable. The water was moving pretty quick, but it only was only knee-deep in most places and the rocks weren’t too slippery. I did get off to a rough start though… I slipped and slid down part of the scramble trail on my butt, then one of my flip-flops came off in the water and got swept away by the river (dammit!), and finally I lost my balance for just long enough to dunk my camera (which was hanging around my neck) in the water for a second. After a brief heart attack, I checked the camera and it was fine. 🙂 After my klutzy start to the day, it was smooth sailing.



Wading up the river to the Lower Falls



Playing a little tug



Slowly but surely making my way with one shoe







There were lots of kids cliff-jumping from the top of the falls down into the river (which was maybe about 40 feet?). It looked like a lot of fun, but I’m way too chicken to try it myself.



You can see the kid who just jumped toward the top



Getting ready to hit the ice cold water


We hung out at the larger swimming area for a little while, cracked open a beer and enjoyed the sunshine a bit.



Buckley taking a swim



Oh yeah, there was a rope swing tied to that big log teetering on the edge too (that the little girl is hanging on to). Looks totally safe and stable huh?


We headed another mile and a half up the trail to Middle Falls, slightly smaller waterfall but with less people. We cracked another beer here 🙂 and played a little fetch with Buckles.






Buckley needed a little help climbing up on the slippery rocks 🙂



Waiting until the stick got close enough to the edge that he wouldn’t have to jump in… cheater!








Our last stop was another mile up the trail to Upper Falls. By the time we got there it was 5pm or so; most people on the trail seemed to be on their way out, so we had this place to ourselves! Most of it was in shadows by that point though, so a bit cold for swimming (well, for us anyway… not for Buckley). We cracked our final beers and hung out for a while.






Endless games of fetch!






Just to show scale (you can see Paul and Buckley off to the left)



I believe these are Red Willowherb but am not certain… it was the closest match I could find but still not exact…



Almost naptime


We headed back out on the trail around 6pm or so and headed back to the car. It was a quick walk back as the trail is relatively flat the entire way.






Having a little trouble identifying these as well, but I think they may be Three-Nerved Daisy



Looking down at the river as the sun was going down… beautiful.



The last stretch of trail on the way out


Overall this was a great way to spend a really hot weekend, if you don’t mind the crowds and slow-movers on the trail. We’ll be back!

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