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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Panther Creek Falls, WA

12 3 0
Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List WA > Volcano
5 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.22 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,806 feet
Elevation Gain -160 feet
Accumulated Gain 160 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 30 mins
Kokopelli Seeds 1.02
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
7  2018-06-02 Lucyan
5  2014-03-26 keepmoving
Author keepmoving
author avatar Guides 34
Routes 206
Photos 1,847
Trips 517 map ( 3,846 miles )
Age 33 Male Gender
Location Portland, OR
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Sep, May, Jul → Any
Seasons   Late Winter
Sun  5:54am - 6:05pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Too beautiful for words
by keepmoving

Likely In-Season!
This is a super short and easy hike to an out of the way waterfall in Southern Washington. Although the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge appears to have been crowned champion of waterfalls for the Portland/Vancouver area, this hike is definitely worth going out of the way to visit.

The trail itself is not readily visible from the gravel parking lot. Begin by walking west along the road about 100 yards and look for a small well worn path that will descend from the north side of the road towards the creek. There is a small sign posted in the trees, but it is very hard to spot.

The trail drops quickly as it switchbacks down towards the creek. You will most likely hear the waterfall before it comes into view. Within minutes you should arrive at the viewing platform above the waterfall. Make sure you keep any children or pets within arms reach- you don't want them to wander past the guard rails and into the rushing creek.

If you are the adventurous type, there are several use paths that descend to the area below the falls. However, the paths are extremely steep and very slippery. The path that I followed to the bottom of the falls used a rock wall to descend 15 feet and was very slick and could have resulted in a pretty nasty fall. There is no cell service in this area to call for help and the falls don't see many visitors. Use at your own risk.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2014-04-28 keepmoving
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Panther Creek Falls
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Rappelled off a tree between the creek split and the main section of the falls. Very fun drop, little awkward actually getting on rope on the slippery/muddy edge of the falls, but otherwise everything went really smoothly. The free hanging section is super fun- with water raining down from the creek above. Definitely worth doing again.

    There were a couple other hikers present that had flagged me down on the drive in and asked for directions- so I escorted them to the falls. One of the guys took shots of me descending the falls, I gave him my contact info and am still waiting on him to send me the photos.

    Afterwards I went hunting for Chanterelles, I drove up Forest Rd 65 and looped back to the highway along FR60. Stopped about a dozen times and only had luck on my very last stop as the sun was beginning to set. I think its still a bit too early in the season.
    Panther Creek Falls
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    While exploring southern Washington with my girlfriend and her dog, we decided to hit up Panther Creek Falls. Its much more remote than most of the falls in the Columbia River Gorge and makes a good alternative for a weekend.

    After visiting the falls, we decided to keep heading up the forest road towards "Trout Lake". We didn't know anything about it, but the name sounded amazing! It had been a warm overcast day, and the road gave no indication of what we would soon find ahead. Within 2 miles we found ourselves moving through small patches of snow and ice. Then, quite unexpectedly as we decided it was probably time to turn around, we encountered a much larger drift of snow and got the truck stuck. We put on tire chains and spent hours trying to dig it, but it refused to budge. With no cell service and a ham radio that decided to malfunction at the worst possible time, we decided it was time to bundled up for the night inside the truck and waited for morning to keep digging it out.

    Unfortunately the next morning we awoke to another 6 inches of fresh snow on the ground. Our plans to continue digging the truck out were quickly put to bed and we decided our only choice was to hike back to civilization. We donned our snow gear and packs and headed out. If not for being tired and cold from sleeping in the cramped truck overnight, it was a rather peaceful hike out. All the trees were covered in fresh powder and there were animal tracks all over the ground.

    We hiked out a couple miles as the snow level dropped quickly until we ran into a couple that was trying to drive their car up the road. We explained our situation and told them how deep the snow was and they promptly offered us a ride and drove us back to Stevenson WA, where we were able to have a buddy from Portland drive out and pick us up.

    It continued to snow heavily for the next week in the forest above panther creek falls. I spent most of my time at work scouring the radar maps and watching the snow accumulate in the area my truck was at. I contacted local tow companies (all that said they would be unable to get to it) and even tried to hire a guy who was selling a pickup truck on Craigslist with a plow attached to the front to retrieve it with us. We made 1 failed attempt to retrieve the truck before the snow finally melted enough for us to grab it 2 weeks later.

    Moral of the story- always be prepared!

    Permit $$

    Gifford Pinchot Forest
    more info

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Stevenson Washington, follow HWY 14 east for 8.8 miles. Turn left on Wind River Hwy, towards Carson Washington, and drive another 8 miles to Panther Creek Road. There is a small brown forest service sign on the right side of the road that points out the turn. You will turn right here (technically onto "Old State Road") then make an immediate left onto Panther Creek road. Follow Panther Creek road as it winds its way into the forest for 7.9 miles. The trailhead is marked by a very large unsigned parking pullout on the right side of the road at the base of some volcanic rock.
    page created by keepmoving on Apr 28 2014 3:24 am
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