With some health issues and bad weather can't believe it's taken until mid-April for our first hike of the year, but here we are. With a sunny forecast and the predicted first 70 degree day of the year for Vancouver/Portland, today was the day to get out and hike. We chose this hike because it's a pretty easy one (not much elevation gain) and figured to be pretty quiet this time of the year. Right on both counts. While there wasn't as much water as last June (after 20 straight days of rain), the falls were still impressive as normal. Mt. St. Helens looked great as well -- so much snow it looked like a big marshmallow! Definitely felt good to get out and hike again. With rain and 50 forecast for the work week, great to get out and enjoy the good weather.
After 20 straight days of rain, we were happy to take advantage of today's great weather to make trip to the Lewis River. With all the rain we thought we'd see some spectacular falls and we did! Arrived at the trailhead around 10 AM with only a couple cars in the day use area. As soon we stepped out of the car you could hear the roar of the falls. The first viewpoint we visited was covered in a cool mist from all the water coming off the falls. We had last visited last year in July and there was definitely a lot more water. Nothing like a great waterfall to start off the hike and get you energized! At the bridge between lower and middle falls there was work going on. There was a big pallet of supplies in the middle of the trail with a sign that said "bridge closed". Thinking we couldn't get through, we backtracked down the trail to a spot where it was close to the road and then headed up the road. At the spot where the trail to Wright Meadow crosses the road, we took that down to hook back up with the Lewis River trail. It looked like the bridge crew had used this trail to get a small tractor or ATV down to the work site. Back on the trail we made it to middle falls which was gushing as well. A short spur takes you right down to the water and boy was the water moving fast! A slip here and it's all over. We contined on upper falls. Again, a nice cool mist from the thundering falls. Just gorgeous. We continued on up to Taitnapum Falls where we had lunch. On the way back we stopped at the upper falls viewpoint at the top of the falls. Just a ton of water coming off the falls. On the way back to middle falls we finally saw other people -- couldn't believe we had the trail to ourselves up to that point. The nice couple we met told us that we could get past the work crew at the bridge. At middle falls we took the short trail up to Copper Creek falls - lots of water coming off it as well. We continued on the loop to hook back up with the Lewis River trail. Saw more people from here out. Met the work crew at the bridge. Chatted with one of the workers who was so nice. Took another look at the lower falls at the end of our hike, a little better now that sun was hiting it. Passed so many other falls along the hike today. Even had a nice shower or two in a coupe spots along the trail to cool us off. Had great views of Mt. St. Helens on the drive in and on the drive home. Just what the doctor ordered after 20 days of rain!
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.