A hidden forest

Whipple Creek Park is surprisingly near the suburban Salmon Creek area of Vancouver, but you would never know it once you step into the beautiful mixed forest of cedar, big leaf maple, and fir. The park offers 4.3 miles of trails. The well-kept gravel trails are open all year to all users—hikers, mountain bikers, and horses—and the primitive dirt trails are open during the summer to all users and the rest of the year to hikers only. Dogs are allowed on leash.

Whipple Creek Park Loop Trail

Some of the riders we encountered on the trail.

Rating: Middling, generally easy but with some short steep sections

Panting stops: 2-3

Distance: 2.1 miles

Elevation changes: 190 feet

The park loop trail presents a series of loops through a lovely forest that skirts a deep valley down to the creek. There are three entrances to the park. We came in at the north side, where there is parking for cars and horse trailers and a mounting block for riders.

My great niece and nephew try out a tree.

The trail is well marked with maps at each junction. We took the North-South trail to North Ridge Way, around the Cedar Loop. At Carousel Hill, we cut down to the South Ridge Loop and came back on the North-South trail. We did not walk the Stone Mill Loop, because on the hot day we were there, it started to get very muggy.

During the hike, we had a nice time identifying plants and encountered several parties of horses, as well as two of bikers and two of other hikers with dogs on leashes. Most of the time we were alone on the trail.

How to get there

Whipple Creek Regional Park, Ridgefield, Washington

From Vancouver

From I-5, take the exit for Clark County Event Center at NE 179th Street. Go west on 179th St. to 21st Avenue, where you will see a sign for the park, and turn left. The road dead-ends at the park.

From Battle Ground

Take Washington 502 west to NE 10th Avenue. Turn left. Drive down to NE 179th Street. Go west on 179th St. to 21st Avenue, where you will see a sign for the park, and turn left. The road dead-ends at the park.

Parking and facilities

At the north parking lot, there is parking for about 10 cars and five or six horse trailers. There were four trailers there when we arrived. There is a porta-potty at that entrance as well as mounting blocks for the riders.

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