This week, my hiking friend and I were joined by my niece and her two children. We decided to return to a place where we had hiked before, the Tarbell trailhead (before I started this blog, so that hike isn’t on it). The trailhead forks into two directions. The first time, we went towards Rock Creek Campground. This time, we decided to go toward Hidden Falls.
This is a long hike, rated moderate on AllTrails. We only went about two miles toward the falls and two miles back. Still, it is a beautiful hike, well up off the floor of Dole Valley, so that you can see really nice views.
Hidden Falls via Tarbell Trail
Yacolt Burn State Forest, Yacolt, Washington
Panting stops: 3 or 4
Distance: 10.9 miles
Elevation changes: 1617 feet
We went up on a coolish but sunny day. The trailhead takes you to a fork, where you can go left for Hidden Falls or right toward Rock Creek Campground. We went left this time. The trail alternates between going through forest or through logged areas, some that have begun to grow back and some that are new. So, if it is sunny bring your hat. I kept taking mine off and putting it back on. We felt that it was unfortunate that they had logged right up to the path, but on the other hand, those areas were the ones most open to views.
Most of the trail on the way out is uphill, but not at a steep grade. Although the overall gain in elevation is quite a bit, it’s a long trail. The path is a narrow dirt one, sometimes rocky and other times carpeted in needles from the firs. We saw lots of wild irises and Oregon grape and other wildflowers during this late spring hike. We also saw lots of little wild roses that were about to bloom. A bit past the one-mile marker, we came to a giant rock, which the kids had fun climbing.
This hike was rated Moderate on AllTrails. So far, I have stayed away from Moderate hikes, as I sometimes have difficulty with Easy ones. I would agree on this rating just based on the length of the hike, if you want to go all the way, and the ultimate elevation change. That being said, since we took a shorter hike, I would rate it no harder than Middling. Of course, I can’t say whether the hike gets more difficult on the part we didn’t try.
This was one of the prettiest hikes we have taken right in our local area. We had a good time. Hiking on a weekday, we only met one other person on the trail.
How to get there
From Yacolt, Washington
Take N Railroad Avenue south out of Yacolt. Turn left on NE Sunset Falls Road just before Railroad Avenue turns right and becomes Lucia Falls Road. After two miles, turn right on NE Dole Valley Road. Take Dole Valley Road out about 2.5 miles. Make a left onto the L-1100, which is a forest road. After 2.2 miles, a road off to your right takes you to the trailhead, which is right around the corner.
From Vancouver, Washington
Take WA 503 north past Battle Ground for almost six miles. Turn right on NE Rock Creek Road, which becomes NE Lucia Falls Road. Lucia Falls Road ends where it turns north and becomes N Railroad Avenue. Turn onto N Railroad Avenue and almost immediately after, turn right on NE Sunset Falls Road. After two miles, turn right on NE Dole Valley Road about 2.5 miles. Make a left onto the L-1100, which is a forest road. After 2.2 miles, a road off to your right takes you to the trailhead, which is right around the corner.
Parking and Amenities
The parking lot for the trailhead has room for about five or six cars. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead, a picnic table, and a pump. On the path up to the trail, there are several secluded areas with more picnic tables. The path is for hikers, bikers, and horses. No motorized vehicles are allowed, but dogs are, on a leash.