The Lewis River Trail runs 5.9 miles along the Lewis River. At this point, I don’t have the stamina or strength to hike the whole thing, but it provides opportunities for quite a few gorgeous shorter hikes. Curly Creek Falls trail is an example. My family, including me and two children, hiked this trail on a hot summer day, but it was leafy and cool.
Curly Creek Falls Trail
Rating: easy peasy
Panting stops: 0
Length: 0.8 miles out and back
Elevation changes: 141 feet
We parked in a small lot before a bridge that looked like it was usually used by people fishing and walked across the footbridge to find the trail head on the left side, a continuation of Lewis River 31 that was on the other side of the road. The trail was in good shape, and it runs right along the river, affording some lovely views.
The payoff is the falls, which at that time of year are delicate looking but long. They are fairly far in the distance and were not that spectacular compared to some of the other falls in the area (you can barely see them in my photo), but earlier in the year, they are probably much more impressive, falling as they do through a stone arch. In any case, this hike provides a bit of exercise and a pleasant walk on a well-kept trail.
How to get there
Gifford Pinchot National Forest near Stevenson, Washington
From Portland or Vancouver
Take Washington 503 north past Cougar. It becomes Lewis River Road and then NF-90. Turn left on Lava Canyon Road, which is also NF-83. Turn left on NF-9039. Look for a small parking lot just before the bridge.
Park at the lot and take the footbridge across the creek. The trail head is on your left. Across the road is the trail head for Lewis River 31.