In search of leaping salmon

The fall colors at Lucia Falls. You can see the falls in the right background.

One of my hiking friends suggested we go to Lucia Falls for our hike this week. I wouldn’t normally consider Lucia Falls for a hike, because the trail isn’t very long, but going to the park to do more than look at the falls showed me a few fine features of this beautiful regional park. The reason my friend wanted to go to Lucia is because she had seen people posting pictures of migrating salmon jumping up the falls just in the last few weeks. We didn’t see any fish, but we did get a better opportunity to explore the park.

Lucia Falls Trail

Difficulty: Easy peasy

Panting stops: 0

Distance: 0.5-1 mile loop (depending which source you look at), with options to go farther

Elevation changes: 16 feet

Lucia Falls

Lucia Falls is a pleasant little regional park wedged between NE Lucia Falls Road and the Lewis River. I have only ever walked down the path to the falls before, but this time we explored the park more thoroughly. It features a short loop with a few beautiful views of the river and the waterfall. It is more like a cataract, but if you’re lucky, you can see the salmon running. I saw a salmon my very first time at the park. The trail is a well-kept cinder or dirt path.

Rock formations along the Lewis River

The loop is straightforward to the east of the parking lot. However, once you walk back a way, there is an offshoot of the trail that allows you to walk a short distance down Hantwick Road and across the railroad tracks to the Hantwick trailhead of Moulton Falls Park. So, this trail can be a nice easy start, with beautiful views, of a much longer hike, if you wish.

You can add to your explorations of Lucia Falls Park itself if you take the other path from the west side of the parking lot. It takes you down along the river. It takes you to a point where you have a choice of two directions. If you go one way, you come out at another access to the main road. If you go the other way, you find a small viewing platform over the water with a picnic table.

How to get there

Lucia Falls Regional Park, Yacolt, Washington

From Yacolt

Drive south on NE Railroad Avenue. Just after the junction of Sunset Falls Road, the road curves ninety degrees and becomes NE Lucia Falls Road. Follow the road past the entrances to Moulton Park. About a mile down the road, you will come to NE Hantwick Road on your left. Just after Hantwick Road, you’ll see the park on your left.

From Battle Ground or Vancouver

Take Washington 503 to Rock Creek Road and turn right. Rock Creek Road becomes NE 152nd Avenue and then Lucia Falls Road. Lucia Falls is on your right a mile or so after the stop sign.

Parking and Amenities

Lucia Falls Park has a large parking lot with room for perhaps 20 or 30 cars. Restrooms are available in season and a porta-potty out of season. The park also has a few picnic tables.

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