This is actually a question I have had asked me when I’ve been hiking in Moulton Falls Regional Park. Because it is near to my house, I had visited the park many times before I realized that I hadn’t seen any falls. If you look at the map of the park, you can see that they consider the smallish cataracts near the main entrance to the park to be falls, but to my mind they are not. So, it was with surprise that I found, when I went hiking with a different person, that there actually are some real falls in the park, Yacolt Falls.
This hike isn’t really very long. In fact, I don’t have anything but guesses as to how long it may be. However, it has some ups and downs in the form of stairs that you go down to view the falls and then go back up on the other side. These are old blocks of stone, and some of them are rather high, so if you hike with sticks, I suggest you bring them along.
Yacolt Falls Trail
Moulton Falls Regional Park near Yacolt, Washington
Panting stops: 0
Distance: 0.5 mile loop or shorter (this is just a guess)
Elevation changes: maybe 50 feet
This trail is one of several hikes in the large and pleasant Moulton Falls Regional Park. There are a couple of different ways to get to the trail. My instructions are from the upper parking lot of the main entrance to the park. You can also get there from the parking lot across the road from the intersection of Railroad Avenue with Sunset Falls Road.
From the upper lot, take the rightmost trail, the one that seems to lead back to the road. In fact it does. After a short descent, you end up at a crosswalk on Lucia Falls Road. Cross the road, being very careful, because even though the speed limit is slow there, many people speed through the area, and pick up the trail on the other side.
After a short walk down the dirt path, you will come to a set of stone steps leading down to a bridge at the base of the water fall. This looks like perhaps it is the oldest area of the park, as the stone steps are obviously old. Walk down the steps and cross the bridge for a beautiful view of the falls.
Walk back up the other side. From here until you cross to the other parking lot, the path is narrow and a little overgrown. It goes through an ancient picnic area and along a creek, and then back to the road at a different place. Cross back over the road and turn left to return to where you started. The path up to the parking area is to your left just after you cross the small bridge and pass the restrooms. Alternatively, you can explore the rest of Moulton Falls Park.
Again, this path is a little rougher because it is not used as often as the main part of the park. The stone staircase has steps with a higher rise than a regular staircase, and at one place where you are descending on the other side of the falls to the path, there is an extra long step where I definitely needed my sticks. The stairs and long steps are the only reason I rated this path “midding.” Otherwise, it is very short and easy.
How to get there
Drive south on NE Railroad Avenue. Just at the junction of Sunset Falls Road is the first parking lot for Moulton Falls Park on the right. The upper lot is just after Sunset Falls Road on the 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. The main parking lot for Moulton Falls is on the right shortly after you pass Lucia Falls. The upper lot is straight ahead at the point where the road curves 90 degrees to become NE Railroad Avenue.
Parking and Amenities
The upper parking lot has space for about a dozen to twenty cars. The part of the park by the falls has only a few old picnic tables. However, once you cross the road back to the main park, there are restrooms, picnic areas, and access points to the Lewis River.