While we lived in Washougal, our favorite hike nearby was Beacon Rock - the core of a dead volcano that was ~20 minutes from us. We loved that hike because it was close, had great views and a good work out during the week. So naturally when we moved, I set out to find our next family hiking area.
Wallace Falls has some of the best reviews for hikes in our county so I set it aside and waited for a good weekend to come up for us to venture out. We were a little worried at first because we heard that it might still have some snow - so we bundled everyone up.
Once we arrived we found the parking lot FULL of hiking groups - at least 2 large groups of high schoolers, several families and couples. So we knew that the terrain wouldn't be too bad.
The entire hike is 11 miles round trip with 1,200 ft in elevation gain to visit the lower and upper falls, but we decided only to make it up to the lower falls. which made it about a 5 mile round trip. We definitely could have made it all the way but wanted to have some relaxing time when we got home.
A few minutes into the hike we realized that this would be our new family hike that we could hit several times during the month. It starts along a power line trail and gently amps up the incline over a mile or so. You hike along a river and through misty old growth. Even though it was a busy day with lots of hikers and dogs, the sounds of the forest weren't overpowered. The river, birds and occasional small woodland creature could be heard scurrying through the pine needles.
Oh, and Squirt accompanied us as well. Several times throughout the hike we stopped at a spring or along the river to let him have a drink. His response? Running full force into the water.. and I was reminded that in his heart he is a river dog. We used to go to the river by our old house almost every afternoon, and he loved diving for rocks.
BTW: Our two favorite outdoor accessories: the Ergo carrier and our Keen shoes. I've had a pair of Keen sandals that I've worn for the last 5+ years, and this winter I scored these sweet Hoodoo boots on sale. They're supposed to be primarily for the snow, but worked perfectly for our muddy hike. No break in period either. *Love*
|Is there anything hotter than a babywearin' daddy?? // New Keen boots!|