"Lower Lewis River Falls - A True Hidden Gem" Top 5 Page for this destination Washington State Travelogue by mtncorg
Washington State Travel Guide: 7,419 reviews and 19,832 photos
I have already included the waterfalls of the Lewis River as an "Off-the-Beaten-Path" destination for Washington State. It is a long ways from anything, but there is a fine campground there with a good number of campsites - estimating 30. There are composting toilets, so they don't smell too bad; there are waterpumps and the campsites are set in a glorious grove of tall Douglas fir - cost is $14 per night for a site; no change so bring singles. You also have to have a parking pass for NW trails - these are $30 annual or $3 per day. You have to get these from one of the ranger stations on the way in, as there aren't any here. At night, from your sleeping bag, you can pick out the stars peaking through the trees. Always, you can hear the muffled roar of the Lower Falls. Don't worry too much if you are there on a summer weekend and have to get a campsite near the main road. There is not a lot of traffic - none at night - since the road really doesn't go anywhere for most people.
The falls are far enough off of main roads that you might want to and should chooose to spend the night here or at a nearby campground. As I wrote earlier, there are three main falls on the Lewis river: Lower, Middle and Upper. Other nice waterfalls, a few miles dodwnstream that you can check out on the same trip, include Big Creek Falls and Curly Creek Falls.
Lower is my favorite. After Labor Day, the campground empties out and you are alone, miles from anything, deep in the forest.
There is a very deep pool at the bottom of the falls, though you have to wade back to it from downstream, due to fairly steep canyon walls. The water is fairly brisk, even in the dog days of summer, as much of it comes off the glaciers of Mt Adams, a few miles to the east.
There are many access points so that people can scamper about atop the falls. It goes without saying, one should be careful before trying a Niagara in a barrel idea.
You can take your Crazy Creek folding chair at sit out atop the falls, watching the waters roar and drip. The warm summer sun will let you dream.
Above the falls, still adjacent to the campground, one finds quieter waters for wading, exploring or swimming. The river spreads out and is very flat directly behind the falls and though possible, going over the waterfall itself is more of a dange when exploring the falls itself. Of course, in early summer, spring or winter, the water volume increases very dramatically, though you are probably not thinking about how nice it would be to wade in the waters during those seasons.
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