Photography by Noel Johnson - Click to enlarge.
If you would like to go for a day trip that you will never forget, try this one. From Woodland, Washington (I-5 exit 21), drive east on 503. You will pass by the three dams on the North Fork Lewis river. First is Merwin. There is a nice park here if you want to take a little rest stop and view Lake Merwin. Driving on up the highway you will have access to beautiful view points suitable for taking pictures or just looking out at the amazing scenery. The next reservoir is Yale. Keep on driving and you will come to Swift Dam and reservoir. On the Eastern end of Swift you arrive at Eagle Cliff Park and cross over the river. From here on up the river is unaffected by any dams and is free flowing all the way to Mt. Adams. It is 60 miles from Woodland to the Lower Lewis River Falls.
In some places, from Eagle Cliff Park to the Lower Lewis River Falls, (about 14 miles) the road is a little rough where land slides have been repaired. Nothing to worry about. For most of the way it is a nice black top road. You will see a sign for the Lower Lewis River Falls. Drive in and park your car. It is just a short walk to the viewing area for the falls. You can then take the short path right down to the falls. You won't be disappointed. Be sure and remember your camera.
A little less than a mile further up the road and you come to the Middle Falls. The trail down to this falls is steeper and not for everyone. It is worth the walk and not very difficult for a person that hikes.
The next falls is the Upper Lewis River Falls. It is difficult to find the trail down to the Upper Falls from Forest Road # 90. It is one and seven tenths miles from the Lower Falls. The trail starts just before you drive over the Quartz Creek Bridge.
Big Creek Falls viewing area is easy to get to. From Eagle Cliff bridge, on Forest Road 90, it is 6 1/2 miles to Big Creek parking area. There is a 500 foot trail leading to the viewpoint. The waterfall drops about 12o feet into the pool. The view from the viewpoint is great and good pictures can be taken from there. Even kids can get to the viewpoint. I climbed down to the bottom of the canyon to take more pictures. I even got behind the water falls. I would not recommend that you try that unless you're in real good shape and have someone with you. It is a long way from any help.
After viewing the Falls you can drive on all the way to Trout Lake and then come back to Woodland by driving south to the Columbia River Gorge. Then drive west on either side of the Columbia River to I-205 to I-5 and back to Woodland. There are still many more Falls in the area that we have to look forward to on another day.
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