Hike Distance: 9.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 1146 feet
Today was the warmest day of the year, reaching 70 deg. in Vancouver, WA., and with a clear blue sky! I wanted to visit some waterfalls and also get some view of any volcanoe, so I headed out to do this nice loop. Since I started this loop on the closed logging road there were no people to be seen for half the hike. I also saw two deer along this section of the hike. Once I joined up with the Bells Mt. trail there were plenty more hikers, as was expected on this perfect weather day. The Lewis River was raging and all the water features were enjoyed along the Murphy Grade section of the trail. I was also fortunate to have met, and stopped to talk with, many very nice hikers on the back end of this loop. It was a bit too crowded for me in the area of the high bridge to the parking area along Lucia Falls Rd. so I tried not to linger here beyond taking some pictures. An absolutely fantastic day to get out and enjoy nature!