Moulton Falls Trail & Waterfalls Viewing Hike

Hike Distance: 7.9 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1802.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 562 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 232805 feet

For my last hike of November I decided that waterfalls were on the agenda.  My secondary objective was to reach 1800 miles for the year, so far.  I’m glad to say that both of my goals were reached and the hike was very fulfilling!

Rather than discussing the trail path I took, as it was contorted, I’ll delve into the major sights I visited.  I started by parking in the small lot located off of Lucia Falls Road.  The parking lot is within about 100 feet of Moulton Falls.  Moulton Falls looks more like rapids, but, the main drop is located in a slot which isn’t very visible from the location I was at.

After viewing Moulton Falls I took a small loop trail that provides spectacular views of the East Fork Lewis River and Yacolt Creek!  In the middle of this loop I visited Yacolt Creek Falls.  This falls is quite spectacular and can be seen from several viewpoints.  I took tons of pictures and some movies.  Sorry about not including movies but they take up a huge amount of space. 😦  The weather was very cloudy and on the cool side, but there was no rain.  The pictures I took reflected this mood.  The whole day it felt more like sunset was near and it was quite dark.

After completing this loop I headed out on a high bridge over the East Fork Lewis River and turned to try and get a view of Naked Falls.  I saw a small punch bowl falls but don’t think I got far enough upstream to see Naked Falls.  The pictures I took of the small punchbowl falls didn’t turn out well, as it was far away, so I didn’t include it in this trip report.

Once I was done with attempting to see Naked Falls I headed out west on the Moulton Trail.  I ended up hiking almost the entire 2.5 miles of this trail before turning around.  There were plenty of streams along the trail that I took pictures of.  All in all a very nice day.  It started raining very hard on my last 3/4 mile of hiking and my ride home was in a downpour.

Frenchmen’s Bar & Trail Hike

Hike Distance: 9.4 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1794.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 154 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 232243 feet

When I’m in the mood to stay close to home and see the Columbia River this is one of the places to go!  Such a beautiful day but with some nice breezes (if I recall correctly) that made it seam a bit cold.  There were some nice opportunities for pictures since I could see four volcanoes today; Mt. Rainier (just the tip), Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood!  There were also some beautiful high clouds, later in the day that made for nice photos!

I go here so much that it makes sense to skip to the highlights of the day.  I started the day by heading out on the Frenchmen’s Bar Trail toward Vancouver Lake.  I was so fortunate to meet a wonderful person named Pam!  We had such a nice conversation as we walked together for about 1.5 miles, until we reached her vehicle (which was actually my planned turnaround point).  I’m hoping we meet again some day and have a chance to talk again! 🙂

While heading back to Frenchmen’s Bar I tried taking a route along the beach to get back to the park.  The access to the beach is at Blurock Landing, and there is a parking lot there.  Not surprisingly, the Columbia River water level cutoff the way back to the park, and I had to turn around and go along the walkway.

After heading back to Frenchmen’s bar I walked along the southern dike and took pictures of the volcanoes.  Only a couple of the pictures came out well, and are included in my photos below.  Mt. St. Helens was in a haze and I only saw the tip of Mt. Rainier.

The last park of my hike was northbound along the beach.  There were some very nice river views and the high clouds presented some nice backgrounds.  The reflections of the clouds off the water, with the sun partially hiding, were especially spectacular!  I also tried photographing the migrating birds but can’t get very close up.  I threw in a picture of the sunset today although it wasn’t during my hike.  Such a beautiful red sunset!

Battleground Lake State Park & Chelatchie Prairie Railroad Trail Hike

Hike Distance: 7.8 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1785.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 675 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 232089 feet

I hike these trails often enough that I typically take a new route each time.  Today was yet a new route for this wonderful hike!  When I arrived the State Park employees were cutting down a rotting tree.  I initially heard the chainsaw but didn’t see what tree was being cut.  There was a yell and then I saw the HUGE tree fall, and it landed with a loud thud!  I took a look, later,  and saw that indeed the tree was rotted on the inside near the base.

Getting back to my hike.  I started out by heading down to the lake are hiking around the lower lake trail.  Views of Battleground Lake were exceptional and there were only a few fisherman along the shores.  It was drizzling when I got there, but the rain picked up later in the hike, and then went back to a drizzle later in the day.

After exiting the lower lake trail I headed to the outer loop trail and went in a counter-clockwise direction.  When I intersected the trail leading to the Chelatchie Railroad Trail I took it and went to the end.  I only saw one couple along this trail and it was nice to be alone.  Once I got back to the Battleground Lake outer loop trail I continued in a counter-clockwise direction and completed the loop.

The mood today was outstanding and I felt like I was hiking just before sunset.  It felt like the darkness would soon consume me but it never quite came about.  I looked around but never saw any animals and no people were on the Battleground Lake trails.  Someday I need to take the time and just sit and observe where I am.  I don’t seem to ever just rest and spend time absorbing my surroundings and being an observer.  Definitely a wonderful rainy day in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Warrior Rock Lighthouse Point Hike & Beyond

Hike Distance: 7.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1777.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 302 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 231414 feet

On this last day of the Thanksgiving weekend we decided to head out to an infrequent hike on Sauvie Island.  The Warrior Rock Lighthouse Point hike is an out and back trail that essentially follows a road.  There are so many beautiful views of the Columbia River, and I took plenty of pictures.  During the rainy season it can be quite muddy, but today it wasn’t bad.  Perhaps the tread was good primarily due to the leaf cover?

The weather was nice and cool with some sun but mostly high clouds.  We could see Mt. St. Helens and the tip of Mt. Hood, but air quality obscured that view. 😦   That said, the pictures of close objects were not a problem for my camera!

We hiked the 3.2 miles and reached the lighthouse, but then continued a short distance along the beach, and then visited the lighthouse on the way back.  We were stopped by toppled trees, but that was fine with us since it was already starting to get dark (we got out late).  We stopped at the downed trees to have some food and beverages, and the trees made for great seating.

The lighthouse is nice but has been decommissioned, so we couldn’t go inside.  There were also some logs along a section of the lighthouse walls so we couldn’t walk around it.  So, we took our pictures and headed back to the car.  My wife lost her hat on the outbound hike to the lighthouse so we were hoping to find it on the way back.  Unfortunately, the hat was not found and whomever picked it up decided to keep it, as it wasn’t on a post/fence at the trailhead. 😦   There were plenty of hikers on this beautiful Fall day so we’re not surprised.

A funtastic day along the Columbia River!

Crown Zellerbach Trail Hike with Friends

Hike Distance: 8.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1769.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 870 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 231112 feet

We planned on going for a hike with our friends today and let them know about the Crown Zellerbach Trail, located near Scappoose Oregon.  The Crown Zellerbach (CZ) Trail is about 22 miles long, and spans between the Columbia River and Vernonia Oregon,   This trail used to be a logging road through the Coast Range and came into public ownership in 2004, and then a plan was implemented to make it useable for outdoor recreation.  For today’s hike we chose to hike west from the Nehalem Divide TH.

It was very foggy at the start of the hike and provided a wonderful mood to hike through.  The trail was covered with leaves and the gravel surface was barely noticeable.  For most the length of the section we hiked upon was bordered on both sides by forest.

Between 1-2 miles out we took a trail that led down to a tunnel that was intended to move wood out of the forest via a railroad.  According to literature, the 1,712 foot long tunnel was completed in 1920.  A change of ownership ended up in the removal of the railroad path and alternate use of this logging road.  Two of our friends went into the tunnel but we didn’t feel comfortable.  The tunnel looks collapsed within the first 100 feet or so, from what we could see from our friends headlamp?  Definitely an interesting feature, from the old logging days, that was worth seeing!  There was also couple of very small waterfalls near the tunnel.

As we hiked west the weather became clearer and it warmed up considerable.  We turned around at about 4 miles out as we wanted to get back before sunset.  On the way back it again got both dark and foggy.  Such a great day with our friends!  We’re looking forward when we can get together with them again! 🙂