Exploring Lower Lewis River Falls

Lower Lewis Falls, Washington
Lower Lewis Falls, Washington
  • Distance from Portland: 2 hours

  • Distance of hike to waterfall: .5 miles round trip to base of falls

  • Other: bathrooms, fee for parking, swimming (but don't cliff jump),

  • Please pack out your trash and stay on designated trails

Yesterday was my birthday and I decided I'd treat myself to a hike that's been on my bucket list for awhile (I had an Oregon/Washington Bucket List before ever moving out here). Lower Lewis Falls is two hours away from Portland tucked into Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington. It's a very popular spot among locals and tourists alike mainly due to the otherworldly vibes and the fact that there is a deep swimming hole under the falls. Oh, and the hike to the base of the falls is only .25 miles, that helps too. I arrived at 10:00am on Wednesday morning and I was the only person in the parking lot but by the time I left around 11:00 due to people starting to show up and swim, the parking lot was packed full of cars. There really isn't much to say about this waterfall, I think the pictures speak for themselves. But I will say if you plan to spend the whole day in Gifford Pinchot make sure to stop at Yale Lake to enjoy the views of massive mountains shooting right out of the lake. Drool worthy views I'm tellin' ya.