Cool off on the Lewis River This Summer

There’s no shortage of fantastic hikes to take in Oregon and Washington – especially near our cabins in the Columbia River Gorge. Our luxury cabins are right in the middle of one of the most scenic parts of Washington State, affording our guests easy access to the Columbia River Gorge, the southern entrance of Mount St. Helens, and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. To say there are a lot of hikes here is a massive understatement. Even so, one of our favorite perennial hikes, particularly on the hot summer days, are the Lewis River Falls. 

Lower, Middle, and  Upper Lewis River Falls are scenic gems considered a “must” when visiting the Columbia River Gorge. Many visitors to the area limit themselves to the Waterfall Corridor along the Columbia River Highway, but getting off the beaten path and into the forest is where the true magic awaits. The Lewis River Falls Hike is located in the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest, which includes more than 1.3 million acres of protected forest, wildlife habitat, and watersheds, not to mention access to places like the Ape Caves, Mt. Adams, and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. 

Though it may not be as popular as Multnomah Falls, you can still expect plenty of crowds at the Lewis River Falls area, particularly Lower Lewis Falls. That’s especially true in the summer when the temperatures rise. The cool breeze that drifts off the water, combined with the moss-covered forests, is a welcome respite from the heat. One of our favorite parts of sharing the Columbia River Gorge with our guests is helping you find the perfect hiking trails to explore. More importantly, we love providing a homey, welcome respite for our guests to retreat after a busy day on the trails. 

Whatever adventures you have in mind, there’s no better place to stay than our Washington Cabins in the Columbia River Gorge. Our luxury cabins are the perfect place to relax, put your feet up, and soothe your tired muscles – complete with Dead Sea Bath Salts and generous soaking tubs. Book your adventure at our luxury cabins in Washington today! 

Lower Lewis River Falls - one of the best hikes in Washington near our luxury cabins

Lewis River Falls: A Great Summer Hike

There are quite a few big-name hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, including Dog Mountain, Larch Mountain at Multnomah Falls, Ape Caves, and one of our favorites, Lewis River Falls. Though the waterfalls along the trail to Lower, Middle, and Upper Lewis Falls are certainly spectacular and something that photos can’t do justice to, the journey to get there is almost more astonishing than the waterfalls. 

Like much of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the trail leading to the Lewis River Falls is surrounded by moss-covered old-growth fir and cedar trees, nurse logs, ancient stumps, and carpets of wildflowers. The trail to Lower Lewis Falls is considered relatively flat and accessible to a variety of hikers. At the end of the hike, you’ll find the first of the many impressive waterfalls along the Lewis River. If you make it all the way to the Upper Falls and back, you will have hiked a total of 8.8 miles through stunning old-growth forests. 

Lower Lewis Falls is impressive at 43 feet tall and 200 feet wide. As you approach the falls, the trail winds along the river, allowing you to view it from several angles. Trek on for another 1/2 mile to Middle Lewis Falls for another gorgeous riverside view, and then continue to Upper Lewis Falls. 

The Upper Falls is almost as wide as Lower Lewis Falls and even taller at an impressive 58 feet. If you’re really adventurous and want to make the most of your time in this area, there are some short side hikes to Copper Creek and Copper Creek Falls.

The Lewis River Falls Recreation Area is popular, so a permit is required to access it during the summer months, from June 15 to September 15. We recommend getting an earlier start to your day. The best part of that will be coming back to our cabins, where you can have a pre-arranged massage in your cabin waiting in the afternoon!

Dog Mountain Trail in the Columbia River Gorge - one of the best hikes in Washington near our luxury cabins

5 More Hikes in Washington Near Our Cabins

The Lewis River Falls are nothing short of spectacular and a great introduction to hiking in the Columbia River Gorge area. But with such easy access to both the Washington and Oregon sides of the rivers, it’s probably no surprise that there are endless hikes to enjoy in this part of the state. These hikes are plenty diverse, too, with everything from alpine lakes and meadows to old-growth forests.

Given that our cabins are just across the Bridge of the Gods on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, we’re limiting ourselves to the hikes in Washington that we think you shouldn’t miss. Like Lewis River Falls, some of these hikes are deep in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, while others tower above the Columbia River, offering breathtaking views of this scenic Gorge. Pick any of these hikes in Washington, and prepare for an epic day on the trails. 

  1. If we had to choose a favorite hike in the Columbia River Gorge, it might just be Dog Mountain. It’s a fantastic wildflower hike each spring, and the rest of the year, it offers breathtaking views of the Gorge. 
  2. We can see several major mountain peaks from the Columbia River Gorge, including Oregon’s Mount Hood, Washington’s Mt. Adams, and Mount St. Helens. If you want a great view of Mt. Adams, take the Grassy Knoll Hike.
  3. Another excellent waterfall hike near our cabins is Panther Creek Falls. It’s only 20 minutes away, and the hike itself is only 1/4 mile long. This is a quick and easy way to get outside in nature without having to expend all your energy or your day on the trails. The cool mist off the falls also makes this a great summer hike. 
  4. Challenge your climbing muscles and head to another of our favorite hikes in Washington, Cape Horn. This hike is challenging but worth it, as it includes views of Cape Horn Falls and a challenging climb up the rocky slopes of Cape Horn. This hike is best done later in the summer, as early on in the season, segments of the loop trail are closed for nesting peregrine falcons.
  5. Get the best of all worlds on the Hamilton Mountain Loop. This trail starts in a lush forest, winds past scenic waterfalls, and ends up on a cliff top with sweeping views of the Columbia River Gorge. Hikes in Washington don’t get much better than this one!

When the day is done, retreat to the wooded oasis of our Cabins in Washington. We’re surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge and offer an elevated getaway packed with amenities and personalized service you won’t soon forget. Soak your tired muscles in our jetted tubs, sip a glass of wine or a craft beer on our private cabin porches, and immerse yourself in the quiet, splendid beauty of our private cabin rentals in Washington. Book your stay with us today! 

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