Thursday morning seemed like a perfect day to take the kids on another hiking adventure. It’s nice to have the trails all to ourselves during the weekdays when everyone else is in school or at work. But that also means Cory doesn’t get to join us since he is at work too.
Since we had plans to go to dinner at a friend’s house in the evening, I didn’t want to wear the kids out too much, and decided to check out the 1 mile loop trail at Lucia Falls in Yacolt, WA.
When we first arrived in the parking lot, I noticed there were no bathrooms. I spent the first 20 minutes of the hike getting out the kids’ potty seat and having them use it in the back of the car and getting everyone ready to hike. If you decide to go on this hike, I’ll let you in on a little secret we discovered once we hit the trail and took a look at the map…
There are bathrooms just down the trail a tiny bit! Arghh!!! However, they were being worked on while we were there, so I suppose it didn’t really matter in the end.
The waterfall is just a tiny walk from the park. Even if you didn’t feel like going for a hike, it’s a perfect place to bring the family for a picnic! There are several picnic tables set up near the falls, but far enough away from each other that you are afforded a bit of privacy.
The kids and I wandered around some smaller trails looking for the hiking loop. My incredible sense of direction took us the wrong way at first. We found giant rocks to climb on though, so it wasn’t a big deal!
So, unless you are looking for some random adventures, when you see the waterfall, keep hiking past it to get to the loop trail. Don’t stop to admire the water and then hike on random small trails to the right.
I did try to be a little extra brave with the kids and let them hike out on the rocks towards the waterfall. I made Connor hold my hand the entire time and didn’t let them get close to any of the edges. I try to find the balance between being a stressed out mom imagining the absolute worst scenario, and letting the kids explore and have fun. It’s a work in progress.
We found quite a few different types of wildflowers and took pictures of everything in an attempt to identify them later. I tried finding the closest matches possible, but let me know in the comments if something is mislabeled!
Top Left: Northern Inside-out flower Top Right: Rhododendron Bottom Left: Harvest Brodiaea Bottom Right: Foamflower
Top Left: Wild Wisteria?? Top Right: Unknown Bottom Left: Columbian Windflower Bottom Right: Wild Rose
While hiking through a forested area of the loop trail, Connor started acting like a big scaredy-cat with the trees. I tried to understand what was scaring him, (It’s hard for a two year-old to express themselves) and one thing he mentioned was that he was afraid they were going to fall over on him. So, to help him overcome his fear, I had both of the kids try to push down the tree. Obviously it didn’t fall over, and he felt somewhat better after that.
He did mention later that the tree’s eyes were staring at him though… I think I’ll wait a LONG time before he gets to watch Lord of The Rings with the Ents!
The loop trail felt more like a nature walk than a hike. According to my My Tracks app, it wasn’t even a mile long. Our entire hike (including getting somewhat lost in the beginning) was only 0.93 miles. We managed to finish with a moving time of 43:17 and a total time of 50:11. Our average speed was a whopping 1.11 mph, and apparently some glitch occurred, because we were clocked at 13.98 for our fastest speed (and no, I did not have it recording while driving in the car).
When we were done with our hike, we sat at one of the picnic tables by the waterfall and enjoyed some pb&j sandwiches while enjoying the view. The consensus from the kids was that this was their FAVORITE hike so far!
***Also, as a side note: Be advised that you may not go in the water AT ALL. There are signs everywhere in order to protect the salmon.