The trail to Hidden Falls from Rock Creek Campground is an absolute gem! Located about 15 miles east of Battle Ground, WA, the ride follows the historic Tarbell Trail through pretty forest and flower-filled clear cuts. Beautiful Hidden Falls plummets 92 feet over a rock ledge into a pool next to the trail. Impressive!
Distance: 17 miles round trip
Elevation: 1,050 to 2,550 feet
You’ll begin the ride at the trailhead in the B Loop of Rock Creek Campground, then cross the bridge over Rock Creek and head up the ridge toward the Tarbell Trailhead. The route up the hill was logged a couple of years ago, so now the trail travels through clear cuts carpeted with wildflowers.
Just before you reach the Tarbell Trailhead, the trail veers to the right and runs across the ridge to Hidden Falls. From here on, the trail runs through a lovely forest of second-growth Douglas-firs and vine maples.
A Change is Coming
The ride to the falls is a 17-mile out-and-back trail, at least for now. But a new trail that will create a shorter route to Hidden Falls is in the works. The Washington Department of Natural Resources and volunteers from Back Country Horsemen, Washington Trail Riders, the Chinook Trails Association, and 3 other trail groups are hard at work carving out a new 5-mile trail that will connect Rock Creek Campground with Hidden Falls.
This new trail will give equestrians more options for reaching the Falls. You’ll be able to can do a 10-mile out-and-back ride, or an approximately 13.5-mile loop.
You Can Help
If you’d like to support the development of the new trail (and several others that are in the works nearby), please contact Barbara Thomas at email@example.com, Jim Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tani Bates at email@example.com.
If you’d like to spend several days exploring the trails in this pretty area, Rock Creek Campground offers very nice overnight facilities for equestrians.
From 1-5, take Exit 11 and head east on Hwy. 502/NE 219th St. toward Battle Ground. In 6 miles turn left on Hwy. 503/NW 10th Ave. Continue 5.6 miles and turn right on NE Rock Creek Rd. In 0.3 mile the road name changes to NE 152nd Ave. In another 1.2 miles the road veers left and becomes NE Lucia Falls Rd. About 8.2 miles after turning off Hwy. 503 you’ll pass Moulton Falls Park. In 0.3 mile after that, turn right on NE Sunset Falls Rd. Continue 2.0 miles, then turn right on NE Dole Valley Rd. Drive another 5.0 miles and turn left into the campground. A tiny brown sign on the right indicates the entrance.
You’ll find more information about Hidden Falls and other trails near Rock Creek Campground in Riding Southwest Washington Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2018), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.