Wright Meadow is a great jumping-off spot for exploring the beautiful uplands above the Lewis River. But it isn’t for everyone. The riding is challenging, and the camping is primitive. But the mountain views are breathtaking, the seasonal wildflowers are stunning, and the waterfalls are gorgeous. If you have an experienced trail horse and you don’t mind roughing it a bit, you’ll truly enjoy Wright Meadow.
Middle Lewis River Falls
45 miles of trails
Elevation 3,700 feet
Blue Lake is a pretty destination on an 11-mile loop.
Wright Meadow isn’t a campground. It’s simply a large, graveled area. You’ll be parking on the gravel, highlining your horses in the trees, bringing your stock water, and digging a cat hole in the woods to use as a toilet. Or you can use this spot as a day-use trailhead. Camping and day-use parking are free.
Wright Meadow dispersed camping site.
The riding can be challenging, with big elevation changes and some steep side hills. The trails are rutted by motorcycles into a deep V in places, and erosion has exposed many roots your horse will have to clamber over. And though these trails are open to hikers, horses, and motorcycles, you’ll encounter several steep traverses where it may be difficult to get off the trail if you were to meet an oncoming motorcycle.
Lupine bloom profusely along the Wright Meadow Trail in July.
That said, the mountain views, wildflowers, and waterfalls you’ll see along the trails are worth it.
Mt. Rainier feels close enough to touch. Mt. Adams is also visible from several vantage points along the trails.
From Woodland, take Exit 21 from I-5 and go east on Hwy. 503/Lewis River Road toward Cougar. In 23 miles, Hwy. 503 turns to the right. Go straight on Hwy. 503-Spur, which becomes Road 90, for 23.7 miles. From Carson, take the Wind River Hwy. north for 27.5 miles and turn left on Curly Creek Road. Follow it for 5.1 miles, then veer left on Road 90 and continue 4 miles. All, Turn north on Road 25 and drive 5.6 miles, then turn right on Road 93. This one-lane road with turnouts is actively used by logging trucks, so be careful. Follow it 13 miles. At the junction with Road 9327, veer right to stay on Road 93. In another mile, turn right on Road 9328. You’ll find a large gravel parking area in 0.1 mile.
You’ll find more information about the riding and camping at Wright Meadow in Riding Southwest Washington Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2016), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.