This is a 5 mile section of the Tarbell Trail
Hidden falls is approximately 5 miles from the Grouse Vista Trailhead – so this is a 10 mile round trip hike. Parking at the Grouse Vista requires a Washington Discovery Pass. This trailhead is shared by the Sliver Star hike – so it gets crowded on warm, clear days. Today there were only 2 cars – just they way I like it! The beginning of this hike starts on the trail that is OPPOSITE the large trailhead sign. The fist 1/10 of a mile is shared with the Silver Star hike. You want to take the first left when the trail splits (the other direction goes to Silver Star). Stay on Tarbell Trail and you will find Hidden Falls. There were many intersections – just stay on the Tarbell trail (I do not know where any of the others go). Tarbell is marked well – there is a sign at every intersection as well as every half mile. Hidden Falls is between 5.5 and 5 mile marker signs.
This trail is mostly in the forest, but it also goes through a large clear cut. It looks to have been several years since it was logged, and there are abundant wildflowers in the clearing now. The new trees are only about a foot tall or shorter, so now is a great time to enjoy this area! I am sure there would be great views as well, but today was very cloudy so I am not sure what the views are of – will have to go back someday to see.
This is a beautiful waterfall. I am guessing it is about 60 feet tall, and easy to walk right up to the base if you want. Since it was raining today I did not feel the need. There is a bridge near the falls and it is tucked away around a bend in the trail – so it sneaks up on you. Well worth the hike!
Some of the wildflowers we saw:
- Queen Ann’s Lace
- Wild Bleeding Hearts
- Many more I do not know the names of…
Here is a map of the Tarbell and Silver Star Trail system This map helped greatly to understand where we were in relation to other things around us. It was better to have this than any of the inaccurate write ups I found on the Internet.
From Portland: The drive takes about 90 minutes from downtown Portland. Take I-205 North into Washington and drive about 4 miles and take Exit 30. The exit branches into 3 exits, take the middle exit, Exit 30B and merge onto SR-500 East. Stay in the right lane for about .3 mile. This is an exit lane and turns right onto NE 4th Plain Road.
Follow NE 4th Plain Road for 1.3 miles, getting into the left turn lane to make a left onto NE Ward Road. Follow NE Ward Road for 3.3 miles and it turns into NE 182nd Avenue. Continue north on NE 182nd Avenue for another mile and turn right onto NE 139th Street. Follow NE 139th Street up the hill for 2.3 miles and make a left to continue on NE Rawson Road. After about 5.6, Rawson Road turns into L-1400 Forest Road. Continue on this road for another 2.9 miles, for a total of 8.5 miles from NE 139TH Street.
Turn left at the sign for Larch Camp onto the L-1000 Road. The pavement ends in 1.8 miles. After driving 4.2 miles from the L-1000 Road, turn right on the L-1200 road. In .7 mile is a junction where you bear to right to stay on the L-1200 road. Drive a total of 5.2 miles on the L-1200 road to the parking area for the trailhead.
There are no bathrooms at the trailhead.
After July 1, 2011 a State of Washington Discover Pass is required for parking.