Lewis River Trail

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington

Elevation Gain4,002ft
Trailhead Elevation1,438ft
Elevation Min/Max1107/1732ft
Elevation Start/End1438/1438ft

Lewis River Trail

Lewis River Trail is a hiking trail in Skamania County, Washington. It is within Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It is 9.2 miles long and begins at 1,438 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 18.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,002 feet. Along the trail there is parking.

Lewis River Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This day hike or backpack follows the last remaining primitive section of the Lewis River in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Along the way you’ll pass through grand old-growth forest of stately Douglas fir, western hemlock, and western red cedar, always within sight or sound of the rushing river. Two trailheads offer the option of either doing a shorter 5.4-mile out-and-back hike or a longer 9.4-mile one-way trip by leaving a car at the upper trailhead."

"The Lewis River Trail #31 is full of views of old-growth forest, rock formations, and waterfalls. The trail itself is also a sweet treat, with a beginner-friendly smooth surface almost all the way through. In fact, the only arguments against beginners riding the entire 27.2-mile round-trip are some steep sections in the middle portion of the trail and the length of the entire round-trip."

"Draining off the snowfields of Mt. Adams, the clear-flowing Lewis River cascades along through some of the most impressive forests and wooded canyons of our region. A trail once followed this magnificent stream all the way from the farmlands in the lower valley to the alpine terrain of the high country, but logging roads have long since destroyed virtually all of it. A much shortened, but still very worthwhile segment remains, however, and it is a joy to hike, with great camps, a fine swimming hole, good fishing, and some of the most impressive big trees in our region."

"Highlights: Amazing singletrack along a beautiful river. This trail has it all, from cruising singletrack to steep climbs to a creek crossing and nice views. It’s best to do this ride midweek because it is very popular on weekends with hikers. Tread is all singletrack. Hazards: Exposure as the trail travels very near large cliffs; several rocky areas and a rough section over a recent landslide.

From the parking area, cross Lewis River and immediately pick up the trail, which begins on the right. The first few miles are relatively easy with little elevation gain and few obstructions. 2.4 Look for a shelter on the left; continue as the trail rolls along the river and starts becoming more technical in places. 3.3 Enter a large slide zone. The trail has been rebuilt but is still rough in places."

"The pride of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is a gorgeous riverside walk among old-growth firs and cedars, past pools and rapids of the blue-green, glacier-fed Lewis River. Swimming, fishing, and camping are other good options. And the elevation is so low, the trail is open all year."

Lewis River Trail Reviews

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Fun mtn bike trail. Only went about 10 miles from the campground, but still had a great ride. Relatively level, but with some fun ascents and river crossings. Would love to return and complete the entire trail
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Well besides the 6-12"s of snow on some parts and the hike a bike due to the ice on the steep sections it was awesome! I really don't recommend going this time of year but couldn't resist the temptation. The small creek crossings were now 2-3 feet now and all the waterfalls were frozen but very pretty. I loved it because it made it that more technical. Cant wait to ride it in the summer. Also recommend riding it with a partner. Mine all flaked! Maybe cause of the time of year :) It was kinda of sketch when i started seeing "cat" tracks on the flat stuff. With all the hike-a-bike it took me 3 hours to the second bridge and back. About 20 miles. Ran out of light to do the whole 27. Next year! When its not snowing :)
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This is definitely not a beginner trail. There are many portions unridable. It took us almost 4 hrs to the top. The downhills are rocky and slippery. Dropoffs on your right tend to slow you down. Beautiful scenery though makes it worthwhile.
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The river, falls and surrounding woods are beautiful. On a very nice Sunday afternoon it was also was not very crowded (probably due to the long drive from Portland - about 2 hours.) Two caveats: the road parallels the trail, which slightly detracts from the experience. Also, as of mid-June 2006, the trail between the middle and upper falls is washed out and closed. Until the trail is repaired, the only way to see the upper falls is to drive to them (not difficult, just not as fun as hiking to them.)
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My 12 year old and I rode this trail one way and loved it. Aside from a few short steep hills he was able to ride the whole thing. And riding in the rain kept us covered with MUD!

Lewis River Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Nearby City
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Gifford Pinchot National Forest Headquarters, 360-891-5000.
Local Contacts
Green Trails #365, Lone Butte
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018