Middle Lewis River Falls

In my last post, Fall Road Trip, I said our goal was to explore the Lewis River Falls. These would be the Lower, Middle and Upper Falls respectively. Like most place names, these are not terribly original ?.

So we found the entrance to the Lower Falls Campground, and just as it said on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest Website, The campground was closed. I mean it was closed hard with barriers and such – no concertina wire, but close. They didn’t even leave any room for day tripper parking!

Plan B – Go Farther

Fortunately, there is ample parking at the Middle Falls Trail Head. There were three other cars there when Liddy and I pulled in to park the Prius.

Be aware. The roads beyond Cougar are not maintained by the Washington Department of Transportation. You are now driving on roads that are maintained by the Federal National Forest Service. This would be one of those organizations that the current Regime in DC would rather not exist. Meaning the roads are not stellar. They are paved, but we almost disappeared into one sinkhole along the way.

After SR 503 (spur) ends in Cougar, follow FR 90 to continue along the Lewis River. You are competing with large logging trucks for space on a narrow road, so be careful.

Middle Falls Trail #31C

So the Middle Falls Trail is a spur off of the full Lewis River Trail #31.

It is an easy path down to the river following Upper Copper Creek. There is a bridge across Upper Copper Creek just as the creek tumbles over the edge of a steep cliff forming a very pretty waterfall. There is an excellent photo opportunity waiting for Liddy and I when we go back another day.

We arrived at the trail head at about 3:15. We were set up and shooting the falls by 4:15. We could have been quicker except that somebody had to go for a swim.

Never a camera when you want one

Take heed. When walking on the granite below the falls, it is very slippery. It is very hard. There are not, apparently, a lot of places to firmly plant one’s paws or claws while taking the opportunity to enjoy a drink icy cold river water. Liddy was quite surprised, as was I, when she slipped into the fast flowing stream.

Fortunately, she is a strong swimmer. Knowing this, I didn’t panic and therefore, I didn’t join her.

While trying to hold her in the current with her leash, her collar slipped off. She tried scrambling up onto a rock on the wrong side of the chute and failed. She was pushed farther downstream and a back eddy guided her to a spot where she was able grab a firm grip and together we were able to get her back onto solid ground.

She was a lot more cautious as we hiked the river after this exciting moment.

About the shot

I was quite taken by the shape of this waterfall. Specifically the bowel shape on the left. Very eye pleasing I think.

The image is an HDR (High Dynamic Range) made from 5 exposures.

The rock was provided by nature me thinks, and I wasn’t about to move it. I’m glad it was there as I like the way it anchors the foreground. Our eye always jumps to the brightest object in an image. This would be the waterfall. By being located in front of the waterfall the way it is, the rock pulls us back, away from the falls and encourages us to explore all of the color and textures in the foreground.

I hope you enjoyed this Northwest Moment as much as we did.

3 thoughts on “Middle Lewis River Falls”

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