I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I’ve been doing my damndest to visit parks and natural areas in the area that either I haven’t been to before, or haven’t been to in a long time. It’s too easy to just go to obvious and popular places, even if they’re cool. And obvious and popular places have the tendency to be busy, especially on nicer weekend days.
Well, Sunday March 21st wasn’t as nice as it could have been: it was steely grey, a high around 50F/10C, and light drizzle. But Emee, her kids, and myself needed to get some outdoor action in. So I aimed the van to a place that I’ve only been to once, and that sole visit was at least 15 years ago: Lacamas Park. Located across the Columbia River just north of the city of Camas, the park surrounds Lacamas Creek and the lakes along the waterway. Oh yeah, there’s a waterfall too!
We got to the park in the afternoon. It didn’t seem like there was that many people around, score! We decided to hit up the east side of the park and see the falls. This part of the park is dominated by Round Lake, formed by a small dam. This dam was created by a nearby paper mill to provide power and water for its operation. Below the dam is Pothole Falls, where the creek drops about fifteen feet over a rock formation (Troutdale Formation) as it descends down to the Columbia River. It was pretty, though it’s hard to get a great view from up top, due to vegetation. There was a sketchy trail that descends to the creek level, but it didn’t look that safe, especially on a damp day.
From the falls, we then did a loop around Round Lake, which is about a mile and a half long. The generously-wide trail stayed in coniferous forest, fairly level but with a bit of elevation gain at the beginning. This gave us a great view.
The loop complete, we got back in the van and headed home. I’d like to get back up here on a summer weekday and maybe even swim in the lake!
For photos from the Lacamas Park expedition, see the dynamic flickr album below. Or, click here.
If you get back there sometime in the next 15 years, there are some other great views from below the falls looking up if you take some of the other little trails:) Plus the whole section along the river is super pretty for the cool rock formations in the river, even if you’re not at the falls itself. (Though in some parts, watch out for people on mountain bikes;)
(I meant some of the other little trails that are actually trails, not that super sketch user trail you mentioned;)