backpack: Siouxon Creek + Upper Siouxon Trail hike
My first backpack of the year at Siouxon Creek… if you follow my posts every year, you’ll notice that this is one of my favorite places to go in the spring. It’s an easy trip that’s great for beginners or those getting back into the swing of backpacking. It’s also great for easy hiking and relaxing next to waterfalls.
Note: if you camp here, there are lots of mice running around at night looking for food or for gear to chew up, so do yourself a favor (and every one who goes there after you) and keep a clean camp. We always bring a trash bag to carry out what others leave behind, and happily there was much less trash this time. I love this place SO MUCH and want it to remain wild and trash-free.
- distance & elevation gain to campsite: 3 miles, 700 ft. gain (before the wildfire & trailhead closure in 2020)
- day hike options: continue on the Siouxon Creek Trail
- best months: April – June
- location: nearest town: Amboy, WA
- land management: Gifford Pinchot National Forest: Mount Adams Ranger District
- trail conditions: Siouxon Creek Trail
- hike description: Washington Trails Association – Siouxon Creek
- permits: self-issued at the trailhead
- trailhead pass: NW Forest Pass required
- note: this area was heavily impacted by the 2020 Big Hollow Wildfire – see Safety Tips for Burned Areas
This place takes my breath away every time I come here. I love the super green forest, the creek with its jade green color, and there are plenty of waterfalls and campsites and trails to explore. Two of us hiked in together, and two more friends of ours joined us the next day. We hiked in about three miles to a large campsite next to Siouxon Creek.
We setup camp at a spot I’ve camped at many times. It’s large enough for 8 tents, with another small campsite accessible through this one.
After we setup camp, we hiked to Chinook Falls. There was a group of high school students celebrating graduation and camped here, so we left them to enjoy the area on their own and went back to camp and made a small campfire.
One of our friends hiked in around noon, with the other arriving later in the evening, so we hiked to Chinook Falls again and explored several side trails that head steeply down to the creek. This was a leisurely day, so we also spent quite a bit of time at 14-Mile Falls on the rocky shelf next to the creek.
That night when our friend hiked in, she ran into two women at the trailhead – one is a former neighbor of hers and the other is someone I know through social media. It’s probably not as much of a coincidence as it seems… my friend loves Siouxon Creek as much, if not a lot more, than I do, so it’s no surprise that she would be here. After chatting for a bit, they moved on to setup camp about a quarter mile up the trail from our camp. We went to check out their campsite and made plans to hike together the next day.
exploring next to Chinook Creek
For our day hike, we continued on the main Siouxon Creek Trail past 14-Mile Falls for several miles. This section of trail is less traveled so we didn’t see very many people until we reached our destination – the location where the trail crosses Calamity Creek before continuing to the Upper Siouxon trailhead. There were several small groups of hikers taking a break here so we joined them for lunch before heading back to camp.
Upper Siouxon Falls
It was refreshing to spend four days in this location, relaxing and enjoying the scenery of this beautiful place. After breakfast, we hiked out to return home.