With all the blue sky action outside our windows, who can resist dreaming of the glorious warm weather again? If you're making a summer bucket list with a generous number of swimming holes in Washington like we are, you've got to add this hike right on top. It'll lead you to a massive jungle waterfall that's straight out of a rainforest!
Nestled in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the picturesque Lower Lewis Falls Trail starts near Cougar, Washington.
You'll need a $5 per day Northwest Forest Pass to park at the trailhead.
The moderately-difficult, 6.6-mile trail starts at the Lower Falls Campground. And the best part? If you're here just for the waterfall that's 200 feet wide, all you need to do is step out of your car — no hiking necessary.
But if you want to go on an adventure right out of Indiana Jones instead, you can take a nearby trail and follow the Lewis River through forests of giant cedars, firs, spring flowers, ancient stumps, and creeks.
As you make your way through, the path drops you off at the edge of turquoise blue waters and an island of sand. You'll feel like you've entered another realm!
Here, you can swim or just sunbathe on the flat rocks nearby. There are even pools on top of the falls you can soak in, imagine that.
For a longer adventure, you can continue to follow the river upstream, to the Middle Lewis River Falls.
There's even a side trail nearby if you want to explore the 32-foot Lower Copper Creek Falls.
Journeying on, the Upper Lewis River Falls or Taitnapum Falls will simply take your breath away.
At 58 feet high and 175 feet across, you can literally sit on its edge and have a picnic too!
Dogs are allowed on leashes too, so your pooch can cool off in the many waterways.
Although these points are open year-round, the best time to enjoy these magical pools is during spring and summer, making it the perfect warm-weather affair.
Just don't forget your camera, bathing suit, and that summer spirit.
Lower Lewis River Falls Trail
Price: $5/day NW Pass
Location: Cougar, WA
Why You Should Go: You can swim in crystal-clear emerald water pools and chase several waterfalls on the way.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.