Wondering which hikes are kid-friendly and lead to waterfalls? Check out the following trails.
Madcap Falls is a small 34-foot high gradual cascade located a short distance downstream from Tatoosh Creek on the Paradise River Trail. The falls are not signed but can be found about 100 feet above Carter Falls. While Madcap Falls is modest in comparison to Narada Falls it’s more than worthy of a visit. Located in the lush, dense forest, putting a visit to Madcap and Carter Falls together makes for a scenic and peaceful hike. Madcap Falls Trail is a 2.9 mile out and back trail located near Longmire, Washington. This is considered an easy hike, good families and all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from July until October. This hike requires a river crossing using a pedestrian bridge. 7-mile round trip hike.
2. Goat Falls
Step out of the car at the trailhead and you can already hear the sound of the rushing water. A short but very scenic trek leads you through the forest and past a series of cascading waterfalls before arriving at your destination at pretty Goat Falls.
Best for families “wearing babies” or older children that can hike for nearly 6 miles. This is a dog-friendly trail in Pack Forest, Eatonville. No pass is required. While Pack Forest is always a good four-season destination, in spring it is especially beautiful. Spring is our favorite time to hike here when hidden frog choirs sing to the heavens, birds dart and twitter, flowers bloom and waterfalls roar. You can almost taste spring on your tongue.
4. Martha Falls
The most challenging aspect of getting to this waterfall is finding the trailhead – it took us several tries. This short approach to Martha Falls begins on The Wonderland Trail on the east side (right) of the Stevens Canyon Road (4,150 feet), about a half-mile from “The Bench”, a long switchback between Reflection Lakes and Box Canyon with views of Stevens Canyon (a GPS may come in handy). Trailhead parking is limited – look for a pull-out about a mile from “The Bench” (a long switchback on the Stevens Canyon Road) between Reflection Lakes and Box Canyon.
5. Myrtle Falls
This is located not too far from the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park. This is a stroller friendly walk most of which is paved. The pavement ends just past the waterfall. The path to Myrtle Falls begins on the northeast edge of Paradise Inn and is actually the first stretch of the popular Skyline Trail. This trail is usually accessible by mid to late July. One mile, round trip.
6. Narada Falls
Narada Falls is created by a 168-foot drop in the beautiful Paradise River. You can view the top from the edge of the parking lot, or take the short but steep trail to viewpoints below. These viewpoints let you see layers of wrinkled lava rock formed by past volcanic eruptions. Be prepared for refreshing sprays when the falls are at their peak!)
At Silver Falls the crystal-clear Ohanapecosh River plunges 75 feet to form a wide “block” waterfall before entering a narrow slot canyon under the viewing bridge. You can hike to the falls along a half-mile trail that starts across the road from the parking lot for The Grove of the Patriarchs. Or take a 1.5-mile trail from the Ohanapecosh campground and visitor center. You can also view the river by driving to the bridge in the Ohanapecosh Campground. Notice how the river’s rushing water has smoothed and shaped the surrounding rocks over time—some of the most ancient rocks in the park.
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