A short, family-friendly loop that can be done all year round. You'll meander through douglas fir, western redcedar, bigleaf maple, and other deciduous trees, along a creek, and end at a lovely waterfall, perfect for picnicking.
You can enjoy the waterfall on this loop two ways: make it the first stop on your hike, or save it until the very end. Because it makes a nice spot to stop for a snack, we recommend saving it for the end.
Beginning from the Buck Creek Falls Loop Trailhead and Campground (with toilet!), cross the road carefully and walk 150 down the road, then turning onto a trail. This trail parallels the stream, climbing gradually. Look for signs on posts indicating "Buck Creek" at intersections. There are also white diamond tags on tree trunks indicating the route.
A quarter mile into your hike, the trail merges with the trail from Monte Carlo Peak. Continue through this intersection to an overlook of the valley at it's high point, then beginning to descend. On this descent the trail merges with the logging road for a while, ending at a low concrete bridge.
This marks the separation between the east and west side of the trail. The west side of the loop begins past this bridge, heading upstream and following the corridor of the buried water pipeline. This pipeline is what channels the water in the Buck Creek watershed to the city of White Salmon, which has used this watershed for its water supply since 1929.
While the corridor is wide, the tread is quite narrow due to encroaching vegetation.
Meander up and downhill, crossing swampy areas and sweeps until, a quarter mile from the end of your loop, you'll find the namesake waterfall coursing througha slot canyon into a a bowl-shaped plunge pool.
The overlook of the waterfall is a great place for a picnic. When you're done, continue on down the trail, crossing a bridge leading back to the trailhead and campground.