Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Lacamas Park - Lacamas Creek

Lacamas Park - Lacamas Creek

Southwest Washington

Location

Southwest Washington -- Vancouver Area
View map below

Length

4.5 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 350 ft.
Highest Point: 400 ft.

Rating

4.33 out of 5

(6 votes) Log in to rate
 
WTA worked here: 2019
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Lacamas Park is a diverse natural area with a surprisingly 'wild' feel for a park this close to town. Picnic by the lake, check out the Camas meadow in bloom, or explore the forest and creeks along the many trails. This hike describes a "lollipop" loop starting at the south end of the park, visiting the Lower Falls, then circling around through the park past Round Lake and returning along Lacamas Creek.

Lacamas Park is ideal for a quick fix of crisp Gorge air. Amid streams and waterfalls swelled winter’s runoff, you’re sure to forget the quaint Camas downtown is but a few minutes away.

The park has a diverse mix of interconnected trails that can be linked together in many different ways. For this hike, start from the 3rd Avenue trailhead. If you’re not paying close attention, it’s easy to drive right by and never know this hidden little oasis exists here. Right away, the path parallels Lacamas Creek, often busy with blue herons, standing like statues hunting their next meal. The path is wide and graveled with some rolling ups and downs as it works its way to a picnic spot and Lower Falls. Watch for mushrooms in the forest duff. Cross the bridge, where the trail splits, hiking in a counter clockwise loop will take you uphill for roughly 50% of the excursion, saving the best of the sights for last.

Follow the trail, here an old gravel road, taking time to explore the small offshoots. While the main loop trail is open to bikes, the side trails are hiker-only and are clearly marked. As you approach Round Lake, veer off to the left, skirting the southwest section of the lake, where the path narrows again as it winds against the steep shore. You’ll see where it leads up to the small dam and towards the main entrance (main parking lot/restrooms/playground/picnic areas). Rather, take the junction to hike back southeast, following Lacamas Creek and peering down at The Potholes from above. The pools and rock in this area are an interesting feature of the 312-acre park, but also easy to pass by, so keep your eyes on the water as you pass through this section.

If the sun peeks out during this time of year, it is likely to do so here, where the trees are a bit open and the angle right for soaking up some sunbeams. From here, the trail continues, narrow and winding, often muddy in the winter months, as it enters an area of cedar and lush vegetation. Remember, this is a quick outing, so just as the going gets really good, you’ll find yourself back at the bridge at Lower Falls. Turning right, follow the wide path back to the trailhead.

 

Lacamas Park - Lacamas Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 45.5894, -122.3920 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Southwest Washington -- Vancouver Area

Clark County Parks

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Columbia River Gorge. Craig Romano. Mountaineers Books. 2011

USGS Camas

http://www.cityofvancouver.us/parks-recreation/parks_trails/trails/pdfs/lacamasparktrail.pdf

Getting There

From Vancouver, drive SR-14 east to Camas, Exit 12. Follow the exit road 1.4 miles to town and then continue straight on 6th Avenue for six blocks to Garfield Street. Turn right onto Garfield, and go down the hill three blocks then turn left on 3rd Avenue. Follow 3rd Avenue 0.4 miles to a small paved road on the left just before the bridge over Lacamas Creek. Turn left and drive down the hill to the trailhead gravel parking lot.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Lacamas Park - Lacamas Creek

20 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports