From the ample parking area, the trail winds southwest alongside the road for 2/10 of a mile, crosses the road and takes a right up the hill. 3.7 miles further, the bridge across a branch of Stebbins creek is out so either bushwhack upstream and cross on log debris and find the trail on the other side or ford the stream (only possible in summer low water) at the ‘horse crossing” and continue. Note that the bushwhack is difficult and steep and may not be possible in even moderatly high water or rainy conditions. In another 2.2 miles, you will reach a gravel road. Cross the road, heading to the left and find the trail on the other side heading back up the hill in a few dozen feet. After several switchbacks you will soon break out of the forest and see your goal.
This trailhead is accessed off of the Washougal River Road. The road heads north then east from the town of Washougal, about 17 miles east of Vancouver on Hwy 14. Take this paved road along the Washougal River and once across the bridge at Dougan Falls, take a right and continue on the now gravel road for another 3.3 miles and find the trailhead parking lot on the left.
This is a fairly well maintained trail that is used often enough to be in good condition. Most of it is well graded and it passes through a very old second growth forest and some old growth. The main problem is the un-bridged stream crossing so this is a summer or early fall route for most.
Normal hiking gear is needed for this 15 miles RT trek. Should you want to do the bushwhack around the missing bridge, gaiters and gloves will be required to give you the best chance of success. Both the climb down to creek level and the climb back out to the trail is very steep - and muddy - on the far side.
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"groak (v): To stare silently at someone while they are eating, in the hope that they will offer some food."