A family trip to Boulder River Falls

Joan Burton’s fabulous book “Best Hikes With Kids: Western Washington &and the Cascades” has served us well again. Last weekend my family took a trip to Boulder River Falls.

Our drive along Highway 530* offered us a sobering look at the devastating mud slide in Oso, as well as the tremendous reconstruction work in progress.

At milepost 41 we turned right onto French Creek Road. About four miles later we found the trailhead packed with families just like ours, who were looking for an easy and fun hike to do with kids. As soon as our Northwest Trails pass was on the dashboard, we were ready for adventure.

The hike to Boulder River Falls is relatively flat and easy. Burton says it’s 2.5 miles with a 250 feet elevation gain. My 5-year-old daughter was able to handle it just fine. But be warned: there were a lot of bugs. In retrospect, we should have brought bug spray.

The waterfall itself is breathtaking, but my kids’ favorite part was throwing rocks into the river. This was good for an hour’s worth of entertainment. Then they discovered a patch of clay, and I knew my car upholstery would never be the same again.

On our way home we stopped by Fruitful Farm and Nursery and picked up some fresh local honey from Oso. It was a very “sweet” way to end the day.

* Correction, Aug. 14, 2014: This article originally used an incorrect name for the road.

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