Easygoing, Pet-Friendly Hiking in Camas, Washington
Lacamas Creek trail is the perfect spot for a quick stretch of the legs and provides a beautiful payoff for such a short hike from the car. This spot really is ideal for a lunchtime walk in Camas, Washington.
Hike Distance: 1.4 roundtrip miles to the McEnry bridge and back, or continue on past the bridge for a 4.3 mile loop.
What to wear: We hike this trail year-round. On a sunny day in March, I wore leggings and a t-shirt with a light fleece jacket. In Summer, you'll want shorts and short sleeves.
What to pack:
- Light snacks or lunch
What to expect: This trail is popular but it's wide enough to accommodate everyone. Lots of dog-walkers on this trail. The McEnry bridge area has picnic tables and a beautiful view of the raging rapids of Lacamas Creek.
The parking lot accommodates about 20-25 cars and does not require a fee or a pass to park.
Park your car, grab your pack and head out into the wilderness. Considering this trail is only moments from downtown Camas, you really feel like you're "out there." And it's a great escape from the stinky mill that fills the breathing air in Camas, Washington. Yuck.
Enough Walking Room for Everyone at Lacamas Creek Trail
This is a popular spot for bikers, hikers and strollers (literally, the trail to McEnry bridge is so well kept that you can push your toddler in a stroller!) and there is room enough for everyone, even on the busiest days. We hike this trail year-round, but today's hike takes place in early March on an uncharacteristically sunny and warm day.
The main trails were dry, and the tiny offshoots that lead down to the creek were still very soggy. Too soggy for sneakers, anyway.
Head off-trail to see the greatest views of Lacamas Creek
Even through the mud, it's worth it to go off-trail and grab a view of the rapids below.
Less than a mile from the parking lot you'll come to a picnic area near Lacamas Creek with two picnic tables in an open, sunny spot next to McEnry Bridge. It's the perfect place along this hiking trail to take in the sounds of the birds, the breeze through the forest, and the rapids of Lacamas Creek below.
McEnry Bridge at Lacamas Creek
What a beautiful spot! And only 0.7 miles from the car -- it's a great payoff, and the perfect area to drink some water and enjoy the view.
In the summer, there is a lot of bare rock over which to climb and sit, but during our visit the rapids were raging and the water was high, making under-bridge hiking a little more treacherous. Especially when your dog is trying to jump into the creek!
Enjoy Your Downtime, or Keep Hiking
At this point you've got some options. If a quick stretch of the legs near Camas is what you're looking for before heading back to work, this is the perfect spot to hang out for a bit and then return. If you want to keep hiking, here's what to expect.
Cross the bridge to the east side and you can turn right or left. Both directions will take you around a loop and return you right back to McEnry Bridge. The loop is about a little more than 3 miles, and will take you around the gorgeous Round Lake, and another set of spectacular waterfalls. Follow the signs to make your way back along the loop to Lacamas Creek.
It's really the perfect lunchtime hike (the shorter Lacamas Creek part of the trail) giving you plenty of time to get outdoors, eat your lunch, and get back in time for afternoon meetings. Or, just play hooky the rest of the day and hike the entire loop from Lacamas Creek Trail to Round Lake and back again. Either way, it's a great payoff with multiple waterfalls/large rapids and quiet trails with sunbeams shooting through the cedar trees. Enjoy!
More Local Lunchtime Hikes in Oregon & SW Washington
Looking for another hiking destination that's close enough to town and short enough to walk during your lunch break? Look no further than our PNW Hiking Blog, where you can find full day, half day, and lunch hour hiking ideas in places like Happy Valley and Downtown Vancouver. Now, get out there!