The Upper Little Goose Creek Falls and Little Goose Creek Falls hike at Gifford Pinchot National Forest is an easy 0.6-mile out-and-back trail that leads to scenic waterfalls.
This is an easy hike on unofficial use trails that lead off of National Forest Road 88. The upper falls is a short 11 foot plunge cascading off of a vertical black basalt block. The main (lower) Little Goose Creek Falls is taller. You can get right up to the base of the upper falls, but you can only get a view of the main falls from above the canyon wall. Nevertheless, the views of the falls down below and the massive basalt canyon are impressive. I did not hike to the main Little Goose Creek Falls on this hike, but someday will do this hike again and make it there.
On Road 88 out of Trout Lake, turn left onto Road 051 and park on the side of the road. Walk down Road 88 just before the confluence of the road and Little Goose Creek, and find a use trail departing from the road to the right (east).
The trail is well traveled and easy to follow, with a few blowdowns (windthrow). The trail follows the southern rim of the Little Goose Creek canyon, then soon runs alongside a previous regenerating clear cut area. The trail always stays near the edge of the canyon, never getting too far away from the rim.
In around a quarter mile or so, look for a trail departing steeply to the left down into the canyon. Take this root-littered path down to the bottom, then follow the streambank upstream toward the sound of the falls. The falls is a short walk upstream. The Upper Little Goose Creek Falls plunges 11 feet off of a sheer vertical block of basalt rock, into a pool of water. There is a wide, gravelly bar on the other side of the pool for easy viewing of the falls. Be careful to avoid trampling any vegetation growing to the left side of the falls below the canyon wall, however.
Head back the way you came, back up to the main use trail along the canyon rim. Keep going along this trail to see Little Goose Creek Falls (views of this falls may be limited and hard to recognize–flagging might be present to help.) You can also continue along the trail to get some fantastic viewpoints over the Little Goose Creek canyon itself, (which gets deeper beyond the upper falls), featuring some stunning displays of columnar basalt formations. As a general rule of thumb, the main trail always stays along the rim of the canyon, never heading away from it too far.
Stay clear of steep cliff drop-offs and falling rock. Watch your footing on root-filled paths.
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