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Hike to Panther Creek Falls

Carson, Washington

based on 12 reviews



0.5 miles

Elevation Gain

200 ft

Route Type



Added by Angela Service

This 130 ft. unique waterfall is a hidden gem in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It's a short, less than 0.25 mile hike down to the viewing platform.

This hidden beauty is just north of Carson, Washington. Watch for Panther Creek campground signs and follow the twisting road about 7 miles to a rock quarry and park there. The trail begins just off the road about 50 yards back - keep an eye out for signs for the trailhead and listen for the falls. From here it's a short walk to a wooden viewing platform with a well maintained trail. It's a nice shady area and a good spot to picnic. There are no garbage cans, so make sure you gather everything you bring in and don't leave anything behind. This is the family and pet friendly part of the hike.

If you're feeling adventurous, hike/scramble/climb your way down to the base of the falls if you can do it safely. It is very steep and slippery and more for the advanced hiker. 200 ft. downstream is another spectacular waterfall and just as difficult to get to as the first one. Be cautious and keep your children and pets at home if you're venturing to this waterfall.

Check the USDA Forrest Service website for more information on Panther Creek Falls Trail #137.

Falls Coordinates:
N45º 52.031', W121º 49.688'

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


This simple hike takes you to a breathtaking waterfall. It's a little hard to find off the road, so look for other cars!

Really enjoyed easy hike

We brought my brother’s girlfriend here and she really enjoyed it. She’s not too fond of hiking so we knew the 0.5 miles would be ideal and it all worked out. She had a great time and so will you!

I went on this hike a few years back, so I'm not sure what updates have been made, but I made the trek out there just for the waterfall. There is a viewpoint very close to the parking area, but the best views were from the base of the waterfall. I only encountered maybe two people while there on a weekday

I can't believe this website is condoning off-trail behavior. Between websites like this and social media, no wonder places like this are getting shut down. They created a NEW TRAIL to a lower platform with OBVIOUS SIGNAGE that asks you to STAY ON THE TRAIL. Several people have died here in the last few years due to websites like this encouraging people to go off trail! Just don't. Respect public lands and obey the signage.

I can't give a review of Panther Creek Falls because I was unable to make it there due to Panther Creek Road (NF-65). Should have done my research first. Road is covered in fallen trees and snow, turned around after about a half mile in, feel lucky my little Ford Focus didn't get stuck. Google "NF-65 Washington" before you go to make sure the road is passable first.

Assuming weather conditions allow you to safely descend to the base of Panther Creek Falls and view the falls from "The Cauldron", do it. :) It is an amazing experience to be down there and have waterfalls in surround sound. It is tough to not get a great photo - that is just a bonus to the experience. Pray for an overcast day so the light diffuses. If you are going just for photography, try and go early in the day (8:30-10:30 a.m. or so).

I've been here three times and each time the waterfall is different. It's such a unique waterfall and a great one to photograph. Just make sure to bring a plastic bag because your camera will get wet!

It took a while to find the trailhead because "Falls-->" was etched onto the ground. But the waterfall was quite stunning. It reminds me of Ramona Falls, but this is by far much more grand and is only a quick walk. Definitely a must visit.

The view from the platform is great, but if you want the true experience, you need to climb down to the bottom of the falls. Looking toward the platform, go left and you'll find the trail. It is rather steep in some areas, and you must partially rappel to get down. But he base of the falls is absolutely stunning and definitely worth the work.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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