Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Rainbow Falls State Park

As waterfalls go, this one is barely a ripple, at least this time of the year. Perhaps as water levels drop? We did, however, spot two raccoons racing along the bank opposite the highway.

We parked on Highway 6 and walked the barely two miles of trail on the south side of the highway on April 21. Lots of trillium were in bloom, as were a few skunk cabbage, and Cardimine nuttalli. Bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa) was in bud and we could recognize the leaves of oxalis and meadow rue (Thalictrum occidentale). Birds included Pacific wrens, varied thrush, and a pileated woodpecker.

The remainder of the park is across the Chehalis River and requires a drive east to a big bridge or west to a tiny bridge. We walked from the campground out to the Willapa Hills trail then turned east on what is currently hard packed gravel until we could go no more; the bridge is out!

Rainbow Falls State Park is located about 17 miles west of I-5 near Chehalis on Highway 6.

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