It's a bummer. The Twin Falls trail, our home trail, is still closed. Last we heard, Washington State Parks was still working toward a mid-Summer reopening. The barrier remains just below the benches at the first overlook and although there's a clear way-trail around the barrier we are good boys and girls so we don't continue.
Great. Now what?
If you want to see Twin Falls you still can, but you have to start at the Homestead Valley trailhead off Exit 38. It's a shorter hike and there's no access to the water, but the waterfalls are as impressive as ever.
Still in Olallie State Park, but upstream, is Weeks Falls. There's a short (very short) nature trail to Weeks Falls, but it's a great hike for little feet. It's only a quarter mile long with no real gain, but the falls are pretty.
You could drive up the freeway another 13 miles to Franklin Falls. It's a short two mile hike with minimal gain, but you can get right down to play in the river at the base of the falls. This can be a great hike in the snow, too. The waterfall is usually coated ice much of the winter. Get off at Exit 47 and drive a short while to the trailhead.
Also at Exit 47, though on the other side of the freeway, is the Asahel Curtis Nature Trail. It's only a half mile, but it goes over Humpback Creek, which can really get roaring, and is perfect for little legs.
Going west one exit to Exit 32 there are three options.
- Go north of the freeway to Little Si. It's longer and has more gain than Twin Falls (5.0 miles, 1,200 feet), but the view from the top is better. It's also a great spot to think about the future when you're up for big Mt. Si.
- Go up to Rattlesnake Lake and keep climbing to Rattlesnake Ledge. It's four miles and 1,100 feet of gain to the first ledge (there are three), but the trail is wide and smooth all the way up. Plus, there are letterboxes along the way.
- Also starting near Rattlesnake Lake, but at the Iron Horse trailhead, the route to Cedar Butte feels more adventurous than most of the others because it was long an unofficial trail. Now it's part of Olallie State Park (just like Twin Falls), but the trail hasn't received much attention. Bonus: Kids love knowing that the benchmark at the top reads, "Cedar Butt." (3.0 miles and 900 feet of gain.)
If you wind up at the Twin Falls trailhead and you're looking for more than a mile and a half check out one of these other local trails. Save Twin Falls for when the trail is open from one end to the other and you can really enjoy it.