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Angel Falls Loop

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
View map below

Length

3.4 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1100 ft.
Highest Point: 2300 ft.

Rating

3.13 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2021
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

A great hike for shade and well-maintained trails with views of waterfalls and rock-faces, the Angel Falls Loop includes a stop by Covel Falls (or Curtain Falls). It is an ideal hike for starting out with a family or for taking during the winter months.

The hike departs from the Cispus Environmental Learning Center, which is open year-round for school and other groups. You can often acquire a trail map there or use the recommended Green Trails map.

The trail starts out climbing away from the road rather steeply, switchbacking up the hill to a junction a half-mile from the parking area. From here, signs may direct you to Angel Falls and Covell Creek Falls, but they'll likely simply say 'waterfall', rather than specify which one). Covel Creek is first, then Angel.

In the half-mile from the intersection to Covel Creek Falls, the trail skirts basalt cliffs of towering more than 200 feet above the trail. Occasionally these outcroppings overhang the trail, and brushes of ferns and mosses hang down above your head. Shading the trail on the downhill side is vine maple, and between the cliffs, ferns, mosses, and trees, this is a really pretty section of trail. An added bonus here is the old lava tube style caves.

Covell Creek Falls is a memorable destination. Here, the trail dives behind the wall of water, or in the case of the late summer, thin fountain-like streams coming down the 75 foot basalt face. The only full trailside views of the falls are on the far side of the creek, but the vegetation around the falls is fragile, so please refrain from departing the trail for a better photo. 

Past Covel Creek falls, the trail climbs again, this time more steeply. The trail is typically well-maintained but rugged. That, combined with the steepness meas you'll definitely want good shoes for this hike. After another half-mile of distance and 200 feet of climbing, the trail levels and splits. Here, it's possible to continue to Burley Mountain continues uphill, while Angel Falls lies downhill.

Head downhill for just a quarter mile, and find yourself at the base of 175-foot Angel Falls. In the right season, there will be a rather sizable stream, pleasantly skipping down the mossy rocks, but Angel Falls can be finicky -- in times of drought, there may be no falls at all!

When you've taken in all the nature you can, cross the stream below Angel Falls, then cross Covell Creek and begin the easy, flat quarter-mile trek to the first trail junction, and another half-mile downhill to the trailhead.

 

Angel Falls Loop

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.4388, -121.8520 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley

Covel Creek (#228), Covel Creek Falls (#228A), Angel Falls (#228B), Burley Mountain (#256)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

USGS Tower Rock

Green Trails No 333 McCoy Peak

Getting There

Take exit 68 from I-5 for Highway 12 and head east toward Randle. Turn south onto the Cispus Road (Highway 131 toward Mount St. Helens). After approximately a mile, follow Forest Road 23 to the left (also called Cispus Road). The rest of the way is well marked by brown Forest Service signs on the right hand side of the road.

From Randle, the center is 11 miles away. Turn right onto Road 28 and continue two miles to the Cispus Environmental Learning Center where you can park. The Covel Creek Trail is across from the entrance to the center.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Angel Falls Loop

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