Mima Falls Trail

Capitol State Forest, Washington

Mima Falls - Pacific North Wanderers.jpg

We arrived at the campground around 12:15. The day was rain-free with peek-a-boo sunshine. The temperature was mid 40’s and little to no breeze. We started up Mima Falls Trail East.


This portion of the trail is frequented by horses and was a bit muddy due to recent rains. While we encountered no horses on the trail, we saw plenty of evidence of their having gone before us. The clear prints of shod hooves and numerous piles of manure left no doubt.


The trail soon crossed a gravel road and lead into a younger stand of small trees. Many stumps and large piles of debris from clearing the property were visible. The trail soon headed into larger trees of an older forest.

Ever present in the distance was the sound of gunfire. The Evergreen Firing Range is not too far. The sounds of gun blasts, loud at first, soon became the pops reminiscent of microwave popcorn. The sounds were so frequent, that we only became aware of them again after they had stopped for a bit.


Decisions, decisions…


In these larger trees birds seemed to appear all around. We witnessed woodpeckers, finches, Stellar Jays and the ever curious Grey Jay. Some of the trees here were quite tall and covered in mosses. A couple of spots had small trees bent over the path creating enchanting portals to the path beyond.


Standing water and the quiet trickling of running water were more prevalent here. Recent rains had created meandering rivulets across the path, draining down to the lowest points and collecting as ponds. Some wooden walkways helped in traversing a small stream.


The trail was easy going and lined bilaterally with fern, moss and large trees. Soon the trail Y’d and we took a left. Now we were on Mima Falls Trail West.


Here’s where the trail splits. Stay left for Mima Falls Trail West to reach the falls. Taking a right leads to Mima Falls Tie Trail which loops back around.


A bridge was just ahead over a creek or small river. Soon we could hear the Falls in the distance.


We came to a picnic table and another bridge just beyond. The Falls were not viewable from the bridge, so we hugged the brush close the picnic table and found the trail down. Immediately to our left Mima Falls came into view.


What a pleasant surprise! A beautiful set of falls, gorged with water rushing and splashing down over a stepped series of rocks. We poked around here, looking for the best spot and angle for photographs. It was wet and slippery so we were careful not to inadvertently take a swim.


Once we felt we had as many photos as we could safely get, we made our way back up and continued on the trail past the Falls for quite a way.


After a bit we decided to turn back as there wasn’t much in the way of a view to capture. We again stopped at the picnic table, this time to eat and take a brief break.

The trip back was uneventful, though we did happen upon other hikers, a couple of bicyclists, a lady with 4 large dogs and a guy foraging around in the forest for who knows what. The temperature was beginning to drop as the sun got lower and we encountered just a scant few sprinkles right at the end.


Sun setting, moon rising


This was an easier hike and we can imagine it being so much more pleasant without the gunfire as a backdrop. Mima Falls makes this hike. An exclamation point on an otherwise sedate trail.


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