Myrtle Falls at Mount Rainier National Park. Credit LDELD via Flickr CC
Kid-friendly waterfall hikes
Editor's note: This article was originally published a few years ago. Access status can change day by day; please double check before you go, and please follow guidelines for recreating outdoors to keep your family and others safe.
The Cascade Range is named for them — hundreds of waterfalls, big and small, that cascade down streams and plunge over cliffs, carrying huge amounts of water from winter rains and melting snow.
A giant roaring waterfall is a five-senses experience, while gentle cascades down a mountain stream will lull you to a tranquil rest.
Safety tips: Waterfalls are beautiful but can be dangerous, especially in spring conditions when there has been lots of rain.
- Never venture into the direct stream of a large waterfall, as loose rocks often tumble down with the water. Never climb up waterfalls, and don’t let children jump from high rocks into a waterfall’s pool.
- If children wish to wade into a shallow backcountry pool or stream to cool off or look for critters, make sure they’re closely supervised and wearing sturdy shoes that can handle loose, slippery rocks.
- Most importantly, always check conditions of trails and roads before your hike — one of the best resources available is Washington Trails Assocation's trip reports, where you can get the most current conditions.
Use the arrows above the image to see all nine kid-friendly hikes to waterfalls that never disappoint.