We spent a few days in the Carson WA area which is a about an hour East of Portland on the Columbia river.
We just happened to visit during the total eclipse. The area was considered to be one of the best areas to see the eclipse. Our host provided the proper eyewear for us. I have to say it was a very eerie deal. All of the sudden it got dark and it dropped 20 degrees in a mater of a minute in the middle of the afternoon.
Carson WA, is a hidden gem in the Pacific Northwest that offers a variety of local attractions and is a great destination for waterfall lovers. The waterfalls and the Columbia river are the areas biggest attractions.
After a day of hiking, visitors can indulge in some delicious local cuisine at one of the many dining options in Carson WA. For a cozy dining experience, the Carson General Store offers homemade pies, sandwiches, and soups in a charming setting.
Places to Eat in Carson Washington
- La Gula Mexican Food Truck is a great spot for authentic Mexican food. The tacos are my favorite, but they also have burritos, quesadillas, and more.
- Hap Cafe is a classic American diner. They serve up all your favorites, like pancakes, burgers, and milkshakes. Hap Cafe
- Backwoods Brewing Company is a great place to go for a beer and some pub food. They have a wide selection of beers on tap, and their pizzas are delicious. This had to be or favorite place to stop after a long days hike.
- Big River Grill is a popular spot for steaks, seafood, and pasta. They have a great view of the Columbia River, and their service is excellent. thebigrivergrill.com
- The Cascade Dining Room is a fine dining restaurant with a focus on local ingredients. The menu changes seasonally, but you can always expect to find delicious food and impeccable service.
- Big Man’s Rotisserie serves up mouth-watering barbecue dishes
These are just a few of the many great places to eat in Carson, Washington. No matter what your taste, you’re sure to find something to your liking.
Places to Stay In Carson Washington
There are a variety of places to stay in Carson, from rustic cabins to luxurious resorts.
One of the most popular places to stay in Carson is the Carson Hot Springs Resort. This resort has been around since 1892, and it’s known for its natural hot springs. The resort also has a golf course, a spa, and a variety of restaurants.
Another popular option is Tenzen Springs & Cabins. This resort is located in Stevenson, Washington, which is just a short drive from Carson. Tenzen Springs has a variety of cabins to choose from, all of which are equipped with hot tubs and fireplaces.
If you’re looking for something a little more rustic, you might consider staying at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins. This is where we choose to stay. These cabins are located in the woods, and they offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It was very comfortable and we plan on returning.
Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins
Hiking enthusiasts will be delighted to discover the abundance of scenic trails in and around Carson. Carson is located in the Gifford Pinchot National forest and is very close to Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument. One of the most popular hiking destinations is the Wind River Trail, which is a 15-mile round trip hike that rewards hikers with stunning views of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Wind River Falls. For a shorter hike, the Panther Creek Falls Trail is an easy one-mile trek that leads to a beautiful waterfall. Wow is all there is to say about this waterfall.
With over 100 trails to choose from. Some of the best hikes in Carson include:
Dog Mountain Trail:
This is a challenging 6.5-mile hike with stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge. This trail features a variety of landscapes and habitats, which makes this area special within the Columbia River Gorge. Close to the parking lot and trailhead, you will enjoy a mix of temperate and high-desert flora.
As the trail climbs through the mountain, the climate cools and the landscape transforms into temperate Pacific-Northwest forest, with plenty of large moss-covered trees and shade. Then, the trail makes its way to higher elevations through alpine meadows, which are exposed to the extremes of winter and summer weather. alltrails.com
Lower Falls Creek Trail:
This is a moderate 3.5-mile hike that leads to a beautiful waterfall. The trail is mostly shaded and easy to follow. alltrails.com
Wind Mountain Trail:
This is a moderate 2.4-mile hike with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The trail is mostly open and offers great opportunities for wildlife viewing. Looking east you have a great perspective of Dog Mountain.
To the south across the Columbia River you will see Mitchell Point. Following the horizon toward the east you see Mount Defiance, the highest mountain in the gorge. Looking west down the Columbia River you might spot Indian Point, a rock spire along the Oregon side.
On the Washington side, you will see Table Mountain and Greenleaf Peak. On a clear day, look to your northwest and spot Mount Saint Helens. hikingproject.com
Panther Creek Falls Trail:
This is a short .3-mile hike that leads to a series of waterfalls. The trail has an elevation gain of 121 feet in this short distance.Panther Creek Falls is one of the most unique waterfalls in Skamania County.
There are 2 tiers of segmented waterfalls, 50-70 feet in height. They both empty into the same basin. This trail takes you to the viewing platform where you can view the falls. gorgefriends.org
Falls Creek Lower Falls Loop:
This is an easy 2.5-mile loop hike that leads to a waterfall. The trail is mostly flat and easy to follow. waterfallsnorthwest.com
These are just a few of the many great hikes in Carson, Washington. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike with stunning views or a more leisurely stroll through the forest, you’re sure to find a trail that’s perfect for you.
Here are some other great hikes in Carson:
Starvation Ridge and Warren Lake Trail:
This is a challenging 11-mile hike with amazing views of the Columbia River Gorge. It has been described as brutal but well worth the effort. alltrails.com
Grassy Knoll Trail:
This is a challenging 3.8-mile hike with views of Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. The trail is shaded most of the way and has plenty of views. There are lots of wild flowers around the Knoll. alltrails.com
Soda Peaks Lake Trail:
This is a moderate 9.8-mile hike with a beautiful lake at the end. It is considered to be a challenging route. Soda Peaks Lake, formerly known as Lost Lake, is in the southern portion of the Trapper Creek Wilderness in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It is about 15 miles north of the town of Carson.
The Soda Peaks Lake Trail (#133) passes by the lake and has trailheads both east and west of the lake. This approach takes you over the sturdy new footbridge at Trapper Creek for an unrelenting ascent to the destination.
There are a number of good campsites at the lake, which lies nestled in a glacial cirque below the summit of an old volcano that erupted about 360,000 years ago. www.wta.org
Angels Rest Trail:
This is a 4.5-mile out-and-back trail near Corbett, Oregon. Generally considered a challenging route, it takes an average of 2 h 51 min to complete.
Angel’s Rest is the perfect mix for hikers looking for moderate elevation gain, relatively short distance, and incredible reward at the summit with 360-degree views of the Columbia River Gorge and Portland’s northern metro.
The parking area at the trailhead is very well maintained and is located just a short distance from I-84. Since this trailhead is very popular throughout the year, parking can be difficult past 10:00 A.M., but there is additional parking on the road located a few hundred feet west of the trailhead.
Big Huckleberry Mountain Trail:
This is a challenging 10-mile hike with views of the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood. The best view is at the end of trail where you have a great view of Mt. Hood.
Other local attractions in Carson include the Columbia River Gorge, where visitors can enjoy fishing, kayaking, camping, kite boarding, and wind surfing. The Beacon Rock State Park is another popular spot for outdoor activities, featuring a challenging hike to the top of a basalt monolith with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
In addition to its waterfalls, the Gorge is home to a variety of other natural wonders, including forests, cliffs, and meadows. I loved hiking in the Gorge, and I especially enjoyed the trails at Eagle Creek and Beacon Rock.
The Gorge is also home to a number of historic sites, including the Vista House, a beautiful viewpoint that was built in 1918. I also enjoyed visiting the Maryhill Museum of Art, which houses a collection of European and American art.
Here are some other things you can do in the Columbia River Gorge:
- Go whitewater rafting on the Columbia River.
- Visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center to learn about the history and geology of the area.
- Hike to the top of Beacon Rock for stunning views of the gorge.
- Visit the Multnomah Falls Lodge for a bite to eat and some amazing views.
- Take a scenic drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway.
- Camp in one of the many campgrounds in the gorge.
The Columbia River Gorge and Carson are a truly special place, and I highly recommend visiting if you ever have the chance. It’s a place where you can hike, camp, raft, fish, bike, and sightsee. There’s something for everyone in the Columbia River Gorge. it is a must-visit destination for travelers looking to experience the beauty and adventure of the Pacific Northwest.