We moved to washington just a few weeks ago and were eager to go on our first outdoor excursion. Using the Washington Trails Association (WTA) website for the first time we found the Otter and Big Creek Falls – Taylor River hike. At 10 miles it was one of the longest hikes we had ever attempted but, it only had 650 feet of elevation gain. We set off with the hope that this would be an easy introduction to hiking!

There was a bit of water on the beginning portion of the trail but nothing major.

There was a bit of water on the beginning portion of the trail but nothing major.

Despite the constant and unpleasant drizzle that continued throughout the day we made it through the hike without any problem! There were several river crossings but there were bridges over the major waterways. On the smaller crossings there were ample stones and other materials to allow for safe crossings and we never got our feet wet.

Bridge over Big Creek Falls

Bridge at Marten Creek about 3 miles in

Somewhat dodgy river crossing... But we made it without getting wet!

Somewhat dodgy river crossing… But we made it without getting wet!

Latigo crossing the nicely built bridge over Big Creek Falls

Latigo crossing the bridge over Marten Creek

We decided to let Latigo off leash during some of the river crossings for own safety and to make it easier on him. He swam happily across without incident!

This was a popular trail with a lot of people on it. After seeing the two spectacular waterfalls that grace this hike we soon understood its popularity. The views were breathtaking. We took the side 1/4 of a mile side trip to see Otter Falls on the way in. We were glad we did!

Otter Creek Falls

Otter Creek Falls

Otter Creek Falls

Otter Creek Falls

We turned around 5 miles in at the concrete bridge, “a remnant of the old road and a developer’s dream, a dream that fortunately died. The wide road that was planned into the headwaters of the Taylor River valley never progressed much beyond a logging road, and even that has largely disappeared, leaving this primitive trail.” according to the WTA. The bridge gives an amazing viewpoint for Big Creek Falls, your final destination on the hike.

Big Creek Falls

Big Creek Falls

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Latigo wanted to say hi to the many people gathered on the bridge taking photos.

Latigo wanted to say hi to the many people gathered on the bridge taking photos.

It was a great hike to do on a drizzly day because we weren’t missing out on any views.

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The waterfalls and surrounding mountains were shrouded in the mystery and beauty that a rainy day offers. Overall this was a great start to the many adventures that lie ahead for us in the beautiful Cascade Mountains!

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About the author


I am the youngest of six daughters and spent my childhood vacations camping in the beautiful State Parks of MN. In 2009 I married my best friend, Bobby Marko. We have embarked on numerous adventures along with our Golden Retriever, Latigo, our son, Jack (born 7/26/2014) and our daughter, Rowan (born 10/25/2016). When not adventuring in the great outdoors I spend my time as a stay at home mom and volunteer. I am a Branch Lead for the Twin Cities Hike it Baby branch. My favorite pastimes include dog training, eating chocolate, reading mysteries and crappy romance novels, and creating paper crafts, my passion lies in writing.

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