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Make a Trip to Murhut Falls in Western Washington

As soon as I got home from work on Friday night my husband asked me if I wanted to camping. Is the answer ever “no?” We rushed around the house and got everything packed for five people and a crazy Labrador. An hour later, we were excitedly driving away. Now, we had no clue to where to go. Nothing is open, and we have never done dispersed camping.

The kids are getting older and the idea of escaping into the woods, rather than an actual campground, sounded like a fun challenge.

I wrote out our grocery list while the kids were getting ready to pass out from all of the excitement. They made sure that I did not forget to put s’more stuff on the list though. We were googling state land and places near water. We decided to try out a few on the list, turned up the music and enjoyed the view.

The first location we tried, Brown Creek Campground had amazing spots but were already taken. Next time we have a long weekend, we will try those again. We drove, and drove, and drove. Back country roads are gorgeous, but every mile seems to last 15 minutes. Fairly sure the shocks on the van were stressed out a bit from all the potholes. But I was impressed with how well it handled.

Around 1:00 AM we saw a sign for Duckabush State Park just outside Brinnon, Washington. While looking for a place to camp we stumbled across a sign for Murhut Falls. Duckabush wasn’t our destination, but we were getting tired and decided to check it out. We drove all the way down to the trail, seeing quite a few campers along the way. Thinking that this would be great place to stay, we started our search for an open spot.

We were the only people nearby on a flat grassy field. We could hear Elk bugling and the rushing river nearby. There were thousands of stars in the sky and it was SO peaceful.

The next morning, we made coffee and breakfast and decided to take a little walk and go to the Falls. It was only 0.8 miles, so we figured that the kids would have an easy time hiking. We started up the trail, and then went up more, and then more, and then more again. The kids were getting a little irritated with the incline, but they had all the energy in the world to climb trees and search for slugs.

We finally had a nice break from the incline and could start to hear the rushing water. Our spirits were lifted, and we got a little more energy in our steps. The first sight of a waterfall was beautiful. We were finally here. But we were not close to it, and the trail kept going. Once the trail ended, the waterfall that we saw took our breath away. It was so tall and wide and halfway down was a large cave-looking hole behind the water. For a water fall we had never heard of, it was probably more impressive than Multnomah Falls.

My husband wanted to climb up to the cave. It did not look particularly hard to reach, except it was raining and all the ways up were a little too steep and slick. Reaching the cave seems to be something for hikers with a bit of climbing experience.

There were large trees and moss-covered boulders scattered all over. We quickly found some shallow and slow-moving water for the kids to play in and throw rocks. While they were enjoying being kids and getting soaked, my husband and I were quickly taking photos of the scenery and the children playing. It was so peaceful, and I wished that we had packed a lunch and planned to stay there all day.

The hike back seemed to take 15 minutes. It was mostly all downhill and we had already explored every cool tree on the way up. We got to the tent, changed into warm and dry clothes and then all 5 us of (plus the dog) took the most relaxing nap ever.  We will be back soon, and you should see this waterfall as well!

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Written by Heather Dembeck

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