June 18, 2021

Hike 14: Mima Falls East Trail

By Linda Hilburn
Hike 14: Mima Falls East Trail
4.7 Miles
Ancestral Lands of Nisqually, Chehalis, and Coast Salish
Discovery Pass Required
Early Mima Falls Trail  Feet hiking

Mima Falls East Trail is a well used hiking trail that allows dogs and horses (so expect poop). It’s a very easy trail with only 557 ft of elevation gain. The waterfall itself is small by Washington standards and the trail is less picturesque than many you could hike here, but woah the wildflowers in April. For that alone, we’d recommend this hike. Trillium for days, skunk cabbage, yellow stream violets, and those are just the wildflowers I can identify! It was truly gorgeous. Especially for a toddler that loves flowers of all kinds.

Trillium Skunk Cabbage


The trailhead itself is very easy to locate. AllTrails directions will take you directly to the parking area. It has a relatively large lot by trailhead standards and a set of bathrooms, however it was quite crowded so plan accordingly. It is a gravel lot and the trailhead begins directly beside the bathroom facilities. 

 child hiking inspect the stump

The first portion of the trail is pretty unimpressive and seems much more like a logging road than a trail. We passed a few groups of horses and very many dogs. Several of which were off leash, so if you have a group member that is skittish around horses or dogs, then this trail is not for you. 


Eventually you will get to a crossroads with a stop sign. This area can be a little confusing. You’ll walk down the crossroads and to the right. You’ll see the trail ahead of you. This is where the trail gets better. You’ll climb into a forested area that is much more in line with what you imagine a PNW hike will hold. The sound of water will follow you as a stream seems to run along/through the trail. You’ll cross a few bridges, see gorgeous wildflowers, before finally arriving at your destination.

mushroom trail

Mima Falls is actually easy to miss, so I recommend using the bridge as a marker. Once you hit the bridge, you’ve gone a few steps to far. The trail down to the falls is to your right. Mima Falls is quite small, but still beautiful. To us the best part was the stream running beneath the bridge. There’s a small bank that is accessible so it allows for a little beside the water play. 

child by river Mima falls

Overall, we would recommend Mima Falls hike in spring to see the wildflowers. I’m not sure that we would ever visit in the summer when flowers were not in bloom as they were the main attraction for us. 

Mom and kid

For this hike I chose to donate to Indigenous Environmental Network. This organization was established in 1990 and formed by Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues. You can read about their history and work here: https://www.ienearth.org/about/

If you would also like to donate, you can do so here: https://www.ienearth.org/