The area around and including Hawk Creek Campground is an interesting area, and that is because of the geological landmarks, the history of the land, and because of the recreation activities available to visitors. The water level will vary depending on when a person visits, but the waterfall itself was flowing strong during both of my visits. Mid January of 2018 provided a nice serene snow covered landscape, which was complimented by the sound of Hawk Creek cascading over the ledge and plunging to the rocks below. Hiking the area at that time proved pretty difficult, but the campground was easy enough to navigate. Navigating to the campground is easy enough with good directions, and the most accurate coordinates I could find are 47.816 N, 118.325 W according to Google Maps.
The wildlife in the area is probably what most folks would expect to see. Deer, beavers, and probably the occasional elk or moose can be found wandering across the hills. Waterfowl are typically floating around while birds of prey such as eagles dominate the skies. Along with watching wildlife people can find quite a few activities to pass the time, such as biking, hiking, boating, kayaking, fishing, and swimming in the designated areas.
A couple things to consider when planning a visit are road conditions and the water level. Most hikers seem to agree that the area is best to hike when the water is low, because you can follow a fisherman’s trail through the pines, around a couple bends, and down to the beach for a nice stroll. As the water level increases through the year, beach access decreases. If you happen to hike during the later part of the year, there are always some trails that lead up the hills to the rocky ridge line. Along that ridge is where some caves can be found, although I am not sure exactly how many are up there. Some great information about the 4.5-5 mile hike and the geology of the area can be found on this Washington Trails Association info page.
I happened to spot a massive cave from the parking area near the boat ramp, but visitors need to turn and look up the hillside through some trees. The hike from there is not a super long hike, and there are a few game trails to follow. However, the trek is a relatively steep grade, and there are some loose rocks along the path. Once hikers reach the cave the view is pretty spectacular.
People can keep trekking along the ridge for an amazing view, and at certain times folks might be able to even make it out to the Columbia. About 5 to 6 miles north is the confluence of the Spokane and Columbia Rivers, which is an area people may be able to visit in the same day if planned accordingly. Planning also means packing appropriately, and this Outbound Collective report by Rose Freeman reminds people to pack all of the essentials with some extra food and water. Plus the hiking needs will include comfortable and sturdy boots or shoes, some trekking poles, and of course a camera to capture some of the marvelous landscapes around. It is also a good idea to take some camping gear if using one of the 21 provided camping spots. Just remember to pay the small fee at the station. All of those things considered, it should make for a great day trip for anyone wanting to visit the area.
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