We have no shortage of incredible waterfalls and hikes around Vancouver, WA, ranging in difficulty and elevation gain. I've collected a few below that I believe are family friendly. Remember that weather and seasons can change the terrain dramatically, so do some research on each trail within the last 2-4 weeks for up to date conditions.
Round Lake Loop & Pothole Falls in Lacamas Lake Regional Park
For the lowest impact and nearest waterfalls to Vancouver, just venture down the 14 into Camas. It’s just a 1.6-mile outing with 200 feet of elevation change and totally doable for kids. There are a number of junctions where you can extend your hike and explore more, varying terrain, such as the Camas lily fields, in the summertime. Distance from Vancouver: 25 Minutes, depending on traffic.
This is another low impact, quick (under a quarter mile?) walk that’s even accessible by stroller, off Oregon Highway 30. If you’re unfamiliar, hiking through the Columbia Gorge offers two paths–one on the Oregon side and one on the Washington side; the river being the stateline. The bright green moss over the rocks under Latourell Falls is vibrantly instagrammable, and the mist floating off the waterfall is fun for kids. The accessibility of this one makes it a bit busier than the others to come, but still worth a quick stop. Distance from Vancouver: 40 Minutes, depending on traffic.
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is one of my favorite day trips from Vancouver, and Sioxon Creek is a great place to start exploring. The pools that the waterfalls pour into are majestic green and blue jewel tones. Depending on how far you want to go, you can see four waterfalls, Horseshoe Creek Falls, Siouxon Falls, Chinook Falls, Wildcat Falls, and the hike can range from 4-9 miles. Try checking out AllTrails for specifics on each route. Distance from Vancouver: 1 hr, 30 Minutes, depending on traffic.
Covel Creek Falls and Angel Falls Trail
With all kinds of varying terrain and things to see, including forest, waterfalls, caves and grottos. Portions of it can be overgrown and some reviewers stated it was easy to get off the planned route and extend the hike way longer than planned. There are two to three streams to cross and steep inclines, so make sure you have appropriate footwear for this one, but it is doable for the whole family. It’s been stated toward the end of summer 2021 that the waterfalls aren’t as full as some expected. Spring may be ideal for this location. Distance from Vancouver: 2 hours, 20 Minutes, depending on traffic.
Panther Creek Falls
One of my faves in the Pacific Northwest because of the little wispy divergent paths of water running down bright green mossy rocks creating a breathtaking view of one of the most unique waterfalls around. This hike is short but requires a bit of rock-climbing off-trail experience to reach the bottom of the falls. The trails have recently been restored by Forest Service and are manageable for most ages. The trailhead is unmarked and hard to find and conditions are wet but the view is worth it. To extend your adventure, check out the nearby Ramona Falls. Distance from Vancouver: 1 hr, 30 Minutes, depending on traffic.