Lacamas Park

  • Level: Easy to Moderate, choose your own adventure!
  • Open: all year
  • Permit: n/a
  • Drive time from Portland: 25min
  • Google map: “Lacamas Park”
  • Features: lakes, waterfalls, spring flowers, camas flowers, bird life, swimming holes

I love this place! It’s only about twenty minutes from Portland and strangely overlooked. So many people I know have never even heard of it prior to me talking about it. When you roll up to the parking lot, it’s a bit underwhelming, but do not be fooled! Just a few hundred yards in the magic really begins. There are multiple waterfalls, two lakes, gorgeous mossy trees, spring flowers and great bird watching.

IMG_4152Round Lake


This park is fantastic for taking a stroll of any length and seeing some beautiful nature. It’s also great for people who don’t like a lot of intense climbs while hiking. I always recommend it to new hikers and it’s where I bring friends so we can actually talk while moving.

The only drawback of this park is I literally get lost every single time. Not lost-lost, but turned around many times over. There’s this fantastic waterfall, Woodburn Falls, that I only ever find on accident. The signs for it stop about halfway to it and I always end up walking out of the way and backtracking multiple times. Doesn’t matter though, because the scenery is gorgeous and you can just take it all in. There are park maps every now and again, so you can’t get too off course.

IMG_4155My friend Erin enhancing beautiful Woodburn Falls

I haven’t provided an exact route for this one for the above reasons. When walking into the park, turn right along Round Lake for a minute and just past the dam you’ll find a large park map you can orient yourself with. If you turn right a couple of times, you’ll get to The Potholes (pictured in the header image), which is a popular swim spot in summer with a beautiful wide, 20-foot waterfall. From there you can walk along the creek (in the direction of the creek’s flow) to the Lower Falls where you’ll find a big metal footbridge. You can cross the footbridge for more leisurely strolling, but if you actually turn uphill to the left a couple of times, following any Round Lake and/or Woodburn Falls signs, you may get lucky and find the waterfall. Don’t hold me to any of this! Ha. I say go out and just spend some time meandering among the beauty. If you find yourself deep in a forest with a bunch of mountain bike trails, you’ve gone too far.

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Round Lake at Lacamas Park.

A post shared by Jenny Bruso (@unlikelyhikers) (@jennybruso) on

One thought on “Lacamas Park

  1. thank you for this one, jenny! i’d never heard of this park (weird!) and had such a lovely day there last week with adrienne. but we did NOT find the elusive waterfall, so i’ll have to go back…ugh, such hardship 😉


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