Murhut Falls-1.6 miles out and back, 250 feet elevation gain
Pass-none Difficulty-1/5 Rating 4/5
This weekend our Sweet Lilly June turned 3-years-old!!! I can hardly believe that she is already three. We are so grateful that she is ours. She was the easiest baby, which I am so grateful for since Ryan was still so young when I had her. Lilly was a surprise baby, and I was in shock when I found out I was pregnant with her. When I heard her heartbeat for the first time I finally got excited about it! She is sweet, fun, and imaginative. She loves hugs and cuddles and loves to be held. She is the boss. She loves bossing Ryan and the rest of us around. Luckily Ryan is pretty go-with-the-flow and goes along with it. She is the queen of the fits and if something isn’t going her way she stops and screams about it. She is learning to use her big girl words when she is upset which solves things a lot more quickly. She is funny and likes playing tricks on people. We love her so!
For her birthday we wanted to do something fun! She has been tenting (camping in a tent as Ryan calls it.) a few times, but she was too young to remember. We tried to go tenting when we went to Deception Pass last month, but all the tent sites were taken and we had to stay in a cabin. We thought Lilly’s birthday would be a great excuse to go!
We are still new to camping here in the Pacific Northwest and it is a bit overwhelming for us still. Summer time is a great time to camp here, so everyone seems to do it. The campsites that take reservations have to be reserved at least 4 days prior and can be reserved six months ahead of time. They also fill up quickly! We are fairly spur of the moment when it comes to camping so we have never known four days ahead of time where we were going so making reservations out. Luckily there are a lot of campsites that are first come first serve. The downside to that is the possibility of not getting a campsite!
There are also SO many places to camp around us that that is overwhelming as well. The two regions we looked at for this camping trip were The Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This was appealing to me because I have been wanting to go to Mt. St. Helens for a while and there are some campsites there that are fairly close to Mt. St. Helens. We also looked at camping in the Olympic National Forest. I have been wanting to go to the Olympic National Forest for a long time so that was appealing. Ultimately we went camping in the Olympic National Forest. We chose that one because it was quite a bit closer to us. (2 1/2 hours opposed to at least 4.) The one in the Olympic National Forest also had more sites close together just in case one was full we would have more chances of finding a camping spot.
We didn’t even decide on where we were going until the night before we left and we were hoping to roll out around 9 the next morning. We weren’t very prepared for food either, I just threw in some snack stuff, some fruits, and some stuff for sandwiches and that is all we did. I am hoping that in the future I will be more prepared and we can actually eat decent stuff while we camp. Chris got together all our camping stuff and changed the oil in our van the morning we left. We got off around 10 AM that morning.
Along the way we needed to make a few stops…a few stops turned into a lot of stops and we didn’t make it to our campsite until after 6! We had decided on camping at the Lena Creek Campsite and luckily there were a decent amount of spots open! We liked this campsite, it had one set of outhouses. (Lilly wouldn’t go in them.) Each campsite had a picnic table and a fire pit. Some were more secluded than others, but all of them were off the road and they were decently spread out. There was no water and no trash cans. It cost $14 dollars a night, but we didn’t have change so it cost us $15 dollars. It was easy to find and easy to get to. We would camp here again and I do recommend it!
When we got to the campsite we set up camp (Chris set up camp). We got a bean bag toss/another throwing game somewhere that we set up for the kids to play with. They loved that and it kept them entertained for awhile. We hiked around the campground a few times and found a huge cedar tree. It was one of the biggest trees I have ever seen! On our hikes we looked for nature treasures and found so many huge black slugs! We also found a few banana slugs as well! We had a fire and smores and we played around the campsite some more. It is weird camping up here because it doesn’t get dark until around 10PM. We waited awhile to start our fire because we were waiting for dark. Finally close to 9pm we just decided to start it!
After the fire, when it was still light out, we tried to put kids to bed. They stayed awake for a while playing in the tent. Chris and I sat outside and he whittled and I read a book. We went in the tent around 10PM and we all fell asleep even though it was still a little bright out! We all slept really good and everyone slept until after 8am. (I got about an hour of reading in while everyone else slept.) The weather was perfect and it was a great night for camping!
The next morning we packed up. Ryan took us on a little hike near where our tent was and then we drove to Murhut Falls. This hike was an easy hike for the kids. We hiked probably about 2 miles. I carried Lilly some of the way and she walked the rest. Ryan walked/ran the whole way. At the end of the hike there is a nice lookout to see the waterfall it is a 100-foot horsetail waterfall and it was beautiful! There is a little path that you can scramble down to get to the river. (There was no place for us to get directly under the falls, but that is ok.) We let the kids play near the river, throwing in rocks and climbing over the boulders. I’m not sure how long we stayed and enjoyed the scenery, but it was great!
After our small hike we started to head for home. Once we got home Lilly got to open all her presents! It was a wonderful birthday weekend for her and we loved spending time in nature exploring! We love camping here and I am sure we will go on many many more camp outs.