The town of Carson, Washington is located just north of the Columbia River. In that sense, any other nearby source of water barely qualifies as an “oasis.” Panther Creek Falls meets that definition, though, because its level of grandeur is an unexpected discovery. The easy trail to the viewing deck of the waterfalls is only about a quarter-mile long, yet the “hidden” label applies because the Panther Creek Falls Trail is tucked into the southwest portion of Washington, about a 20-minute drive from Carson.

Not to be confused with the Panther Creek Falls in Georgia, the Washington version is distinguished by its proximity to the parking area. How many quarter-mile hikes lead to such a spectacular waterfall? Carson, the nearest town, is 210 miles from Seattle and 53 miles from Portland, so both Washington and Oregon residents and visitors can easily access it. From Carson, go north on Wind River Highway to Panther Creek Road, which becomes Forest Road 65. For more information about visiting the falls via what’s officially called the Panther Creek Falls Trail 137, see the Gifford Pinchot National Forest website.

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