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Whipple Creek Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The ruins of the grist mill, Whipple Creek Park (bobcat)
Footbridge, Whipple Creek Park (bobcat)
Tall grand fir, Whipple Creek Park (bobcat)
Trails at Whipple Creek Park (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: National Geographic Topo
  • Start point: Whipple Creek TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Whipple Creek Grist Mill
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • High point: 195 feet
  • Elevation gain: 300 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

Whipple Creek protects a 300-acre stand of native forest in the north Vancouver area just west of the Clark County Fairgrounds. There are over five miles of trails here, going up and down through shallow gullies, and a good loop can be made around the perimeter. The remains of an old grist mill are one of the highlights. The park has a meadow with a picnic table, but trails can be very muddy in the wet season. Be prepared to encounter horses. Find your own way via the map (see link below) or follow these directions.

Head into the woods from the trailhead with a raspberry field on your right. Inside the woods of grand fir, cedar, Douglas-fir, and big-leaf maple, take the first right and then go right again on North Ridge Way (yellow arrow). Vine maple, sword fern and Oregon grape predominate in the understory. The trail undulates along above a creek. At a junction, go right and then make a left into coniferous forest on the Cedar Loop. Some foot trails lead off deeper into the forest. Reach a junction with North Ridge Way and go right. The trail drops into a salmonberry-filled gully. Cross a creek and reach a junction at the bottom of Carousel Hill, where you go left over a footbridge. Traverse up and, at the next junction, keep right. Now you're on the South Ridge Loop (red arrows). Cross a meadow with a picnic table. Back in the woods, reach a junction and go right downhill. The trail rises and drops in mixed forest. At a junction, keep right and, in 20 yards, keep right again to begin the Grist Mill Loop (red and blue arrows). The trail descends through a blackberry/hazel thicket towards Whipple Creek and reaches a junction. Go left here and reach the stone walls of the old grist mill. The waterwheel has been removed, although there have been plans for restoration, and graffiti mars the inner walls. From here, head uphill. The trail levels in alder woods and then hooks left to run alongside a vast horse pasture. Dip into a shallow gully and rise. The trail curves away from the field and reaches a junction, where you go right. The trail levels and arrives at another junction, where you make another right on the Blue Trail. Switchback down into a gully, cross a footbridge over a creek, keep left at a junction, and cross over a second footbridge. Keep right at the next junction and switchback up above a narrow ravine. At the next junction, keep right again. The trail levels and pops out of the woods at the raspberry field and the trailhead.


Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • Park open 7 a.m. to dusk
  • Dogs on leash
  • Share trails with horses; trails can be very muddy

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.