Secreted away just north of the Columbia River Gorge, the small 6,000 acre Trapper Creek Wilderness offers solitude and is home to one of the last low elevation old-growth forests in Washington. The Trapper Creek Trail is a there-and-back trail with a short loop above Trapper Creek, which is only visible at the end of this hike. The rushing sound of the creek below is a constant companion along most of the trail, and the trail crosses many delightful, small streams that fall quickly into the drainage. The low elevation trail remains free of snow most of the year and is a good place to visit in any season.
The trailhead is just past a bridge (which would make a good cool-off spot on the way out), and it is clearly marked. The path rambles through dense first- and second-growth forests along rolling terrain. This trail is more about the journey than the destination, and it's ideal for anyone in need of a nice wander. Several side trails should be ignored, and all are clearly marked; just follow the signs for Trail #192 Trapper Creek.
To add a short loop to the there-and-back trail, head right onto the Deer Cutoff trail about 3 miles into the hike. Take a left where the trail rejoins the Trapper Creek Trail to return to your starting point. Some may choose to take a right and continue further along where the trail climbs toward Observation Peak. After reconnecting with the main trail, several small side trails lead to the first creek access of the hike, making for a good picnic spot. The trail follows the river for short spell, and it climbs out of the ravine and back to the Deer Creek junction after passing a backcountry camping spot. From here, retrace your steps back to the parking lot.