Trail Information OverviewThis trail, which is a part of the system in the Yacolt Burn region of SW Washington, is a favorite among off-roaders in the Portland metro area. The reasons are many but a few include the flowy and switchbacky downhill, the epic views of other major NW peaks, the serenity of burbling streams, the fact that most of the best features of this ride can be enjoyed in about a 60-90 minute ride and the proximity to significant urban centers in this region.
Riders looking for a big all day or even a multi-day loop with camping can tie this section in with the rest of the 25 mile Tarbell Trail loop. For more of a loop challenge, a detour over the neighboring Silver Star Mountain Trail can be included. There are several trailheads offering many options for places to jump on and off this system.
For "routine" rides, most who frequent Cold Creek/Larch Mountain start at the trailhead located at the Cold Creek bridge along the 1000 Road and out-and-back up Larch as far as they feel like or have time for. The leg/lung burn climb is rewarded by some of the best downhill in the area. This is a great after work ride or a viable stop when time is limited. The options are many in this system.
Trail DescriptionThe Cold Creek/Larch Mountain/Tarbell Trail is mostly single track from with the occasional double track or logging road section. Fortunately, these are short and few. Along the way, riders can enjoy buffed surfaces, rock gardens, several bridges over creeks and drainages of various sizes, waterfalls, bermed switchbacks, small-to-medium jumps, and trail elevations that take the rider from creekside to 50-60 feet above and back in a matter of a few hundred yards. Trail junctions have adequate signage and mileage markers line the various routes about every half mile.
This is a video of the Larch Mountain Trail to the upper Cold Creek section courtesy of Jon Gustavson
Here is a LINK to the map of the Yacolt Burn trails which include Cold Creek/Larch Mountain, the Tarbell Loop, Silver Star and Bells Mountain. As a matter of clarification, this map does not label specifically the Cold Creek/Larch Mountain section but it is labeled Tarbell Trail and is the route on the map that runs in a generally SE direction from Cold Creek Campground to Grouse Vista.
Where's CC/LM? Any red tape?LINK. to MapQuest map for Cold Creek Campground. This area is accessed by three main routes: The 1000 Road from Camas to the south, the 1400 Road from Vancouver/Hockinson to the west and Dole Valley road from Battle Ground/Yacolt to the north.
This land and trail are managed by Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and once did not require any access fees or passes. That has changed as of Fall 2011. Even though DNR has no-fee campgrounds at Rock Creek and Cold Creek, a visibly posted Discover Pass is required for use at all DNR managed sites and trail heads. An annual pass is $35.00 and a daily pass is $10.00. The fine for parking without one is $99.00. As always, please use your best trail manners. These trails are often multi-use with bikers, hikers and equestrians all using the same tread.