If wading under a cascading waterfall in pristine deep blue water is your idea of heaven, then Dougan Falls should be on your list of places to visit. Located in Skamania County, Washington, Dougan Falls is part of the Washougal River which boasts several waterfalls along its length.
These are located in the final section of the Washougal River. Dougan Falls is created when this river cascades an impressive 19 feet into a pristine pool of clear blue water.
Dougan Falls is a popular destination for day visits and for campers visiting for multiple days. The Dougan Creek Campground is a short 100 yards from the falls and makes a great camping site for both RV campers and those who want to pitch a tent.
Dougan Falls Location
Dougan Falls can be accessed from Highway 14 using the following directions.
- Take Highway 14 from Washougal and head towards Stevenson.
- Turn north on the Salmon Falls Road, which is approximately 10 miles west of Bridge of the Gods.
- 3 miles down Salmon Falls Road you will come to Washougal River Road
- Drive 5 miles on the Washougal River Road to the end of the pavement where Dougan falls is located
Everything You Need to Know About Dougan Falls
- Open Seasons
Dougan Falls is open all year long.
Summer is the best time to visit the Falls. It can, however, get very busy during the summer, especially on weekends. If you want to avoid the crowds, you can make your visit to Dougan Falls a midweek outing.
- Camping at Dougan Falls
If you are looking to enjoy the camping experience at Dougan Falls, the Dougan Creek campground is located a short distance away from the waterfalls with 7 campsites available to campers.
The following amenities and facilities are available for campers at Dougan Creek Campground:
- Picnic tables
- Fire Ring
- Potable water
- RV hookup
- RV sanitation
Dougan Falls is pet-friendly, and you can bring your dog along for the adventure, so long as they are leashed.
Dougan Creek Campground does not accept reservations. Campers are assigned campsites on a first-come-first-served basis. Car access to the campground at Dougan Falls is limited after 8:00 pm, so be sure to get to your campsite before this time.
3. Dougan Falls Day Visit
For day visitors to the falls, there is a well-defined area that is equipped for family outings. There are picnic tables where you can sit and enjoy the myriad of activities available at Dougan Falls.
There is a fee charged to access Dougan Falls, and you will need a Washington Discover Pass. The fee for a day-use pass is $10 while an annual pass will set you back $30.
The road to Dougan Falls is accessible to all types of passenger vehicles.
Dougan Falls Recreation Activities
- With the pristine pools of blue water, the most common activity at Dougan Falls is people swimming and wading in the pools.
- You can also enjoy cliff jumping and rock jumping. The rocks are very slippery due to the water and jumpers are advised to be extremely cautious in order to avoid accidents and injuries.
- Fishing is also a common activity and there are many spots along the Washougal River where you can throw out your line.
- Dougan Falls also has some hiking trails where people can explore the surrounding area and enjoy the amazing scenery.
- For day visitors, some are just content to sunbathe by the pools and watch the water. It is not uncommon to see visitors to Dougan Falls setting up lawn chairs in the shallow waters above the falls, or lying in the sand just beneath the bridge.
Attractions Near Dougan Falls
- Naked Falls
Naked Falls is also located along the Washougal River. This spot is popular for cliff jumpers, especially the 30-foot drop from which divers or jumpers can plunge into the deep river below. If cliff jumping is not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other recreational activities available here.
There are picnic spots where people can sit and watch the jumpers. Waterfall slides and numerous swimming holes also provide plenty of room for people to cool off in the pristine waters of Washougal River.
- Cape Horn Trail
For hikers around the Dougan Falls area, the Cape Horn Trail is a popular attraction. This trail is about 7.5 miles and is moderately difficult. However, the scenic views of the Columbia River Gorge and the Cape Horn Falls are well worth the effort and you get a solid work out in the process.
There is an option for guided hikes which will take you through the entire loop of the trail. The upper section of the Cape Horn trail meanders through a forest of bigleaf Maples. The views of Cape Horn above the Columbia River from this part of the trail are truly epic.
The lower section of the Cape Horn Trail traverses some rock fields to the Cape Horn Falls. There is a footbridge below the middle cascade of the falls. The last section of the trail has several viewpoints on craggy outcroppings from which hikers can enjoy sweeping views of the falls.
- Beacon Rock State Campground
Beacon Rock State campground boasts 26 campsites for RV campers and tent dwellers. There are also 2 horse campsites and a group campground. This campground is pet-friendly and dogs are allowed on the campsites provided they are kept on a leash.
This campground offers numerous features and amenities that will provide a comfortable camping experience. Some of the features at Beacon State Campground include flushing toilets, showers, potable water, covered picnic areas.
There are boat ramps available as well as a playground located within the camp’s grounds. There are RV hookups at the group camping sites for those staying in their motorhomes.
Beacon Rock State Campground is closed during winter.
The Washougal River has several waterfalls along its length, with Dougan Falls being the biggest attraction. Plunging an impressive 19 feet into deep blue waters, Dougan Falls is a great place to enjoy nature and engage in many recreational activities.
From sunbathing and wading in the pristine pools, to cliff jumping and kayaking, there are many adventures to be had at Dougan falls. For those looking to spend more than a day at Dougan falls. the adjacent Dougan Creek Campground is a convenient camping spot.