Location: Near Lake Roesiger between Monroe and Granite Falls
Land Agency: Washington DNR
Roundtrip: 2.0 miles
Elevation gain: 200 feet
Contact: Washington DNR
Notes: Do not block gate, nor drive past it if open. Active logging area, be alert to trucks on roadway and yield right-of-way.
Access: From Monroe, follow Woods Road north for 10.3 miles to junction. Turn right onto SW Lake Roesiger Road and in .1 mile bear right onto South Lake Roesiger Road. Continue for 2.3 miles turning right at country store onto Monroe Camp Road (signed for Camp Brinkley). Follow this road for 2.3 miles to pavement end and gate. Park here being sure not to block gate. Hike begins on dirt road.
Good to know: kid-friendly, dog-friendly, snow-free winter hike
Named for the Explorer Search and Rescue teams that frequent this area for training exercises; you’ll enjoy exploring these falls as well. The Explorer teams from the nearby Camp Edward (formerly Camp Brinkley) have designed a system of trails above the falls as well that call out to be explored. The hike to the falls is easy and can be done as an after dinner leg-stretcher. The hike beyond the falls however requires a little more time and energy.
Start your adventure by walking up the gated road. Be aware that beyond the falls a logging operation is currently in action. You may encounter skidders and trucks hauling timber down the road. But don’t let that stop you from doing this trip. There is plenty of room on the side of the road to safely step aside when you encounter one of these vehicles.
Continue up the road avoiding all secondary roads branching off of it. Most of the land to your right surrounding Lake Chaplain is owned by the city of Everett and is off-limits to public entry. It is part of the city’s drinking water supply. At about one mile, just after crossing a creek, come to an old quarry pit. Notice an unmarked trail heading right. Take it. By now you can hear the falls crashing down from the steep ledge to your left. Within minutes, you’ll see the 50-plus foot waterfall.
Cross the creek on a makeshift but somewhat sturdy bridge for even better viewing of the impressive waterfall tucked within a tight rocky nook. You should be able to get a decent view from this spot. But if you’re inclined to get a close-up, be careful walking over downed logs and slippery rocks to reach the splash pool.
If you’re up for more exercise, notice the trail continuing just down from the bridge. Follow it; switch backing up a steep heavily-timbered hillside. Reach a good viewpoint of the falls plummeting below. Keep hiking cresting a small rib and then dropping down to the creek above the falls. It is possible to walk out on the ledge above the falls, but use extreme caution as it is exposed and potentially dangerous.
If the creek level isn’t too high wade or rock hop across it and continue following good trail up steep slopes through mature second growth. At about one mile from the falls, you’ll come to the edge of an old cut and to an area known locally as Top of the World. The trail splits here and both ways lead to a decommissioned logging road. Follow the old road passing wetland pools and make a long sweeping turn coming to a good vantage point (el. 1,650-feet) with views across the Snohomish River Valley to the Seattle skyline. Keep a lookout for bluebirds, as they nest in the vicinity. Here at about 2.7 miles from your start makes for a good lunch and turning around spot. Logging roads continue all the way to Echo Lake, but navigation and crowding alders can make travel a little challenging.
For information on lodging and other attractions near Explorer Falls visit www.snohomish.org
Pick up your FREE Copy of the Hiking in Snohomish County Booklet at Snohomish County Visitors Centers: or Download One Here
For other Great Snow Free Winter Hikes throughout Western Washington; consult My Winter Hikes of Western Washington (Mountaineers Books) Deck