Bells Mountain

Hike along the East Fork Lewis River and Bells Mountain in Yacolt Burn State Forest. Combining the Bells Mountain and Sword Fern Trails, and a trip to the summit of Bells Mountain is a moderate 8.4-mile lollipop loop with 2,400 feet of elevation gain. Enjoy views of Moulton Falls and of the area through clearcuts along the way. The trail is used by hikers, mountain bikes, and horses, and it is accessible year round.

Getting There

From Battle Ground drive SR-503 (Lewisville Highway) north for 5.7 miles and turn right onto NE Rock Creek Road, which becomes Lucia Falls Road. Drive 2.7 miles to the junction with 172nd Ave, and continue straight toward Moulton Falls County Park. In 5.6 miles, turn right into the lower Moulton Falls Trailhead or drive another 0.3 miles, turn right, and drive to the picnic area parking and the Upper Moulton Falls Trailhead. This road is open only spring through summer. In fall and winters park across the highway near Yacolt Falls and walk up the road.

On the Trail

Bells Mountain—Sword Fern Way Loop

8.4 miles round trip, 2,400 feet of elevation gain, 2,200 ft high point

The Sword Fern Way Trail opened in 2021 in the Yacolt Burn State Forest. It loops up the east slope of Bells Mountain with broad switchbacks and views from clearcuts. From the Upper Moulton Falls trailhead hike down to the river, cross a high bridge and hike along the Lewis River on railroad grade to a junction with the Bells Mountain Trail. Hike up the trail across a small waterfall through mixed forest to a junction with a bike trail. Keep left to cross a footbridge and up to a clearcut where there are valley views and Mount Saint Helens. Head into the woods on Sword Fern Way, continuing to climb. Reach another clearcut with views of Silver Star and Larch Mountains, and then more views at the south junction of the Sword Fern Way and Bells Mountain Trails. Enter a forest to switchbacks that lead left on an old road, and pass a clearcut on a logging area with limited views. Return to the Sword Fern Way Trail and hike a bike trail to the summit of Bells Mountain. Cross the hillside, descend to a forested bench, and switchback down to Road BG-2020. Hike straight to finish the loop continue down the Bells Mountain Trail, turn right onto the railroad grade and hike back to Moulton Falls Upper Trailhead.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 8.4 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,400 ft
  • 2,200 ft
  • Land Manager: Yacolt Burn State Forest
  • Parking Permit Required: None
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • see Land Manager
  • USGS Yacolt
  • USGS Dole
Trip Reports

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  • Bells Mountain—Sword Fern Way Loop
  • Moulton Falls

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