From the trailhead, go up the rather eroded trail into red alder, big-leaf maple and Douglas-fir woods with a carpet of sword fern. Pass a tie trail leading to the right and come to the four-way Wilson River-Kings Mountain Trail Junction, where you go left. Cross a creek in an eroded gulley and come to a junction with a mossy jeep track. This is the former Kings Mountain Junior route. Keep straight here and traverse upward through Douglas-fir woods. The trail heads up a gully, crosses a wooden footbridge, and then negotiates another gully. The path loops upward across an oxalis/sword fern carpet and then makes a switchback. Heading up along the east side of a ridge, there are glimpses of the Elk and Kings Mountain summits through the trees. The trail switches over to the west side: hike along it to reach a ridge crest. Pass a mossy spring and keep ascending through Douglas-fir, Oregon grape, and alder forest to an old roadbed. Here, go left and reach the nose of a ridge in an alder glade, the unsigned Wilson River-Kings Mountain Junior Trail Junction.

The trail keeps to the alder-shaded roadbed and heads around the face of the Lester Creek bowl. Drop to the end of the roadbed. Traverse on the level, drop and join another former forest road. Cross Lester Creek and begin a traverse, crossing another creek with small waterfalls. Looking down, you will see more small falls in the gully below. Pass a rock pinnacle, and, looking back across the valley, you will see its twin. The trail rounds a point with an open view and heads into another steep-sided valley. Cross a creek, round a rocky point with views back to Kings Mountain, and descend, crossing a roadbed. The trail switchbacks down in a Douglas-fir plantation with a carpet of Oregon grape and sword fern. Switchback again, pass a huge stump, and head across a grassy opening at an old road junction. Wind through woods and then make a loop around a wetland sprouting skunk-cabbage and mossy alders. The trail enters alder woods and reaches a creek. Traverse a slope, crossing small brooks. The trail switchbacks to a 110-foot suspension bridge over the North Fork Wilson River. There's a picnic table here for your dining pleasure. Before you return, walk along the west bank of the North Fork past the end of the ORV parking area to get a view of Lester Creek Falls.

Activity Notes

Fully vaccinated hikers can meet at Target for carpooling at 8 a.m. Otherwise, meet at trailhead at 8:45 a.m.

Hike begins at Kings Mountain trailhead. Instead of going up to Kings Mountain though, we will make a left at the Wilson River junction. Continue on Wilson River Trail heading mostly up until we reach the junction with Kings Junior Trail. Then head mostly down until we cross suspension bridge over the North Fork of Wilson River. There is a picnic table on the other side where we will have lunch before returning the way we came.  

Other Information
Driving Distance from Portland 70 miles
Driving Time from Portland 1 hours
Distance - Round Trip 11 miles
Interesting Features Creek(s)
Useful Links