While the Chehalis River can be fast moving and deep at this location, people do swim in it.
On the north side of the river (the side with the camping facilities) there is a hiking trail along the banks of the Chehalis River. It runs west to the edge of the park (which isn't very far at all), between the camping sites and the river.
At the far west end of this trail, there is a lightly built staircase carved into the bank of the river, providing access to the river.
At this location, it is possible to see people swimming and otherwise cooling off in the river on warm days, but keep in mind that the river does fall off pretty severely in places and it is not a good idea to go too far out due to the severe depth and the chances of being swept away in the very strong current of the river at this narrow point.
While it is certainly no huge, spectacular waterfall, Rainbow Falls itself is a pleasant spot for a state park, and the falls may be seen on the wide spot on highway 6, or from the campground and picnic part of the park that may be accessed from Leudinghaus Road. The rainbow itself created by the falls and creating the name of the falls and park is only visible from a certain angle. I have been told by the park host, who has hosted here for a number of years, that the rainbow was usually visible from the bridge, which was knocked out by the big flood in December of 2007.
The best time to view the falls is during the higher water periods, but of course not during such floods as wiped out the bridge into the park from highway 6! Also, if the water is too high, then the rocks forming the falls will be submerged!
I suggest a visit in February or March or so. This is when the rain should be giving a bit of strength ot the water here.
There is a huge open field in the central north end of this park. It may be used as a games field, or to picnic in the sun.
There is a single fairly good sized picnic shelter with a grill.
Traffic on highway 6 is somewhat far away. While it is still audible, it is reasonably far away, and the environment is reasonably comfortable for relaxation.
At one point in time, it was possible to walk from the campground and picnic area to the trails through the forest on the oppiside side of the Chehalis River. It was also possible to drive directly from highway 6 into the park.
This is no longer the case.
After some years of clearcutting of timber on the surrounding hills (at least one lumber company has recently suggested that they might have over-cut the hillsides) there have been several major floods in the area. In recent months this has completely eliminated many bridges over the Chehalis River, including both the auto and pedestrian bridges formerly at Rainbow Falls.
It appears that it will be some years before they are replaced.
Current auto routing to get to the park means crossing the Chehalis River at the community known as Meskill. From highway 6, turn north onto River Road, and run parallel to the river for several hundred feet. Turn right onto the temporary bolt-together bridge over the Chehalis River (ONLY ONE VEHICLE AT A TIME!!!). Turn right onto Leudinghaus Road. After 3 miles, turn left into the park.
If you have a large motorhome, you will NOT be able to fit over the temporary bridge, and will have to find an alternate route.
The showers in this state park are pay showers.
Unique Suggestions: Be sure to bring a fair amount of coins with you when you go to the shower.
Fun Alternatives: Go smelly? Bathe in the river? (With environmentally sensitive soap, we would hope!)