Falls Creek Falls, Falls Creek Trailhead, Portland - Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Falls Creek Falls - 3.4 miles
Falls Creek Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||3.4 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||1,385' - 2,015' (2,027' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+630' net elevation gain (+689' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Falls Creek Falls - 3.4 Miles Round-Trip
Falls Creek Falls is located 1.7 miles from Road 3062 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest (WA). This powerful waterfall drops 335' in three stages before tempering down sliding cascades on Falls Creek.
It's arguably one of the most scenic - and perhaps overlooked - falls in the Columbia River Gorge, and will impress even during dry periods. Its location far from the busy I-84 corridor in Oregon keeps crowds lighter than it might otherwise deserve.
Falls Creek originates from springs and tributaries on Red Mountain Plateau and gathers considerable momentum before dropping in 109', 135' and 91' tiers*.
This family-friendly hike follows the creek to the main viewing area, where precarious scrambling routes continue up and down the left side of the falls for a closer look at individual tiers:
Falls Creek Trail #152 runs level through a young forest to a bridge over a narrow gorge (.35 miles : 1,465'). It traces the creek before pitching up in a noticeably older forest to the Trail 152-A split for Falls Creek Falls (1.2 miles : 1,805').
Follow signs (right) up to a bridge across a mossy, tumbling tributary (1.39 miles : 1,937'). You'll round a corner with a partial look at the upper tier just before reaching the main viewing area (1.7 miles : 2,015').
The upper tier is hard to see from this angle, but the fanned-out middle tier and hard-plunging lower tier are in perfect range. The area can be misty and deceptively slick - use extreme caution when maneuvering to different view points.
- N45 54.344 W121 56.383 — 0.0 miles : Falls Creek Trailhead
- N45 54.522 W121 56.056 — .35 miles : Cross bridge over gorge
- N45 54.626 W121 55.365 — 1.0 miles : Mild-moderate climb beside creek
- N45 54.724 W121 55.241 — 1.15 miles : Split for Falls Creek Falls
- N45 54.716 W121 55.038 — 1.4 miles : Cross bridge over tributary
- N45 54.624 W121 54.852 — 1.7 miles : Falls Creek Falls (main viewing area)
- *Waterfall heights and segment lengths for Falls Creek Falls are cited from Waterfallsnorthwest.com.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Dispersed backcountry camping is permitted in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. No fee or permit is required.
- Camping is prohibited within 100' of any trail, lake or stream.
- Campfires are permitted in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, with potential seasonal and location-specific restrictions. These will be posted at the trailhead and/or along the trail.
- Use established campsites whenever possible to minimize impact and erosion. Avoid camping in fragile meadows.
- Bury human waste 6-8" deep, at least 100' from any trail or water source
- Location limit is 14 days. After 14 days you are required to move at least 5 miles away.
- Group size is limited to 15 individuals (or 25 with people + stock).
- Contact the Mount Adams Ranger District (509.395.3402) for the latest weather, trail conditions and trail-specific guidelines when planning your trip.
Rules and Regulations
- No pass or fee is required to access the Falls Creek Trail.
Directions to Trailhead
Falls Creek Trailhead is located 23.1 miles from Bridge of the Gods on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.
From Bridge of the Gods, travel east on Highway 14 for 5.8 miles to Wind River Road / Highway 30. There's a blinking yellow light at this turn.
Turn left on Wind River Road and drive 14.2 miles to a 'Y' fork at Mineral Springs Road and Wind River Road. This fork is just past the Carson Fish Hatchery.
Bear right on Wind River Road and drive .8 miles to Road 3062. Turn right on Road 3062 and drive 2.2 miles to its terminus at Falls Creek Trailhead. The lot is a large cul-de-sac.
Road 3062 is a graded dirt road. High clearance is recommended, but the road is suitable for 2WD cars in good condition. Watch for large potholes. Drive carefully on these narrow, winding roads. Watch for large potholes. Be mindful of speed limits through developed areas between Carson and the trailhead.
Note: FS 3062 is closed December 1 - April 1.
Gifford Pinchot National Forest | Mount Adams Ranger District
2455 HWY 141
Trout Lake, WA 98650
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
902 Wasco Ave | Suite 200
Hood River, OR 97031
Gifford Pinchot National Forest | Headquarters
1501 E. Evergreen Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98661