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Visited: September 11, 2015
Description: A quick hike to one of the best waterfalls in Oregon.
Length: 0.8 mile roundtrip
Elevation: 180 feet
Duration: 45 minutes
Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Steep hills with ropes to assist (if needed) and a bit of climbing to get to the falls.
Terrain: Dirt trail and gravelly/rocky terrain.
Parking: Lot (44.919164, -122.574186)
Best time to go: All year
Bring: 4×4 car (not required but recommended, the road gets pretty rough or you can walk from the main road), water, water shoes, swimsuit/change of clothes (if you plan on getting in the water), snacks.
Abiqua Falls is not the easiest waterfall to find. But when you do it find it, it is absolutely worth it. If you are coming from Portland, take Highway 213 S towards Silverton. After Molalla (but before Silverton), you’ll see an exit sign for Scott Mills. Take a left toward Scott Mills from the highway, follow the road and turn south on Crooked Finger Road. You’ll stay on this road for 9.5 miles. After the payment ends, you’ll continue down another 1.4 miles on gravel until you hit a poorly marked gravel road on the right hand side.
Take a right turn onto an unmarked gravel road. The road wasn’t too bad for the first half mile but then it deteriorates quite a bit after. The weekend prior, Hikesnobs popped a tire in the Mojave so we were paranoid, to say the least.
Every rough bump made us grimace in fear. Staring at our reception-less phones and the rough roads ahead, feelings of déjà vu began to surface. About a mile down, we saw a turnout on the right side. Seeing another car there, we quickly decided to not take the risk and parked there.
We decided to walk the rest of the 1.5 miles to the trailhead. The road went downhill, which meant steep uphills for the way back. Some parts of the road were so rocky and broken down we knew we made the right decision to leave our car.
When we reached the trailhead, there aren’t any apparent signs so it is easy to miss. Luckily we saw a car parked at the trailhead, so we knew we were in the right area. From our research, Alice remembered seeing this sign here which helped us head in the right direction. We followed the trail and it led us to a steep incline down.
Follow the trail, the descent down is awesome! Someone added rope on the side to assist, if needed, on most downhill portions. You’ll continue the trek downwards which was a lot of fun if you decide to use the rope! There is a bit of tree climbing involved which was pretty easy.
When you make it to the bottom of the hill, make a left along the water. This part gets rocky; stay to the left side and continue rock scrambling until you see a peak of the falls.
Once we saw the falls, we ran towards them instantly.
What a view! The columnar jointing of this amphitheater-like formation will leave you in awe. The basaltic bedrock is covered in mosses and lichens which give it that distinct orange color. Standing right there in front of this 92ft waterfall is such a surreal feeling. It’s amazing a place like this actually exist!
We spent a few hours here. We recommend bringing lunch. Take a dip and enjoy your time there. The trek back was fairly easy. We did have to walk a bit farther since we parked toward the beginning of the hike.. but it was worth it! We had a great time and our little car was safe!
- If you plan on getting in the water, bring water shoes (we forgot ours :(). The rocks are slippery!
- High clearance vehicle, if possible. Proceed at your own risk.
- There is no cell service, don’t get stranded.
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