Clackamas River Trail (Summer 2013)

The plan for this hike was to make it to Pup Creek Falls. That didn’t happen, we’ll explain why later on in the post.

Directions: To get to the Fish Creek Trailhead take 224 to Estacada. Go through Estacada and turn right at mile post 39 onto Fish Creek Road. The parking area is on the right and the trailhead is on the left.

Sometimes the drive to the hike is just as cool as the hike itself.  This was one of those times. We had a great view of Mt. Hood going through the Damascus area.


If you like secluded hikes that are quiet almost to the point of being creepy, you’ll love this trail. The trailhead is definitely the source of the creep.  Everything from the broken glass on the ground from previous car break-ins, to the random guy walking around with an axe will make you extra aware of your surroundings.

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The trail itself is kind of a grab-bag, mish-mash of all sorts of trails.  It has ups, downs, rocks, mud, is really skinny with erosion, overgrown, runs along cliffs as well as the river bank, is flat and wide, and there are quite a few fallen trees.  You also go through different types of forest.  At some points there’s tons of ground cover under the trees, while at others it’s almost nonexistent, and other places are almost marshy.

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A constant reminder that you’re not miles from anywhere, deep in the forest, is Highway 224 that follows the Clackamas River the whole way.

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There are a lot of exposed areas on this hike and we happened to pick a unseasonably warm June day. We started the hike late and about halfway in we noticed we were running low on water. We decided that we should stop and head back around the 2.5 or so mile mark  so we didn’t get into a bad situation with no water and low daylight. We ended this hike in the marshy area where there is a small beach. Heading back at this point made for a 5 mile hike.

*Update* We revisited this hike and made it to Pup Creek Falls. To see that post click here.

Distance: 5 miles (moderate)

Elevation: 500 feet (moderate)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: May not be best for young kids and older folks.

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: NW Forest Pass required

Seasons: All

Popular: No

Warnings: None

2 thoughts on “Clackamas River Trail (Summer 2013)

  1. Joy Woodcock

    Hi, enjoyed your blog on trails. Had a question? We were on the Clackamas River Trail on Saturday. It is a trail I enjoy. I used the toilet when we returned to our car at Fish Creek. I found it to be very clean and there was tp and there was no bad odor. I know that years ago it was very bad, just don’t think this newer toilet should get the bad rap of the past. Let me know what you think if you get a chance to check it out.
    fyi-I am a forest service employee and the Clackamas River Ranger District is my home district. I still spend lots of time there doing work and recreating. Joy

    1. Hikesalot Post author

      We wrote this post less than two months ago and we stand by our opinion of the toilet. We’re glad the toilet was much cleaner for you and what we try to do is give people a realistic view of the hikes we go on. When we were there, the toilet was (honestly) gross. It reeked and at least three people chose to pee right outside of the toilet, rather then using the actual toilet itself. When we return to the Fish Creek Trailhead we will definitely check out the toilet again and update regardless if things have changed. Thank you for visiting our blog and I’m sorry our experience didn’t match yours.

      Mr. & Mrs. Hikelandia


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