Tag Archives: Drift Creek Falls

Drift Creek Falls (Spring)

Directions: From Portland take I-5 South to exit 294 for 99W. Take 99W through Newberg and Dundee for 22.9 miles, then take a left for Highway 18 (Dayton/Oregon Coast). Take Highway 18 for 48 miles and pass through Grand Ronde and reach Rose Lodge where you will take a left onto Bear Creek Road (there is a sign for Drift Creek Falls). Drive 3 miles (the last part of this road is gravel but in good condition) where you will come to a junction and stay straight (the pavement begins again here). Quickly you will come to another junction, go left onto Forest Road 17 which is a one lane paved road. Drive another 1.5 miles and stay right at a junction for Drift Creek Camp. In another 3.5 miles you will come to a junction, stay right on the paved road.  About a mile later you will come to the trailhead on the left.

We love this coast range hike and finally had the chance to visit again. The large suspension bridge and waterfall are the draw but the hike itself is beautiful and moss covered- it never disappoints!

      

The trail starts out heading downhill gradually on a long switchback. The trail switches from downhill to flat off and on as you cross a couple footbridges.

      

Soon you’ll come to a split in the trail. They both take you to the same place but going left (uphill) is a little harder and adds a bit of distance to the hike, but it’s not as busy! On the way in we went on the main trail and the way back we took the upper trail.

      

Continuing on you’ll round a ridge and go over another footbridge when you get to creek level. You’ll also pass through a lovely area that’s covered in moss, it really gives you that storybook feel! Soon after you will reach the large suspension bridge (it’s 240 feet long and 100 feet above the creek) that takes you over drift creek. About halfway across the bridge you get a really nice view of Drift Creek Falls below.

      

      

Once across continue following the trail as it switches back down to the base of the waterfall.

Upper Trail

Upper Trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head back out the way you came in.

 

Distance: 3 miles (easy)

Elevation: 500 feet (easy)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: $5 NW Forest Pass

Seasons: All

Popular: Very

Warnings: None

Drift Creek Falls (Autumn)

We finally made it out to the coast and this hike definitely did not disappoint!

Directions: From Portland take I-5 South to exit 294 for 99W. Take 99W through Newberg and Dundee for 22.9 miles, then take a left for Highway 18 (Dayton/Oregon Coast). Take Highway 18 for 48 miles and pass through Grand Ronde and reach Rose Lodge where you will take a left onto Bear Creek Road (there is a sign for Drift Creek Falls). Drive 3 miles (the last part of this road is gravel but in good condition) where you will come to a junction and stay straight (the pavement begins again here). Quickly you will come to another junction, go left onto Forest Road 17 which is a one lane paved road. Drive another 1.5 miles and stay right at a junction for Drift Creek Camp. In another 3.5 miles you will come to a junction, stay right on the paved road.  About a mile later you will come to the trailhead on the left.

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The hike is all downhill on your way in, which makes it all uphill on your way out. Normally this would be a bit tiresome but this hike is pretty well graded which makes it a fairly easy hike out.

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From the trailhead you’ll head down one long switchback which takes you to a ridge that you will round and continue down to a few footbridges and a U turn in the trail. Soon you will come to a junction in the trail. Stay straight (going left or up will take you on a trail that isn’t maintained but does eventually meet up with the main trail again) and follow the trail around another ridge that takes you down to creek level. There is another footbridge here that you cross, continue on and just a short time later you will come to the main bridge. This is a 240 foot long suspension bridge that’s over 100 feet above Drift Creek. It’s not a common sight to see on a hike which makes it even more amazing.

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After crossing the suspension bridge the trail continues on and switches back down to the creek where you get a great view of Drift Creek Falls and the bridge from below. Drift Creek Falls is a 75 foot “horsetail” type falls and in the summer of 2010 big chunks of the cliff broke off and fell to the base of the falls. The giant rock pieces did make for some nice places to take pictures and get a little closer to the waterfall.

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This is an out and back hike so turn around and head back the way you came. Be sure to stop on the bridge on your way out and take in the waterfall from above!

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Distance: 3 miles

Elevation: 500 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: Most. The bridge on this hike may cause problems for people that don’t like heights.

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: $5 Northwest Forest Pass

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes on nice weekends.

Overall: We have nothing negative to say about this hike, it’s one of our all time favorites. The bridge is amazing.