Our favorite waterfall trip from our first year of exploring was Butte Creek Falls and Upper Butte Creek Falls.
There is a cavern behind Upper Butte Creek Falls that is fun to explore. This was our first time going behind a waterfall, and we loved it.
The trail from Upper Butte Creek to Butte Creek Falls is a beautiful half-mile walk through the forest. The viewpoint for Butte Creek Falls is on an unprotected promontory, so this trip is not suggested for very young children. Our son was 6 when we visited, and he did fine. There is a way to scramble down to the creek and get closer to the falls, but we didn’t want to try that until our son gets older. Butte Creek Falls is a very pretty waterfall even without scrambling to closer views.
Part way back, we hiked up the creek instead of the trail, which was a lot of fun.
My rating: Must see / favorite (4 stars)
(Waterfalls – 3 stars each; Trail – 3 stars; Experience – 4 stars)
Distance from Beaverton: About an hour and a half drive southeast
Nearest town: Scotts Mills
Nearest city: Salem
Length of round-trip hike: Just over a mile
Best season to visit: any
Things to know:
• The last 4 miles of the drive are on gravel roads.
• Bring towels and plan to get wet!
Consider combining this trip with: Abiqua Falls and Scotts Mills Falls
Toilet / Amenities: none on the trail, but Butte Creek Campground is a half mile up the road and might be available for emergencies
How to get there:
• From the town of Scotts Mills, follow Crooked Finger Road for 11.5 miles (2 miles past the end of the pavement).
• Turn left onto Road 400, signed for Butte Creek Falls.
• Drive another 2 miles to the trailhead.
• Upper Butte Creek Falls is to the right of the trailhead and Butte Creek Falls is to the left.