Butte Creek Falls

Our favorite waterfall trip from our first year of exploring was Butte Creek Falls and Upper Butte Creek Falls.

Upper Butte Creek Falls
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.

Butte Creek Falls
Butte Creek Falls

Part way back, we hiked up the creek instead of the trail, which was a lot of fun.

SUMMARY

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

County: Marion

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.

Helpful websites:
http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org/wiki/Butte_Creek_Falls_Loop_Hike
http://www.oregon.gov/odf/northcascade/docs/color_butte_creek.pdf

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