Upper Parker and Lower Parker Falls

Upper Parker and Lower Parker Falls are two of Cottage Grove’s eleven waterfalls. The trail is well marked and “moderately steep” for the first half mile. At that point, the trail splits. Lower Parker Falls is found 300 feet further to the right, and Upper Parker Falls is found another quarter mile to the left – and up. That last quarter mile is steep, no “moderately” about it!

Upper Parker Falls
Upper Parker Falls

The trail ends at the top of the upper falls, and unfortunately there aren’t any great spots on the trail from which to take a picture. There are a lot of downed trees across the creek above the falls, so we were able to sit and catch our breath after the climb.

Lower Parker Falls
Lower Parker Falls

The lower falls, however, offer multiple opportunities for exploration and photographs. We visited at the end of summer, so the creek was running at low volume. I’ve seen pictures of it in winter that show it to be much fuller and more impressive, but visiting in summer allowed us to get close and scramble all around – which we love.

 

My husband exploring the cliffs to the right of the lower falls.
My husband exploring the cliffs to the right of the lower falls.

Summary:

My rating: Worth the effort (2 stars) for Lower Parker and Low priority (1 star) for Upper Parker
(Lower Parker: Waterfall – 2 stars, Trail – 2 stars, Experience – 4 stars; Upper Parker: Waterfall – 1 star, Trail – 2 stars, Experience – 2 stars)

Distance from Beaverton: Almost two and a half hours drive south

Nearest town: Culp Creek

Nearest city: Eugene

County: Lane

Length of round-trip hike: 1.6 miles

Best season to visit:  Avoid visiting in late summer since the creek will be low.  However, that is when we visited, and we still had a good time.

Consider combining this trip with:  Trestle Creek Falls, Upper Trestle Creek Falls, or Evergreen Falls.  Cottage Grove is the “Covered Bridge Capital of the World;” information about tours can be found here.

Toilet / Amenities: None.

How to get there:

  • Exit Interstate 5 at Cottage Grove (Exit 174) and drive east on Row River Road for approximately 19.5 miles to Brice Creek Road # 22.
  • Follow Brice Creek Road for 10.8 miles to the fourth bridge across Brice Creek, where the trailhead (#1415) is marked. Parking is provided on the right.

Helpful websites:

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