Smith Falls is a roadside waterfall outside of Cottage Grove. It is quite picturesque, even when we visited in September after a very dry summer. It is not, however, much of an adventure. There is no creek access or even a safe place to park for very long.
The adventure lies solely in navigating the many potholes, dips, and bumps in the dirt road leading to the waterfall. Since the road is often bordered by steep drop-offs and, yes, also happens to be fairly narrow, this is one adventure that I would not care to repeat. If you are familiar with the road to Abiqua, know that the road to Smith Falls is decidedly worse.
My rating: Low priority (1 star)
(Waterfall – 2 stars, Trail – n/a, Experience – 1 star)
Distance from Beaverton: About two and a half hours drive south
Nearest town: Culp Creek
Nearest city: Eugene
Length of round-trip hike: 0 miles
Best season to visit: Any, although you should not attempt to drive the road if there was any snow on the ground, and the creek will run low in late summer.
Things to know: A high-clearance vehicle is a must. Use extreme caution driving this road; if you were to meet a vehicle from the opposite direction, passing would be very tricky.
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 signed Brice Creek Road # 22.
- Follow Brice Creek Road for 8.3 miles and turn right on Champion Creek Road #2473 (just before the third bridge across Brice Creek).
- The falls are clearly visible from the road after 2.4 miles.