Gunaldo Falls is a bushwhack, but a fairly easy one. There is a sense of adventure in finding off-trail waterfalls, trudging through seemingly untouched nature, hoping that you are heading in the right direction. The area around Gunaldo Falls, however, is unfortunately not untouched. There is plenty of trash, broken glass, and even an abandoned tv. This definitely detracts from the experience and requires extra caution when placing your feet, but we still thought it was a fun adventure.
In doing research for writing this post, I’ve discovered mention of another waterfall off of Hwy 22, Cosper Creek Falls. Oregonwaterfalls.net makes it sound like it can be viewed from the road, if you are looking for it. I guess we’ll have to go back and look for it!
My rating: Low priority (1 star)
Waterfall – 1 star, Trail – 1 star, Experience – 2 stars
Distance from Beaverton: About an hour and a half drive southwest
Nearest town: Halfway between Hebo and Grand Ronde
Nearest city: Salem
Length of round-trip hike: About a tenth of a mile
Best season to visit: This waterfall might dry up in late summer. We visited Memorial Day weekend, and that was a good time to go.
Consider combining this trip with: Drift Creek Falls
Toilet / Amenities: None
How to get there:
- From the junction of Hwy 18 and Hwy 22 outside of Willamina, travel west 4.2 miles on Hwy 18/22.
- Turn right on Hwy 22. Cosper Creek Falls should be found a half mile down the road. According to oregonwaterfalls.net, a large rock with a smiley face marks the correct place to park, at a wide spot on the right of the road.
- Travel another 13 miles on Hwy 22 to find Gunaldo Falls. Park at a long, wide pullout on the right side of the road near milepost 12. You’ll know you’re in the right spot if you look back the way you came and see Forest Road 1280 connecting to Hwy 22 on the opposite side of the road.
- Scramble down to the creek and then make your way upstream about 100 feet.
- Cross the creek to get the best views of the waterfall. (This is easily done, at least in May.)