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.
Cosper Creek Falls is a roadside waterfall on Highway 22, about 13 miles away from Gunaldo. It’s nothing special, but if you’re heading that way anyway, it only takes a couple minutes to hop out and take a look.
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: Gunaldo Falls might dry up in late summer. We visited Memorial Day weekend, and that was a good time to go.
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 is found a half mile down the road. The rock pictured below marks the correct place to park, at a wide spot on the right of the road. View the waterfall by heading to the left of the rock.
- 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.)