Drift Creek Falls is a pretty fantastic waterfall to visit. The trail is easy and wanders through a beautiful forest before crossing a suspension bridge with a great view of the waterfall. The trail continues on to the base of the falls, and the creek is accessible for further exploration if desired. A rock slide in 2010 relocated a huge portion of the cliff face onto the streambed, creating opportunities for boulder-climbing as well.
While we were there, another guest accidentally dropped her phone into one of the crevices between the boulders. My husband made his way down into the hole and was able to fish the phone out with his feet. I don’t recommend repeating this particular adventure, but it was definitely a memorable moment for us.
My rating: Highly Recommended (3 stars)
Waterfall – 3 stars, Trail – 3 stars, Experience – 4 stars
Distance from Beaverton: About two hours drive southwest
Nearest town: Lincoln City
Nearest city: Salem
Length of round-trip hike: 3 miles
Best season to visit: Spring or fall
Things to know: A Recreation Pass is required at the trailhead. Also, this trail can get crowded.
Toilet / Amenities: Picnic table at the waterfall, toilet at the trailhead
How to get there:
- There are two approaches to the trailhead. From Grand Ronde, travel about 16 miles west on Hwy 18.
- Turn left on N Bear Creek Road/NF-17 and drive 9.4 miles to the trailhead.
- From Lincoln City, begin by traveling south on Hwy 101.
- Turn left on S Drift Creek Road. After 2.9 miles, turn left onto NF-17 and find the trailhead approximately 9.5 miles later.