Drift Creek Falls

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.

The boulders opposite the waterfall

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 husband retrieving the phone


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

County: Lincoln

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.

Consider combining this trip with: Gunaldo Falls, Rocky Creek Falls, or Chitwood Falls. Lincoln City is a great beach town worthy of a visit; you can get visitor information here.

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.

Helpful websites:

A photo from 2003 to show the difference before and after the rock slide

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