Beaver Falls was our 100th waterfall. It was beautiful. I’m quite pleased with our choice for this milestone excursion.
We had trouble finding the trailhead when we arrived. It turns out that we should have taken the trail marked “Danger, Trail Closed.” (The Outdoor Project’s website is reporting that the last part of the trail washed out in May 2016, but we visited in December 2016 and didn’t notice. Of the eight people on our hike, none expressed any concern regarding the safety of the trail.) Regardless, the sign scared us off, and we decided to take what looked like a path but headed straight down to the creek. We made it down just fine, if you consider sliding on your bum part of the way “just fine.” But we soon realized the creek bank was impassible after a very short distance. So we found a spot to climb back up, and my poor guests got much more of an adventure than the “easy, family-friendly” trail I had promised them.
The actual trail is easy and family-friendly as advertised, but it’s nothing special. The waterfall, on the other hand, is exquisite. The more adventurous half of our party climbed around the edge of the amphitheater and partially behind the waterfall. I hereby label them insane, because it was only 33 degrees outside and of course they got soaked from the spray. Unfortunately, we didn’t take group pictures before this extra adventure, so everyone was wet and shivering in our photos!
Upper Beaver Falls is a roadside waterfall about a mile and a half upstream. It’s worth a quick stop on your way to or from Beaver Falls, but it doesn’t offer any adventure of its own, unless you visit in summer and want to go swimming.
My rating: Must See/Favorite (4 stars) (Waterfall – 4 stars, Trail – 2 stars, Experience – 3 stars)
Distance from Beaverton: About an hour and fifteen minutes northwest
Nearest town: Clatskanie
Nearest city: Portland
Length of round-trip hike: About 0.7 mile
Best season to visit: Any
Things to know: Beaver Falls is viewable from the road if you prefer not to take the trail.
Consider combining this trip with: Jack Falls, Little Jack Falls, or Hunt Creek Falls
Toilet / Amenities: None
How to get there:
- From Scappoose, take Highway 30 W for 32 miles.
- Veer right onto Beaver Falls Road.
- After 3.8 miles, park at a large dirt pullout to the left.
- To find the trail, walk back towards the direction you came and look for the post pictured above. Or, perhaps the “Danger, Trail Closed” sign will still be there when you visit, and it can serve as a trailhead marker as well.
- On your way back, drive 2.1 miles to a gap in the white guard rail and pull off to the right for a view of Upper Beaver Falls.