Road to the Falls
I’ve been wanting to get out and practice using the neutral density filters more so decided to visit Butte Creek Falls. Last year I purchased “Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon” written by Adam Sawyer at Costco. It’s a great reference for finding falls within a reasonable distance for a day outing. We checked the directions and other information in the book against some internet sites. Obviously some directions were better than others, but it was easy to find and we were able to drive directly to the falls. The last 4 to 5 miles is a gravel/washboard road, however most vehicles will make it just fine. The washboard is fairly minor compared to others I’ve experienced. There is a section of one lane road that feels more perilous than it actually is from the driver’s perspective as it winds around and overlooks the hill.
The Trail and Falls
The hike is on a beautiful .9 mile, easy loop trail, with a couple hills, and the lush green foliage and shade were much appreciated on a hot July day. The straight part of the trail leads to the lower falls, but we weren’t able to get to its base. We saw some people go down the side of the rocky hill to get there, but we chose not to do that with our camera equipment. Another family came along and opted not to go down as well. Those who are more adventurous have the falls and pool all to themselves!
Then we took the loop trail to the upper falls which were easily accessible, and several families were playing in the water. It wasn’t as crowded as other falls tend to be, and we were able to get the photos we wanted. On the way out of the loop trail I saw another view of the upper falls I didn’t see going in. I’ll have to go back and photograph it with the neutral density filter.
Visiting Butte Creek Falls is well worth the scenic drive through farm country and the gravel roads. It’s about an hour from Portland depending on your starting point. On the way out we stopped at a farm stand and purchased fresh picked blackberries and strawberries and then finished our day with strawberry shortcake for desert!