Recently I went to Abiqua Falls for the first time. I have both lived in Silverton and have friends who still live there, therefore I have heard about these falls a lot. Much of this talk has been:
“Be careful” “Your car can’t make it” “It’s literally a scramble up the side of a mountain” “Seriously, super big rocks”.
And…it’s not that hard. BUT it’s not that easy. There are big rocks. We went in my friend’s older Subaru Forester and had no problem. My Honda HRV would have had no problems. You can make it in similar vehicles. I would not want to take a sedan.
The climb is tough. There is a rope, I could have done it without a rope, but it was appreciated. The hike is only .8 miles, so rough, but not long enough to be too dangerous or hard. Most dogs and medium aged children could make it. Young children not recommended.
How to get to Abiqua Falls, the details.
From Portland drive Highway 213 south from Oregon City. After going through Molalla and before Silverton, turn left at the sign for Scotts Mills. In downtown Scotts Mills, turn right on Crooked Finger Road. Drive 9.5 miles until the pavement ends, then drive another 1.4 miles on gravel past Camp Dakota and turn right on road CF300 (poorly marked). Make sure to start looking after Camp Dakota.
Drive 0.1 miles down to an open area, and go through a gate. Continue downhill, always going straight and downhill at other junctions. You will pass ATVs and clear cuts and the further you go, the worse the road gets. If you feel uncomfortable, pull off the road and walk. It will make it more of a hike. You will reach a locked gate about 2.5 miles from where you turned off Crooked Finger Road. Park there.
Abiqua Falls, the hike.
From the parking area walk back along the road in the direction you came. Don’t take the first rough trail at the end of the parking area. In about 100 feet and you’ll see a second trail dropping down through the trees.
The first few steps are steep and marked by a maple tree. Take this a short distance and curve to the left (if you turn right, it takes you to an open area). Continue following the trail steeply down you reach the creek. Don’t think about going back up. Trust me, it’s not that bad.
Turn left upstream up the creek for a short distance, you will have to climb over and around rocks and logs. Be careful, it can be slippery.
The trail ends at the huge basalt bowl and Abiqua Falls. There is a large rocky area jutting out into the pool from which you can admire the falls, or walk around the pool for different views.
To get back to your car, turn around and come back the way you can.
Once again, I just want to warn you to be careful, but don’t let that keep you from going. Be careful, go.