hike: Drift Creek Falls
This hike in the Oregon Coast Range features a long suspension bridge over a narrow canyon with a waterfall. And if that wasn’t enough, the forest is filled with cedars and Sitka Spruce trees dripping with lichens.
distance: 3 miles (out and back)
elevation gain: 800 ft.
drive time from Portland: 2 hours
parking pass: NW Forest Pass
hike description: OregonHikers.org
Forest Service trail info: Siuslaw National Forest – Drift Creek Falls Trail #1378
I’ve been wanting to do this hike for a long time, but it’s far enough out of the way that I never made it there until now. On the way to the Oregon Coast for a two night camping trip near Newport, we took Highway 18 to Bear Creek Road and followed it for 6 winding miles through forest to the trailhead.
I wasn’t expecting the forest to be as beautiful as it is… I especially liked the section with lichens dripping from every branch. The suspension bridge crosses high above a narrow canyon yet is stable with very little movement.
You can hear the waterfall before you see it. Halfway across the bridge you get a big view of it cascading down a blocky basalt wall. The trail continues and turns back towards the base of the waterfall.
This is a shorter hike, so we took our time and spent about an hour at the base of the falls taking photos and eating lunch before heading back.
When we left, we continued on Forest Road 17 for another 12 miles to Highway 101 for our coastal camping trip. Anytime I’m heading this way again, I’ll take the time to do this easy hike.