hike: Dry Creek Falls via PCT
This short hike to the Dry Creek waterfall starts in Cascade Locks on the Pacific Crest Trail heading south.
distance: 4.5 miles
elevation gain: 725 ft.
best season: spring, fall, winter
drive time from Portland: 45 minutes
parking pass: NW Forest Pass
hike description: OregonHikers.org – Dry Creek Falls
We parked at the trailhead near the Bridge of the Gods (NW Forest Pass required), but there’s another parking lot a short distance south that doesn’t require a pass. See the OregonHikers link above for more info.
This is an easy hike that’s good for a quick outing. After crossing under the highway, the trail heads through an area with power lines before entering the forest. This area was impacted by the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, but the damage is mainly seen on blackened tree trunks – most of the tree crowns survived. The trail traverses a couple of ridges before reaching an old road that leads to the waterfall. A former water works from the 1930s used to supply water to the town of Cascade Locks. A few remnants from this era remain.
Dry Creek Falls drops 74 feet into a rocky amphitheater with interesting columnar basalt formations.
For a longer hike, turn left at the bridge over Dry Creek and continue on the Pacific Crest Trail for just under 1.5 miles to the Herman Creek Pinnacles. Total distance for the longer hike would be approximately 7.5 miles with 1,700 ft gain.