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May 22, 2013
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20 of the most beautiful waterfalls in Oregon

Douglas County boasts one of the highest concentrations of waterfalls in Oregon. A total of 75 waterfalls are listed in a directory compiled by the World Waterfall Database, with more than 60 publicly accessible within the Umpqua and Rogue basins.

Waterfalls in Oregon along Highway 138 East

Susan Creek Falls

A nearly one-mile trail, which is wheelchair-accessible, leads hikers through a forest setting to the 50-foot drop of Susan Creek Falls. A moss-lined rock wall borders the falls on three sides. To reach the falls from Roseburg, take Highway 138 East to the Susan Creek Picnic Area, about 29 miles. The parking area is across from the Susan Creek picnic area.

Fall Creek Falls

A one-mile trail winds around and through slabs of bedrock and past the natural, lush vegetation to a double falls with each tier 35 to 50 feet in height. It’s a good walk for families with children and grandparents. The Job’s Garden Trail, which takes off at the half-mile point, leads through a Douglas fir forest to the base of basaltic, columnar rock outcroppings. Both trails are located off Highway 138 at Fall Creek, about 32 miles east of Roseburg in the Umpqua National Forest.

Little Falls

Fish jump up 5 to 15 feet along this break along Steamboat Creek. The falls can be found by driving one mile up Steamboat Creek Road 38, which leaves Highway 138 at Steamboat, 39 miles east of Roseburg.

Steamboat Falls

A viewpoint showcases this 25-foot waterfall. Some fish attempt to jump the falls, while others use an adjacent ladder. Drivers take Highway 138 east to Steamboat, about 39 miles, and turn on Steamboat Creek Road 38 and continue for six miles, then turn onto Road 3810 and travel to the Steamboat Falls Campground entrance.

Toketee Falls

Toketee Falls, located 59 miles east of Roseburg, is one of Oregon’s most celebrated waterfalls. Access to it reopened last spring after being closed for two years after a storm caused a dozen trees to fall across the trail leading to the falls and a viewing platform. A 300-foot hardwood stairway leads visitors to the platform overlooking the falls, which plunges 100 feet over a sheer wall of basalt with a double-tier waterfall on top. Take Highway 138 east from Roseburg to Toketee, about 59 miles. Turn off Highway 138 on Road 34, the west entrance to the Toketee Ranger Station. Cross the first bridge and turn left. The trail is a half-mile long.

Watson Falls

This majestic waterfall is the highest in Southern Oregon and fourth-highest in Oregon, with a drop of 272 feet. Watson Falls is located on Road 37, off Highway 138 near the east entrance to Toketee Ranger Station, about 61 miles east of Roseburg. The falls are not wheelchair-accessible.

Whitehorse Falls

Relax on the porch-like vista overlooking this punch bowl waterfall 10 to 15 feet high along Clearwater River. Take Highway 138 east of Roseburg about 67 miles to Whitehorse Falls Campground. A viewing platform is wheelchair-accessible.

Clearwater Falls

This 40-foot cascade is only a short walk up Clearwater River. To get to the falls, drive 3.5 miles east from Whitehorse Falls to the turnoff for Clearwater Falls — about 70 miles east of Roseburg. The falls are wheelchair-accessible to the bottom.

Lemolo Falls

The Indian word Lemolo, a Chinook term, means “wild” or “untamed.” The meaning comes to life as the waterfall thunders 75 to 100 feet downward to the North Umpqua River. From Clearwater Falls, drive three miles east toward Lemolo Lake. Turn off Highway 138 to Forest Service Road 2610, go six miles to fork in road. Take left fork onto Forest Service Road 2610-680 for one mile. Turn left across wooden bridge. The falls are not wheelchair-accessible.

Warm Springs Falls

Columns of basalt are punished day and night as this waterfall thunders over the rocks and drops more than 70 feet into the creek bed below. To reach the falls, turn off Highway 138 east of Roseburg to Forest Service Road 2610, go six miles to fork in road. Take left fork to Forest Service Road 2610-680 for two miles to Road 2610-600. The falls are not wheelchair-accessible.

Waterfalls in Oregon's Little River area

Wolf Creek Falls

A trail of slightly more than a mile leads to Wolf Creek Falls, which slides down a mountainside in two parts. The upper portion drops 75 feet and the lower tumbles 50 feet. Take Highway 138 east from Roseburg to Glide, about 16 miles. Turn onto Little River Road and follow for 10.7 miles to the trailhead at the arched bridge over Little River. A picnic table is located half a mile up the trail.

Cedar Creek Falls

Water trickles 40 to 60 feet from a cliff to create Cedar Creek Falls. Take Highway 138 east of Roseburg to Glide, about 16 miles. Turn on Little River Road and follow it for 12.1 miles to Road 2700-095. Drive one mile to a sharp switchback in the road. The falls are on an adjacent cliff.

Hemlock Falls

Rocks, ferns and trees surround this 80-foot rush along Hemlock Creek. To get to the falls, take Highway 138 east from Roseburg to Glide, about 16 miles. Turn on Little River Road and follow it for about 25.8 miles to Lake-in-the-Woods Campground. The trailhead is located just before the campsites.

Yakso Falls

Little River drops 70 feet and protruding rocks spread the water flow to make Yakso Falls a spectacular sight. The falls are three-quarters of a mile from the trailhead at the entrance to Lake-in-the-Woods Campground. From Roseburg, head east on Highway 138 for 16 miles and turn right on Little River Road. Follow for 25.8 miles to the campground.

Grotto Falls

The shimmering waters of this waterfall plunge 100 feet along Emile Creek. Visitors can walk into the grotto behind the fall, but be careful — it’s slippery. To reach the trailhead, take Highway 138 east from Roseburg to Glide, 16.3 miles. Take Little River Road to Road 2703 at Coolwater Campground. Take Road 2703 nearly 4.5 miles to the turnoff at Road 2703-150. Continue another two miles to reach the trail.

Shadow Falls

This triple-descent waterfall has eroded its way through a rock fracture to form a narrow, natural grotto. The descent totals 80 to 100 feet along Cavitt Creek. The falls are located on Shadow Falls Trail, about nine miles from the junction of Cavitt Creek Road and Little River Road on Road 25. To reach Little River Road, take Highway 138 east from Roseburg to Glide, about 16 miles.

Waterfalls in Oregon's South Umpqua area

Campbell Falls

The South Umpqua River is the site of this waterfall that honors Robert G. Campbell, a former U.S. Forest Service employee who was killed in action in World War II. The falls are about 12 miles northeast of Tiller on Forest Service Road 28, near Boulder Creek Campground. To get to Tiller, take Interstate 5 south to Canyonville. Follow County Road 1 to Tiller. From Tiller, take County Road 46, which becomes Forest Service Road 28, for 13 miles to a gravel turnout.

South Umpqua Falls

A unique formation in the South Umpqua, the river flows shallow over a wide slab of bedrock and plunges 10 to 15 feet into a deep pool. An observation deck overlooks the falls while protecting a fish ladder. To get to the falls, take Interstate 5 to Canyonville and County Road 1 east to Tiller. At Tiller, take County Road 46, which becomes Forest Service Road 28, for 21 miles to South Umpqua Falls Picnic Ground.

Deer Lick Falls

A mere tenth of a mile hike leads to this 20-foot cascade that flows through a narrow chute into a deep pool in Black Rock Fork. Take Interstate 5 to Canyonville and County Road 1 east to Tiller. At Tiller, take County Road 46, which becomes Forest Service Road 28, for 28 miles to a gravel turnout where the trail begins.

Cow Creek Falls

A drop of 25 to 40 feet along a series of rock steps makes up this waterfall. Cow Creek Falls is near Devils Flat Campground on Cow Creek Road, 17.2 miles from Azalea, about 36 miles south of Roseburg.

Waterfalls in coastal Douglas County, Oregon

Kentucky Falls

Spectacular waterfalls and pools in a pristine, forested setting make Kentucky Falls a coastal attraction worth seeing. Cool pools and falls can be reached via a six-mile trail. Drivers will travel to Reedsport and then north on Highway 101 for about three-quarters of a mile. Turn right onto Forest Service Road 48, also known as Smith River Road, and continue 15 miles before a turn onto Forest Service Road 23. The trailhead is seven miles ahead on the right side of the road.

Brochures listing many of the most popular falls are available online at tinyurl.com/umpquafalls2. A full listing of Southern Oregon waterfalls can be found at waterfallsnorthwest.com/nws.


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The News-Review Updated Jun 5, 2013 04:26PM Published Jun 5, 2014 04:34PM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.