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Beaver Falls Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Beaver Falls (bobcat)
Hiking the Beaver Falls Trail (bobcat)
Beaver Creek below the falls (bobcat)
Location of the Beaver Falls Trail (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Beaver Falls TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Beaver Falls
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 0.7 miles
  • Elevation gain: 100 feet
  • High Point: 270 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

The Beaver Falls Trail is one of these rare spots for an outing in Columbia County. On the way, you can also visit Upper Beaver Falls, not spectacular, but a very pretty roadside attraction. As you drive down the bypassed section of old Highway 30 that is now called Beaver Falls Road, you will pass over several historic bridges that date to when the original road was completed in 1918. Columbia County has also maintained historic wood guardrails along the Beaver Creek canyon section of the road, similar to the restored guardrails in the Columbia River Gorge.

The trail to the amphitheater of Beaver Falls presents a short but rewarding excursion, especially for families with young children.

At the trailhead, note the old sign – BFTH painted in red on a post. Switchback down twice under Douglas-fir, western red-cedar, western hemlock, and big-leaf maple in an understory dominated by sword fern, Oregon grape, and salal. After the initial switchbacks, the trail undulates along the slope, passing through a trash dump before a rock face. Soon pass a “Watch Out for Poison Oak” sign and hike up through a rocky defile before dropping gradually to the cobbled shoreline at the plunge pool for Beaver Falls.

The falls spill over an overhang in a wide basalt amphitheater with some well-defined hexagonal columns on the right side. You can scramble around to the left to get behind the falls but take care – the rocks are very slippery. The best viewing is obviously in the middle of the rainy season (usually December through April) when the Coast Range receives copious and regular downpours.

This area, as was most of Columbia County, was heavily logged beginning in the 19th century. Beaver Creek was used as a conduit for floating logs down to the Columbia and a small dam was built to contain the log raft above the falls. The dam was then broken and the ensuing flood pushed the logs over the falls and downstream.

Note: A new chain link fence has been put up on the road to prevent people from scrambling down directly to the falls. Please use the trail instead; it is much safer and well-graded to prevent erosion.


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Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.