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Mc Dowell Creek Falls and beyond April 2006

Posted by tazz (2006-06-08)

Its funny how even the smallest little creak and waterfall hike is heaven after being cooped up recovering for 6 weeks. We wanted to take Josh on a safe hike (cause mom is over protective and always scared he will slip and fall off a cliff embarassedlaugh.gif ) and used SFís great site and info to pick a nice waterfall hike that a 2.5 year old could do.  We picked McDowell Creek Co park.

McDowell creek is located in Linn county Or. just Southeast of Salem. It is an hour and a half from our house.  The trail is very well maintained and has nice safe platforms, bridges and stairways to take Josh on.  There are three major falls along the trails. The first trail head takes you to Royal terrace Falls 119ft.  There is a bridge that takes you to the base for viewing.  There are stairs that take you to a platform at the top of the falls. This is a nice area to visit. We saw just a few hikers near the falls area and they just went from the parking lots to the falls and didnít continue along the trails.

From here the trail continues up along a ridge for another Ĺ mile or so. The trees are heavily covered with moss in this area. The trillium is in full bloom. We enjoyed watching Josh hike along as stop at every little thing and investigate wub.gif

The trail ends at the road. We decided to take the road down to make a loop instead of turning around.  We passed the upper parking lot and took a trail to Crystal falls.  We took a break here and enjoyed watching Josh fuel up fro the rest of the hike back.  He didnít make too much farther before he got tired and needed a ride in the pack.

We returned to the road and crossed it and continued along a trail that fallows the creek. The trail has been washed out and some fallen trees for several hundred feet but has easy detoured.  This trail takes you back to the bridge below Royal Terrace Falls and then back to the parking lot.  In all we hiked about 2 miles.

We had lunch and headed up to the upper parking lot to reach Majestic falls. A couple of hundred feet from the parking lot there is a huge viewing platform at the top of the falls.  Several sets of very slick stairs lead you down to another platform at the base of the falls. Then the trail continues across a bridge and then takes you down to Crystal Falls that we already stopped at during our first hike. We hiked a ways down this trail then turned around.

After seeing the falls we decided we would head to Green Peter lake and check it out. We tend to not spend a lot of time at lakes and reservoirs because most are geared to boaters and not hikers but it looked cool on the map.  The lake is a shade of green. There was one spot we found for hiking in Whitcomb creek county park (one of the many finger peninsulas that reach into the lake). We hiked down to a rocky beach so Josh could climb around and throw rocks in the water. When the clouds lifted briefly to the east I could see snow cover peaks. We maybe hiked another Ĺ mile or so then headed out.


On the way out we saw some falls from the side of the road.  We stopped real quick so I could try to get a shot of them. I had to beat my way through 30 ft of thick blackberry canes taller than me.  After getting all cut up and bleeding I couldnít go much further without climbing on wet slick rock. So I got the best shots I could from the spot I was at. One could probably get a good shot of the nice upper falls if they want to get wet feet and climb up slick rock.

This is a nice area to visit. We saw just a few hikers near the falls area and they just went from the parking lots to the falls and didnít continue along the trails.

What a great day with my family smile.gif 

Caption('knocked out!', 179); Caption('No name falls.', 179); Caption('Green Peter lake', 211); Caption('McDowell creek', 179); Caption('Crystal Falls', 179); Caption('"I love hiking!"', 179);

Re: Mc Dowell Creek Falls and beyond April 2006

Posted by jeffstatt (2006-06-08)
I appreciate the time you took to post all this!  Thanks!Smile  I'm going post a link in the new "Hikes with kids" thread in "Portland Hikers" general forum.

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