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Butte Creek Falls Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Upper Butte Creek Falls (Tom Kloster)
Butte Creek Falls (Tom Kloster)


Hike Description

About 90 minutes from Portland, this short hike will take you to two beautiful waterfalls in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

From the trailhead, take the right hand trail that starts down near the restrooms. The wide, well maintained trail drops fairly steeply for 100 yards or so, then levels out. You'll come to an unmarked trail junction in about 0.2 miles. Turn sharp right below a wood retaining wall and head down a short spur to Upper Butte Creek Falls. Here the water has carved a cavern beneath the basalt and it's usually possible to walk behind the waterfall. The trail leads to the edge of Butte Creek here, with opportunities for kids to safely explore in the shallows.

Return to the unmarked trail junction and continue on the loop trail. In just a few yards, you'll come to another, currently unmarked junction. Continue straight (right) here and once again head downhill. This trail winds through beautiful rainforest, passes above Butte Creek Falls, crosses a log footbridge then ends on top off a precipitous rock bluff overlooking the falls. Keep an eye on kids here. There's plenty of room to safely enjoy the view, but a fall from the cliffs could be fatal. This is a great place for a picnic or just a relaxing session staring at the waterfall. There's a rough use path from here to the base of the waterfall, but it is quite dangerous and is not recommended.

Return to the loop trail and turn right (uphill) at the second unmarked junction, passing a set of stone steps then climbing gently through a beautiful forest of vine maple and Douglas fir to the trailhead.


Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • None

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Wild in the Willamette edited by Lorraine Anderson with Abby Phillips Metzger
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain

More Links


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.