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Butte Creek Falls Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

This page is marked as a Closed Hike. Some or all of this hike has been closed by a governing body and hikers may be liable for fines or even arrest. At least part of this route may be dangerous and hard to follow, or it may cross areas with sensitive plant life or wildlife habitat. Trailkeepers of Oregon does not endorse or recommend hiking this route. When restrictions are lifted, this notice will be removed.
Upper Butte Creek Falls (Tom Kloster)
Starry Solomon plume (Maianthemum stellatum), Butte Creek Falls (bobcat)
Butte Creek Falls (Tom Kloster)
The trails at Butte Creek (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo/MapBuilder Topo
  • Start point: Butte Creek Falls TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Butte Creek Falls
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 1.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 320 feet
  • High point: 1,870 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Summer weekends


Hike Description

NOTICE: Trails in this area were affected by the 2020 Beachie Creek Fire. Please check on current closures with the Oregon Department of Forestry before planning an outing.

About 90 minutes from Portland, this short hike will take you to two beautiful waterfalls in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Note that, as of 2018, Weyerhaeuser has closed off the former access route to vehicles and the way to the falls involves a longer drive. Approach roads may be closed to the public in times of bad weather and during logging operations.

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 and 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 of a precipitous rock bluff overlooking the falls. Keep an eye on your 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, especially when wet, and is not recommended.

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


Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • Road closures on private forestland involve a longer drive. Approach roads may be closed to the public in times of bad weather and during logging operations.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon by Adam Sawyer
  • Best Hikes With Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson & Zach Urness
  • Day Hikes in the Pacific Northwest by Don J. Scarmuzzi
  • Afoot & Afield Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington by William L. Sullivan
  • Wild in the Willamette edited by Lorraine Anderson with Abby Phillips Metzger
  • Waterfall Lover's Guide: Pacific Northwest by Gregory A. Plumb

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.