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Munson Creek Falls Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Munson Creek, Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site (bobcat)
At the base of the big spruce tree, Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site (bobcat)
Western corydalis (Corydalis scouleri) (bobcat)
Munson Creek Falls, Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site (bobcat)
The location of Munson Creek Falls (bobcat)
  • Start point: Munson Creek Falls TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Munson Creek Falls
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 0.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 95 feet
  • High Point: 445 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes


Hike Description

This is a quiet respite for those traveling along Highway 101. The 62-acre Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site is one of Oregon's more recently created state parks and has been open to visitors since 2000. Some of the land was donated by the Stimson Lumber Company and purchase of the rest was funded by the Paul Allen Forest Protection Foundation. A short, wide trail leads through lush creek bottom woodland to a viewpoint of the falls, which tumble in several tiers and cannot be seen in their entirety. The falls are named after a 19th century pioneer who settled in this area.

The trail heads up a box canyon along burbling Munson Creek, which is lushly cloaked with salmonberry and elderberry. Big-leaf maple, western hemlock, western red-cedar, red alder and Sitka spruce form the canopy. A variety of forest wildflowers, including trillium, corydalis, and violet, bloom here in the spring and summer. After passing a windfall corridor created by a massive cedar that fell across the creek, look for a side trail leading to the right through the salmonberry to a massive old Sitka spruce on the other side of Munson Creek. The main trail heads up to offer a view of Munson Creek Falls; in the summer, this is the best vantage point from which to appreciate the falls when all the deciduous trees are leafed out. After this, the trail drops before rising again on the last section, which is bordered with a handrail. Mossy maples overhang the creek. Steps lead to a viewing area heavily overhung by salmonberry in the summer. Here further progress is blocked by a sign saying: “Trail Closed.” A fallen tree over the trail attests to the destruction caused by winter storms of the 1990s. The falls tumble in at least three tiers and are 319’ high, making them the tallest waterfall in the Oregon Coast Range.

Trails had been built into here in the 1960s, long before the area became a state park. An upper trail was destroyed in the floods of 1996 and has never been repaired.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Dogs on leash
  • Port-a-potty at trailhead

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Oregon's Ancient Forests: A Hiking Guide by Chandra LeGue
  • 25 Hikes on Oregon's Tillamook Coast by Adam Sawyer
  • Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon by Adam Sawyer
  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Best Easy Day Hikes: Oregon's North Coast by Lizann Dunegan
  • 75 Hikes in Oregon’s Coast Range & Siskiyous by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • A Walking Guide to Oregon's Ancient Forests by Wendell Wood
  • Hiking Oregon by Donna Lynn Ikenberry
  • 50 Hikes in Oregon by David L. Anderson
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Hiking the Oregon Coast by Lizann Dunegan
  • Oregon Coast Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan
  • Canine Oregon by Lizann Dunegan
  • The Dog Lover's Companion to Oregon by Val Mallinson
  • Waterfall Lover's Guide: Pacific Northwest by Gregory A. Plumb
  • Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest by David L. Anderson

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.