The other Triple Falls... and more 4/20 & 4/21
Posted: April 25th, 2013, 6:14 pm
I headed south last Saturday to visit some waterfalls in and around the Opal Creek Wilderness. I have a pretty big list for this area so I wanted to make a dent in it over the weekend. First on my list was Evans Creek Falls north of Elkhorn. While driving up Evans Mountain Rd. SE I ran across this pretty good sized waterfall on unnamed drainage. About 25ft tall between the two tiers.After grabbing a few pictures Melinda and I got to the point in the road that I thought was the quickest way to the falls. It looked really steep and we were so far away from the river that I thought we should try an old logging road that I spotted lower on the hill. I thought it might be an easier route. We followed the old road for quite a while and it eventually went right down to the creek. We didn't even have to bushwhack very far past the old road as we approached a bend in the creek and we could hear a waterfall. In no time we saw our goal. It looked to be about 50 to 60ft tall. This was way too easy. Getting a closer look was quite a task as we had to cross the creek and make our way up the other side. Not a lot of footing. Finally as I got closer to the waterfall something didn't look right. This wasn't the waterfall we were seeking, it was the unnamed creek that we saw the waterfall at earlier. This waterfall looked like it was the source of the creek from where we were earlier. Still it was a nice waterfall. So this not being our goal I knew we had to go up the creek a little further. It was still early in the day so onward we went until we got cliffed out. We backtracked a ways and crossed the creek again on a fallen tree. we got further upstream but got cliffed out again. Now we had to go up a very steep grade about 100ft above the creek so we could continue upstream. Now I was wishing I had dropped down from the road above. As we came up in another bend in the river we could hear a waterfall...and this one was louder than the last. Yay, we found Evans Creek Falls. Premature "yay" After an extensive search of the area I realized that the whole area was cliffed out and there was no way to the base of the falls without climbing gear. This waterfall is big...around 80-90ft tall but the only view is blocked by a couple of trees at the base of the fall. It may be possible to reach the base by walking through the creek at a lower flow at the end of the summer. We were both kind of bummed but glad that we got here and saw what we did. Melinda didn't want to go back the way we came so we headed up the hill towards the place I originally was going to start. A short way up we came across an old logging road in good shape and we hiked it up to the paved road. Wow...it dumped out right across from the first waterfall that we saw earlier in the day.....very funny. That little trip really beat us both up and took us a good part of the day but we had more to see. Onward we drove to see a waterfall that is supposed to at the confluence of Henline Creek and the Little North Santiam River called Triple Falls. I couldn't find any descent pictures of it online and had no idea what it would look like. We parked on the east side of the Henline Bridge and started bushwhacking our way down towards where the falls were supposed to be. Finally we made it.... We were on the wrong side to see a view or get to the base of the falls. So back up the creek we went, looking for a way to cross. On the way up I stumbled on some rock work from an old road that crossed the creek. It must have been a pretty neat bridge. No where to cross but up at the road. Amazingly there was a trail down on the other side, yay. A view from the old road looking at where a bridge used to be....from the west side. We made it to the waterfall and while descending to the base I noticed something really cool, a stone arch. Finally....a great view. The other Triple Falls. This waterfall got my approval. It was starting to get late so we were looking for somewhere to camp and we noticed the road to Shady Cove was open. We headed down and found an empty campground. We decided to see one more waterfall before making camp. Sullivan Creek Falls was flowing good. After a long day it was nice to relax.