Panther Creek Falls

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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drm
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Panther Creek Falls

Post by drm » April 10th, 2021, 10:25 am

This area has been reconfigured by the Forest Service. There used to be a large viewing platform across from the top of the falls, a couple hundred yards walk from the road. That is now gone, and the trail ends at a mediocre viewpoint. People used to do a dangerous descent to the bottom, a few of whom met their unfortunate demise, apparently thinking the vines would hold their weight like Tarzan or something.

So the Forest Service has put in a trail to the bottom and added a viewing platform down there. It's all of a quarter mile or so.

These falls are special because it is actually a few different creeks going over the same cliff and so basically joining water at the bottom. For a region blessed with lots of waterfalls, this one is unique. But it is in a remote location on Forest Road 65, north of Carson. It's a one lane paved road. And after years of vandalism, there is not large and obvious sign - the Forest Service gave up after building many of them, to see all of them destroyed. There is a small sign on a tree high up, but it is not obvious. From the obvious parking area in the quarry, you have to walk back down the road a hundred yards or so to pick up the trail.
new viewing platform.jpg
The new lower viewing platform
Panther Creek Falls.jpg
Panther Creek Falls

Webfoot
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Re: Panther Creek Falls

Post by Webfoot » April 10th, 2021, 12:24 pm

drm wrote:
April 10th, 2021, 10:25 am
People used to do a dangerous descent to the bottom, a few of whom met their unfortunate demise, apparently thinking the vines would hold their weight like Tarzan or something.
I took a rope for that once. I may have looked silly but I'm still here.

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adamschneider
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Re: Panther Creek Falls

Post by adamschneider » April 10th, 2021, 12:39 pm

That is a much better place for a viewpoint! GPNF seems to be pretty on top of things, at least compared to MHNF.

Webfoot
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Re: Panther Creek Falls

Post by Webfoot » April 19th, 2021, 7:46 am

I checked this out yesterday and I am rather disappointed. It's good to have a trail to the middle level but all the best places are signed "Area Closed." The path along the creek above the falls, closed. The rock ledge above the falls, closed. The basin below the main falls, closed. The trail down to the lower cascade, closed. They've made a narrow trail to a small cattle-chute of a viewpoint with no room to spread out, and unsurprisingly when I was there the signs were being ignored and people were wandering around the basin below the falls as they have for years.

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Chip Down
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Re: Panther Creek Falls

Post by Chip Down » April 19th, 2021, 8:21 pm

Webfoot wrote:
April 19th, 2021, 7:46 am
...a small cattle-chute of a viewpoint ...
:lol: Apt description.

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BurnsideBob
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Re: Panther Creek Falls

Post by BurnsideBob » April 20th, 2021, 2:29 am

2018 Signage--where you dropped thru trees, not where you parked.
IMG_2333v2.JPG

2018 Viewpoint
IMG_2334v2.JPG

BurnsideBob
I keep making protein shakes but they always turn out like margaritas.

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drm
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Re: Panther Creek Falls

Post by drm » April 20th, 2021, 6:28 am

It's not in the habit of the Forest Service to encourage cross country travel in the immediate vicinity of trails, especially given the history of people getting themselves killed in that area. Nonetheless, those wooden fences hardly force people to stay on the trail, as you noticed.

The new view point is smaller than the old one and I imagine it is going to be packed at high use times, despite the remote location.

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