I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and this is a great place if you have small children.
Instead of a trip report I'll write some inspiration for any potentially bored Field Guide authors.
The map posted at the trailhead:McDowell Creek Park Trailhead (Lower)
Maps: Google Maps
Elevation: 800 feet
Driving time from Portland: 2.0 hours
Fees and Regulations
No permits are required to park at this trailhead.
Dogs are allowed on leash.
From I-5 exit onto Hwy 20 and head east towards Lebanon.
Four miles east of Lebanon turn left onto Fairview road and bear right at the T-junction.
Appr. 0.9 miles bear left to stay on McDowell Creek road.
Another 7.6 miles turn right into the parking area for McDowell Creek Park.
There is a vault toilet and picnic tables.
There are two other parking lots in McDowell Creek Park.
Royal Terrace Falls:McDowell Creek Park Hike
Start point: McDowell Creek Park Trailhead (Lower)
End point: McDowell Creek Park Trailhead (Lower)
Hike Type: Loop
Distance: 1.7 miles
Elevation gain: 280 feet
Family Friendly: Yes
McDowell Creek Park has three trailheads creating multiple route options. The trails are well maintained and suitable for small children.
There are four waterfalls in this small park. At 119 feet the largest is Royal Terrace Falls, followed by 40-foot Majestic Falls, Crystal Pool Falls and Lower McDowell Falls.
For this 1.7 mile route, start at the lower parking lot. At Royal Terrace Falls take the stone steps up to the overlook at the top of the falls. Continue couter-clockwise (staying to the right at one trail junction) to the upper parking lot and Majestic Falls. After Majestic falls a series of wooden stairs leads downstream and crosses McDowell Creek. The trail follows along side the creek passing Crystal Pool Falls before coming to the middle parking lot. Cross the bridge at the middle parking lot and walk a short distance to Royal Terrace Falls. From here, continue downstream and return to the lower parking lot.
Maps: Hike Finder
McDowell Creek Falls 2/16
McDowell Creek County Park and Soda Creek Falls
McDowell Creek Falls 4/21/2012
Mc Dowell Creek Falls and beyond April 2006
McDowell Creek Park 1/24/15
Crystal Pool Falls:
Lower McDowell Falls:
Some other photos from the walk: