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Difference between revisions of "Lewis River Waterfall Hike"

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

(Add pass)
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=== Regulations or restrictions, etc ===
=== Regulations or restrictions, etc ===
* Northwest Forest Pass required at Lower Falls Recreation Area
* Northwest Forest Pass (or America the Beautiful Pass) required at Lower Falls Recreation Area
{{TripReports|Lewis River}}
{{TripReports|Lewis River}}

Latest revision as of 02:55, 10 September 2019

Lower Lewis River Falls (Steve Hart)
Middle Lewis River Falls (Steve Hart)
Upper Lewis River Falls (Steve Hart)
Lower Copper Creek Falls (Steve Hart)


Hike Description

This is one of the premier waterfall hikes in our area.

From the Lower Lewis River Falls Trailhead make your way down any of the use paths to views of Lower Falls. The trail on the edge of the bluff is the Lewis River Trail (#31). Walk to the right as far as you like for different views of the waterfall. There are dozens of different segments and literally hundreds of vastly different photographic possibilities. There are a couple of informal side paths that lead to the river for views at water level. When you've had your fill of Lower Falls head back up the Lewis River Trail.

Continue past the trailhead and the restrooms. This first part of the trail travels through the large campground and is quite busy. There are lots of use paths, but if you stay right, you can't go wrong. Soon you'll climb a small hill to the edge of the campground. There's a sign here marking the Lewis River Trail. Continue east up the hill and head upriver.

The trail soon passes quite near FR 90 and you may hear and see cars. After a bit though the trail drops away from the road and crosses a seasonal waterfall on small footbridge. The concrete remains of Sheep Bridge are soon visible in the river far below. Next you'll come to a couple of trails coming from the left, first the Wright Meadows Trail, the second the Middle Falls Trail. The main trail used to continue straight at this junction, but a landslide has resulted in a detour. A sign in the middle of the trail directs you to switchback uphill to the left to the Middle Falls Trailhead.

At the parking lot veer right and pick up the trail a few feet away on the other side (watch for a sign). This trail meanders down, crossing Copper Creek above Copper Creek Falls. The trail continues downhill until a junction. The main trail goes straight but take the switchback downhill to the left to see Middle Falls. The trail beyond there is closed due to the landslide.

Back on the main trail you'll walk about a mile to the base of Upper Falls. There's a lot of alder growing up here, but you'll see a steep path that goes to the river bank and allows unobstructed view of the falls.

The next part of the trail is a steep climb, but the climb is short and the rewards are great. The trail works up the side of the Alec Creek Canyon gaining about 150 feet in a quarter mile. Then the trail heads back along the top of the bluff. Look for the signed side trail on the right - it goes steeply down to impressive Upper Falls Viewpoint.

The last waterfall is the smallest of the bunch, but it's only a 1/4 mile, so it's worth the trip. This is Taitnapum Falls. There's no access to the river here, so your only view is the from the trail. You may continue another 2/3 of a mile to the end of the trail at upper trailhead on FR 90. Return the way you came, or if you are doing this as a hike and bike, continue to the Upper Lewis River Trailhead to retrieve your bike.


Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • Northwest Forest Pass (or America the Beautiful Pass) required at Lower Falls Recreation Area

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

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.