Drive, hike, or glide to views of Oregon's Salt Creek Falls

Bonnie Henderson,  – December 12, 2005

Free-falling 286 feet, Salt Creek Falls is Oregon’ssecond-tallest waterfall; only Multnomah Falls, in the ColumbiaRiver Gorge, has a longer drop. It’s impressive any time of yearbut dazzling with a lacework of ice and frost in midwinter.

Stop by on your way to skiing at Willamette Pass or Mt.Bachelor, or make it a winter day’s destination. From Eugene it’s abit more than an hour’s drive to the top of the falls, just off thehighway, where there’s a 4,000-foot-high Sno-Park. Cautiouslyfollow short paths for views of the falls. If you’re a competentcross-country skier, kick and glide another 1.2 miles on a trail tosee a second cataract: 100-foot fan-shaped Diamond Creek Falls.

Beginning skiers can start a day’s tour with a peek at SaltCreek Falls, then head east on snowed-over Salt Creek Road for aless scenic but easier outing.

INFO: Pull off State 58 at the sign to Salt Creek Falls,about 23 miles southeast of Oakridge. Oregon Sno-Park permitrequired ($3 per vehicle; purchase at any Oregon DMV office; atWillamette Pass; or at Rascal’s Market in Oakridge, 541/782-3704).Middle Fork Ranger District, Willamette NationalForest, 541/782-2283).

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