As soon as I saw a picture of Abiqua falls, it was on the top of my list of hikes to do when I came to Oregon. It's such a unique waterfall, framed perfectly by the geometric basalt rock. I love that since the trailhead is a little out of the way and harder to get to than other falls, there are a lot less crowds, and the hike is relatively short for the payoff.
Miles: 0.8 roundtrip
Elevation Change: 200 ft
Trail type: Out and back
Trailhead: Navigate to the end of the road via: Google Maps. Continue on the dirt road to the actual parking lot: GPS coordinates
Getting to the falls was an adventure in itself. Be sure to download the area offline on Google Maps, since there is no service in the area. We turned off onto the gravel Crooked Finger Road and kept heading downhill. The road had a couple rough parts, but nothing the CRV couldn't handle. If you only have a sedan, you can still make it part of the way, you'll just have a longer hike to get to the actual trailhead.
We weren't sure if we were going the right way, especially when the road ended on Google Maps, and we still had a ways to go on the dirt road. Overall it was about 2.5 miles from the turnoff until we hit the locked gate and parked near it (GPS coordinates above).
After parking, the trailhead was back up the road about 50 feet and is marked by an Abbey Foundation sign. The trail heads straight down the ravine towards the water and is quite slippery with the covering of leaves.
As soon as you hit the river, the trail makes its way upstream right alongside the water. Here there are several large logs to climb under/over.
You can start to hear the thunderous sound of the waterfall get louder, and you can even see the cloud of mist in the air from around the corner. Once you round the bend, you see the entire amphitheater with the Abiqua Falls at the center.
The sun had started to come out, so on our hike back the canyon looked even more colorful.
I felt more surefooted on the climb up, especially with the help of the ropes, and by the time we got to our car there were 3 other cars parked as well. The entire hike we only saw a handful of other people, which was refreshing from the other popular hikes in Oregon. If you have time, you could head to Silver Falls State Park, which is only 40 minutes away.
If you choose to do this hike, don't forget to:
- Download an offline area of the map and have additional directions ready in case
- Try to come in a vehicle with 4wd and high clearance, it'll get you closer to the TH
- Wear shoes with good traction - it's very slippery!
- Bring gloves if you plan on using the ropes
- Rain layers! The mist from the falls can soak you