Drift Creek Falls Hike- Oregon’s Most Surprising Hike

DISCLAIMER: Our posts may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we may receive commission. You won't pay more, but you will be providing us with a small commission, which helps to keep the lights on. All recommendations are based on our own opinions and preferences. You can read our complete disclaimer here. Thanks!

  • Save

The Drift Creek Falls hike winds through a dense, damp forest. Ferns carpet the ground, blanketing everything in shades of green. As you walk, the hike may seem to be leading you in endless circles, but soon enough, the forest’s secret is revealed.

About Drift Creek Falls

supspension bridge at Drift Creek Falls hike.
  • Save

Located in Oregon’s Siuslaw National Forest, this 3 mile out-and-back style trail winds through regrowth forests and over small footbridges with trickling creeks below. The wet, wide, and well maintained trail offers an easy downward slope, on the way in. But be prepared to climb that slope on the way back to your car.

One and a half miles down the winding, dense, and sloping trail you will suddenly stumble upon a 240-foot suspension bridge. Hanging 100 feet above the river below, the Drift Creek Falls suspension bridge offers a unique view of Drift Creek Falls Oregon. We had seen photos of the bridge online, but nothing can prepare you for the immense size and shock of seeing it the first time. I felt completely in awe seeing how out of place the bridge seems, but yet, it seamlessly blends with the landscape.

Top view of Drift Creek Falls suspension bridge along with view of support beams
  • Save

Built in 1997, the 3-foot wide suspension bridge is supported by large cables anchored into the bluffs on either side of the bridge. The slight sway as you venture across it adds an extra element of suspense that I did not care for.

The closer you walk to the bridge, the louder the sound of rushing water becomes. And once on the bridge, Drift Creek Falls will be in full view. The powerful rushing water hitting the rocks creates a calming background noise as you look at the river 100 feet below.

As you walk across the bridge, if you can bear it, take a moment to snap photos and enjoy the view. During our rainy trip, we encountered a few other hikers, but it is not uncommon for the bridge to be cramped with hikers.

Once you have taken in all the views from the bridge vantage point on your Drift Creek Falls hike, we suggest you walk the additional ¼ mile to the base Drift Creek Falls. From there, you will find a fantastic photo opportunity of the falling water with the suspension bridge in the backdrop.

This is also a great place to stop and enjoy lunch at one of the nearby picnic tables, or cast a line in and see what fish you can catch. Just be sure to follow Oregon’s fishing rules.

The Drift Creek Falls Hike Secondary Trail

If you are looking for a way to expand the Drift Creek Falls Hike experience, try the north trail. After some small bridges on the main trail, well before the suspension bridge, there is a fork in thepath.

If you opt to take the North Trail, which is 0.8 miles long, it will lead you to and through an old growth forest. This trail can be quite muddy, but is often less crowded and can make for a more peaceful hiking experience.

After 0.8 miles, the north trail connects back to the main trail so you can continue on your journey.

Directions to Drift Creek Falls Hike Trailhead

A view of the falls from on top of the bridge
  • Save

To find the Drift Creek Falls hike trailhead, which is located in Otis Oregon, head to the junction of Oregon Highway 18 and Highway 101. From there, travel 4.5 miles down highway 18 then turn south on Bear Creek County Road. After three and a half miles, turn onto Forest Service road 17. Continue 7 miles to the trail head.

In the past, the Drift Creek Falls hike was easy to access from Lincoln City, but a recent rockslide has closed the road which provided access. Now, you can only access the trailhead from the north, as described above.

Things to Know Before You Go

At the Drift Creek Falls hike trailhead, there is a restroom, and a hike information sign where you place your $5 parking fee.

Plan to spend 2-3 hours on this hike, but add an additional hour if you plan to add the northern trail to your journey.

The trail is open year round during daylight hours and well behaved, leashed pets are allowed.

Be aware that the Drift Creek Falls hike can be crowded on weekends. The parking lot is small and can only hold about 20 cars. On busy days with warm weather, plan to arrive early to score a parking space and avoid crowds.

Expanding the Journey, What to See Nearby

Drift Creek Covered Bridge has been restored
  • Save

For an additional piece of history while hiking Oregon, make sure to stop and see the Drift Creek Covered Bridge about one mile down Bear Creek County Rd. Built in 1914, this covered bridge is the oldest one in Oregon. It was used on the main north/south route along the Oregon Coast.

By the 1960’s the automobile traffic had been rerouted to a concrete bridge and the Drift Creek Bridge was used for pedestrian only traffic. In 1988 the bridge was deemed unsafe and closed to all traffic. It was dismantled in 1997 and moved to its current spot on Bear Creek County Rd.

If you are heading to Drift Creek Falls hike from the Corvallis or the surrounding area, take the Kings Valley Highway to Lincoln City for some additional sightseeing.

If you take Highway 20 out of Corvallis to Highway 223, you’ll find a small roadside spring between mileposts 15 and 16. Here, you will find fresh, cool, and clean water coming from a small rock outcropping. The locals often stop here to fill up jugs for remarkable tasting drinking water. Coming from the south, the spring is on your left directly after a curve in the road. There is a small gravel parking lot on the opposite side where you can park.

spring near Drift Creek Falls hike.
  • Save

About 5 miles after the spring, in the small town of Peedee, Oregon, you’ll find another covered bridge on your right. The Ritner Creek Bridge was built in 1926 and was almost destroyed in 1974. The community came together to raise the funds to save and refurbish the bridge.


Chinook Winds Casino Resort– 38 minutes away

Kyllo’s Seafood and Grill– 38 minutes away

Small roadside spring- see above

  • Save

Ali Patton

Ali is a travel blogger for Seconds to Go, where she shares her experiences traveling the U.S. with her co-blogger Mom, Kathleen. She is also an avid Disney travel enthusiast, and with multiple Disney World trips under her belt, is a knoweldgeable resource for all things related to Disney vacations. Ali can be found managing the Seconds to Go social media accounts as well as the famed Double Z Farm pages on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

Thanks for Joining Our Adventure

Kathleen Hesketh and Ali Patton, mother daughter travel bloggers

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.


pinterest icon
Instagram icon
Facebook icon
follow us in feedly


More Adventures

IMG 7893 1024x768
  • Save

An Oregon Foodie’s Guide to the Best Corvallis Restaurants

April 27, 2024

Share via: 61 Shares Pinterest 46 Facebook 14 Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 1 Tumblr 0 When it comes to Oregon food, many people think of Portland, but when visiting Oregon, food in Corvallis can be just as delectable and zany, only a little closer to home … Read more

Horsetail falls Oregon from viewpoint
  • Save

Horsetail Falls Oregon to Ponytail Falls, Mother and Daughter on the Trail

April 25, 2024

Share via: 2.9K Shares Pinterest 320 Facebook 2.5K Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 A recent trip to the Columbia River Gorge had us—as it does many—chasing waterfalls, most notably Horsetail Falls Oregon and the nearby Ponytail Falls, also known as Upper Horsetail Falls. This … Read more

View looking up at Multnomah Falls Columbia River Gorge bridge
  • Save

Visit Multnomah Falls Columbia River Gorge, But Don’t Make Our Mistake

April 24, 2024

Share via: 346 Shares Pinterest 324 Facebook 22 Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge is one of the world’s most iconic waterfalls. Revereed for its two-tier plunge and picturesque appeal, the double cascade sees two million visitors a … Read more

IMG 1858
  • Save

Bohemia Mine: Haunting Oregon Ghost Town in the High Umpquas

April 19, 2024

Share via: 1.6K Shares Pinterest 356 Facebook 1.3K Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 Our first attempt to visit the Bohemia Mine Oregon ghost town took place in 2014, right after I got married. My mom, sister and I took the dog and headed out … Read more

Kathleen Hesketh hiking Ponytail Falls Oregon's Columbia River Gorge

Best Hiking Trails in Oregon to Tackle in a Day or Less

April 17, 2024

Share via: 1.7K Shares Pinterest 341 Facebook 1.4K Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 The Pacific Northwest is known for its amazing outdoor activities, and Oregon is no exception. The best Oregon hiking trails feature waterfalls, stunning views, and excitement. Take a journey with us … Read more

The Spruce Goose at the Air Musuem in McMinnville
  • Save

Air Museum in McMinnville Oregon Features Legendary One-Flight Plane

April 12, 2024

Share via: 1.6K Shares Pinterest 324 Facebook 1.3K Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 The Air Museum in McMinnville Oregon, called the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, offers an up close and personal view of planes and space equipment. This museum is perfect for any … Read more

Mother-daughter travel blogger team enjoying an Oregon hiking trail through old growth forest
  • Save

16 of the Best Oregon Hiking Trails for a Lifetime of Adventures

March 25, 2024

Share via: 12 Shares Pinterest 12 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 While we aren’t even close to covering every trail, Oregon hiking is one of our favorite activities. As a result, we’ve logged some foot miles and have done some extensive research … Read more

Lighthouse on rocky New England coast
  • Save

Visiting New England: Travel Doesn’t Get Much Better

March 23, 2024

Share via: 222 Shares Pinterest 193 Facebook 29 Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 New England travel bloggers are a rare breed. We don’t jet of to exotic locations and rhapsodize about far-off places. Instead, we write about a little-known piece of the U.S. that … Read more

  • Save

21 Things to Do in the Oregon Outdoors This Year

March 20, 2024

Share via: 320 Shares Pinterest 320 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 Whether you’re visiting Oregon for the first time or are a long time resident, exploring the Oregon outdoors should be on your bucket list. Oregon offers over 98,000 square miles of … Read more

View from road to Bohemia Mine
  • Save

Oregon Travel Guide: Must-See Vacation Places and Things to Do in the Beaver State

March 20, 2024

Share via: 2.9K Shares Pinterest 320 Facebook 2.5K Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 With 98,000 square miles to explore, and a diverse set of geographical areas, you’ll need an Oregon travel guide to help you find the best Oregon vacation places. So, if you’re … Read more