The Sweet Hike of Sweet Creek Falls

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Sweet Creek Falls is a heavily trafficked two-mile out and back Oregon hiking trail that showcases four waterfalls, which together, drop over 70 feet. Small swimming holes can be accessed at most of the falls, if you’re up for getting wet. If you’re not into splashing in the water, don’t fret. The Sweet Creek Falls trail offers a mild incline sure to get your heart pumping.

Our Journey to Sweet Creek Falls

It seems whenever Mom and I go anywhere just the two of us, things tend to run a little… easier. On this particular adventure, we had pretty much the whole crew with us, including the dog, (although she is a repeat attendee to our adventures.)

Our crew all piled into yet another rental car, and we made our way out to Sweet Creek Falls, but not without a hitch. There was the usual delay first, waiting for dad to get ready to leave, and then some arguments about who would sit where, and then we were on our way.

After driving away from Corvallis and following the Siuslaw River into Florence, we made an out of the way stop for lunch before backtracking to Sweet Creek Rd.

Once at the trailhead, our adventure to Sweet Creek Falls could really begin.

The Sweet Creek Falls Adventure

At the beginning of the trailhead we struggled to find a parking spot, but eventually got the van wedged into a slim space which was edged by some brush. Mom had to get out before we got the van fully into the spot to avoid the blackberry thorns.

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The first bit of the trail felt hectic and overwhelming, but we kept pushing through and the crowds did thin.

At the first fall, the trees opened up to reveal a stone flat spot to stand on, right above the falls. We took a few photos and greeted some corgis, then moved on to get out of the crowds.

Many people had stopped here to swim or sit near the water, and it had created a log jam. We realized that many people in the parking lot had made the journey just to stay at the first falls.

We pressed on, hiking up a small hill and a couple turns before the second waterfall was revealed. Mom, sister 1, and I tried to hang back and take some photos, (we are bloggers after all!) The other part of our group had taken off up the trail, with some muttered words from one about us being “too slow.”

One of the Falls of Sweet Creek Falls
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Soon, we found ourselves on an interesting rock outcropping where the water had at one point worn a large hole straight into the rock. From this vantage point, we had spectacular views of the fall directly upstream of us.

The Crowds Thin

By now, we were all able to relax and enjoy the journey of Sweet Creek Falls without the added pressure of the crowds coming from both directions. Even the member of our group who did not want to be there was starting to have fun.

One of the bridges along the Sweet Creek Falls trail
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We trudged up more inclines to get to each new waterfall. You’d think that after seeing so many falls, they would begin to get boring. But we found that each twist and turn of the river brought more variety and wonder.

At one viewpoint, upon a metal bridge, we found a large snail crawling its way up a moss covered rockface. Across, was an overlook to yet another fall, one we had previously seen from the bottom.

The snail on the Sweet Creek Falls trail
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The metal bridge showed us safe passage above the river before we hit a “dry” section of trail without any falls.

The Last Sweet Creek Fall

The very last fall on the Sweet Creek Falls trail is by far, the most impressive. We ventured down the long empty stretch of trail, but not without finding some wonderment.

Dad was in awe at trees growing out of old tree stumps and fallen trees. And about 50 photos later, he was ready to continue on down the trail. Mom and I posed for some important Instagram photos while dad pretended his tree pictures were much more impressive.

Before we knew it, the now empty trail opened up as the river widened. The last fall came into view, and we could see the two tiers of water cascading down. A larch tree branch laid across the front of the falls causing some water to splash and spray to the side.

Casually sitting on a log in front of one of the Sweet Creek Falls waterfalls
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We spent some time photographing the falls, as well as creating some fun videos. At the bottom of the falls are some large rocks that we found perfect for sitting and relaxing.

On the trail heading back, a small fork appears. One side takes you back the way you came, and the other small, narrow trail travels sharply upward, with just a small sign stating that it goes to the top. And, we took the road less traveled by.

Upper Fall of Sweet Creek Falls
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At the top we were greeted by a wooden fence rail which protected us from falling over the overlook. The views from the top of the falls revealed a rare look farther up the river as well as the start of the falls.

The journey back down from the overlook was a little tougher than the way up. The trail was steep and slippery, with exposed roots and rocks that work as excellent tripping hazards. So, watch your step!

Once back on the regular trail, we retraced our steps and got to experience the journey from the other direction, from the last waterfall, to the first.

What to Know Before You Go to Sweet Creek Falls

Sweet Creek Falls is a relatively easy hike, with the exclusion of the last optional hike to the lookout. The trail is mostly flat, with a slight incline on the way out. The hike lasts about 2 miles total if you do not take the last short leg.

The Sweet Creek Falls journey can be very crowded, especially by the first two falls. Our visit took place on a Saturday, which tends to be the most crowded day, and after the second fall, the trails really thinned out.

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On a hot day, there are many of opportunities to take a dip in the water, but do not expect to have a private swimming hole.

Dogs are welcome on the trail, but must be kept on leash, and you must clean up after them.

There is a vault toilet at the trailhead that is open for public use.

There are quite a few parking spaces available, but they will fill up on a warm summer weekend day.

The 2020 Fires

A wildfire started on August 30, 2020 on Sweet Creek road. The road was closed for some time, but as of October 2020, the road and the trails are reopened. According to recent hikers, the trail and waterfalls have suffered no damage.

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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.


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