Drift Creek Falls is an unexpected hike. It's definitely worth the drive despite its location deep in the coastal range. Located just outside of Lincoln City off of Highway 101 or Highway 18, you can reach the trailhead after a 9- or 12-mile journey (depending on the direction you're coming from) down some very windy forest roads and through some unsightly regional clear-cut forests.
This relatively easy hike has three unique chapters. In the first you wind your way down to Drift Creek, passing through 50-year-old second-growth Douglas and grand fir while salmonberry and red elderberry encloses the trail near the creek’s banks. The second chapter and main destination is the crossing of a 250-foot suspension bridge where you'll have a dramatic glimpse of the 75-foot waterfall from above. The final chapter is a return to the trailhead via the North Loop. This route will take you through an old-growth forest of Douglas fir, western redcedar and Sitka spruce that will give you a deeper appreciation for the clear-cut and reforestation process.