Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
150.00 ft (45.72 m)
Trail type
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

For those who have exhausted their interest with Silver Falls State Park and are still on the search for impressive waterfalls, the next stop on your tour should definitely be Butte Creek Falls.  As the crow flies the falls are located just 5 miles north of Silver Falls State Park and are actually part of the same basalt formation.

A short, 1-mile stroll through an impressive second-growth forest leads you to the 78-foot Butte Creek Falls and 25-foot Upper Butte Creek Falls.  From here you can scramble deep into the cavern behind Upper Butte Creek Falls and venture high above the creek on a 200-foot basalt outcropping that offers spectacular views of the main falls.  Lower Butte Creek falls cascades another 25 feet, but it is difficult to clearly make out from the viewpoint on the basalt outcropping.

If you are visiting in late summer, the pool below Upper Butte Creek Falls is an excellent swimming hole.

If you have the time, be sure to pair this outing with a visit to nearby Abiqua Falls.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Surprisingly impressive falls. Cavern and swimming hole at Upper Falls. Nearby Abiqua Falls.


Access road is somewhat difficult to find.

Trailhead Elevation

1,930.00 ft (588.26 m)


Old-growth forest


Nearby Lodging + Camping


Beautiful and worth the extra walk. But the water is frigid.
We tried to check this out after visiting Abiqua Falls and as the previous comment said there's a closed gate at the edge of the state forest on Crooked Finger Rd. I went back a couple days later and found an alternate route.

Updated directions are as follows:
From Portland, instead of turning left on Crooked Finger Rd, travel 0.1 mi less on Nowlens Bridge Rd and turn left on Maple Grove Rd.
From Salem, instead of turning right on Crooked Finger Rd, keep left to Nowlens Bridge Rd and after 0.1 mi, turn right on Maple Grove Rd.

After 4.3 miles, turn right to stay on Maple Grove Rd
After 3 miles, turn right on Sawtell Rd
After 5.1 miles, take the middle fork to Family Camp Rd (all remaining roads are gravel and unsigned)
After 1.4 miles, take the right fork
After 1.1 miles, take the right fork (left fork has a No Trespassing sign, for reference)
After 0.6 miles, take the right fork downhill
After 0.6 miles, turn left then immediately take the right fork
After 0.6 miles, take the right fork downhill passing the winter closure gate
After 1.8 miles, the trailhead will be on your right.

The gravel roads are in good condition so any vehicle with normal clearance can use this route.
The directions are now out of date. They have recently installed a gate on Crooked Finger Rd about 1/2 mile past the Aqiqua turn off at about 11.2 miles down Crooked Finger Rd. We decided we didn't want to add the extra 2 miles of walking to get to the trailhead. On the plus side, there is a fair amount of space to park on the side of the road near the gate and no indication of required Northwest Forest Pass.
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