Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
7.60 mi (12.23 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.

The Clackamas River Trail can be completed as a one-way hike with a shuttle, or a very long there-and-back hike in upper and lower sections. This write-up describes a there-and-back hike along the lower section beginning at the Fish Creek Road Trailhead and finishing at Pup Creek Falls.  Because the elevation of this trail section is low enough to be snow-free through most winters, it is a good option if higher elevation hikes (such as those on the Indian Henry Trailhead portion of the trail, or even the Riverside Trail) are snowy and impassable.

From the parking area, the trail starts just across the road.  It quickly aligns to the riverbank and continues to skirt the river as it proceeds upstream. The trail generally sticks to the north bank of the Clackamas River, winding through dramatic old-growth forests, a few meadow crossings and several good swimming spots.  The first of several good swimming holes appears after a half-mile, and an informal campsite is on the right after 2.5 miles.  Just before the trail crosses Pup Creek, an unmarked trail splits to the right and continues up the creek for a great view of Pup Creek Falls, a 237-foot, two-tiered waterfall. Turn back here, or if you want a longer hike, continue just over a mile further upstream along the main trail to the turbulent rapid known as the Narrows. This grassy, frequently sunny spot above the Clackamas River is a great place for a picnic and perhaps a swim in the pool below if the rapid if conditions allow.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Year round access. Old-growth. Swimming holes. 237 ft. Waterfall.

Cons

Much of the trail is shaded.

Trailhead Elevation

950.00 ft (289.56 m)

Net Elevation Gain

500.00 ft (152.40 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Old-growth forest
Fishing

Suitable for

Biking

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

Comments

10/10/2018
Beautiful hike that parallels the Clackamas River. Even though it's next to the highway I still enjoyed the peace and the amazing foliage and river sights. Some old growth you pass through as well. Very rocky so keep that in mind. There were hardly any people we passed when we went so it made it feel more isolated. And then... there's the waterfall! What a magnificent sight to behold! It's worth the hike to view it alone. Pictures don't do it justice.

P.S. Watch out for salamanders on the river-level portions of the hike. Wouldn't want to squish them!
10/07/2017
Great hike! Parts were a bit rocky but my dog did okay. There is also a sign posted that shows the trail to view Pup Creek Falls.
Shane. Not sure. I doubt it though. I'd call the ranger station listed above.
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