Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
500.00 ft (152.40 m)
Trail type
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)





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


Much of the trail is shaded.

Trailhead Elevation

950.00 ft (289.56 m)


Backcountry camping
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping

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


Has this opened back up yet?
Pup Creek Falls is definitely the gem of this hike for me but the biggest down side is that the road is right across the river. There is now a sign at the trailhead and there is also a post where the trail forks for Pup Creek Falls.
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.