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Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
Trail type
4.40 mi (7.08 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 Kentucky Falls Trailhead in the Siuslaw National Forest can be hard to find, but the three amazing waterfalls make it well worth the effort. Less than a half mile from the trailhead you will be rewarded with the first of the three falls, Upper Kentucky Falls. But don't stop there! Continue down another 2 miles through the old-growth forest and you will find twin 100-foot waterfalls: Lower Kentucky Falls and North Fork of the Smith Falls. At the end of the trail you'll find a viewing platform with a bench, which is a perfect spot for lunch and a photo opportunity. If you're feeling adventurous you can leave the viewing platform and head out onto the rocks to get a better view of the falls.

During the summer, keep an eye out for wildflowers and salmon berries. Because the trail is at a higher elevation in the coast range, it's a great place to escape the summer heat of the valley.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Three beautiful waterfalls.


Remote trailhead.

Trailhead Elevation

1,550.00 ft (472.44 m)

Net Elevation Gain

770.00 ft (234.70 m)


Bird watching
Old-growth forest


Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping


A beautiful, yet isolated series of falls definitely worth the drive.
Thanks for the update, Johnathan! I've added a warning to the alert section regarding route changes.
Logging has changed the roads a bit, to get there it's now a bit convoluted:

Heading from Eugene - Take Hwy 126 and turn left about 6 miles past Walton, following the sign to the Whitaker Creek Rec Area. Head about 1.5 miles in and follow the road to the right, across the river. There is a sign here that also says Whitaker Creek Rec Area. Follow this road for another 1.5 miles and take the left fork, onto Dunn Ridge Road.

This is where the changes have happened. You follow this road for about 5 miles and you come to a branch, where the road looks like it curves to the left but also has a gravel turn to the right. Stay to the left, this is not the fork to take. Another 2 miles will bring you to a paved road, this is where you take the right turn.

Stay on this road for a couple miles, you'll see where it turns into FR #23. From here, just follow the main gravel road. There are several off shoots, all look like barely packed dirt. These are logging roads and not the right roads. This road will loop around the ridge and come to a three-way fork, take the right fork and continue on. Stay right, and you'll eventually come to the parking lot for the trailhead.

Keep going, I felt like I was lost but I randomly was able to get a phone signal on a ridge and GPS coordinates confirmed I was just a few switchbacks away.
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