Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
328.00 ft (99.97 m)
Trail type
4.30 mi (6.92 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.

If you're heading to Buck Creek Falls for the waterfall, be prepared to be underwhelmed. But the trail's rustic charm makes up for the lack of a cascading waterfall. When you arrive at Buck Creek Falls — a major tributary of the White Salmon River in Washington — there are two main entry points. 

Fun fact, Buck Creek supplies the drinking water for residents in White Salmon.

It's suggested to park at the small trailhead where the picnic table and vault toilet is located. This area is only suited for a few cars. Thankfully, the trail itself has very low congestion so this isn't a problem. This trail does require a Discover Pass, though there is nowhere to purchase one at the trailhead. Buck Creek Falls is marked and begins at a wooden footbridge crossing over Buck Creek. At the first fork take a left and follow the rocky path along the creek. It parallels the road, though traffic is low so it's hardly noticeable. 

The waterfall is near the beginning and is a short detour on the left hand side. You won't miss the small falls splashing into a basalt-rimmed bowl adorned in bright green ferns, rocks and other plant species. 

Throughout the trail, be aware of poison oak, as it is abundant. The trail though, chances scenery and hikers are shielded by large fir trees, bigleaf maples, vine maples and hazel. In the spring, wildflowers are abundant — cluster lily's add beautiful pops of color. In fall, the foliage covers the path. As you take the loop, keep in mind that the trail is poorly marked. Be sure to follow the white diamonds nailed to the trees. Stay left and eventually hikers will intersect with the road. After crossing, there will be a gate. Veer right and follow the wooden trail signs lining the right hand side of the path. There will be a steep incline – the only incline on the trail. The uphill is worth it though, as the sparse trees give way to a beautiful, dense green forest in the distance. 

Around the 3-mile mark, hikers will reach a service road. Take a left and follow the trail sign. Keep walking until you see a Buck Creek Trail sign on the right. Follow this path for a short distance before turning left for the falls loop foot route and it will pop you out on the road about 100 feet before the trailhead where you originally began. (The elevation gain can be avoided by starting at this entry point. Hikers can choose to take the loop counterclockwise).



Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Recreation Fee

Open Year-round



Family friendly. Less crowded.


Poison oak. No potable water. Poorly marked.

Trailhead Elevation

820.00 ft (249.94 m)

Highest point

1,148.00 ft (349.91 m)


Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Family friendly
Old-growth forest
Horseback riding

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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