Explore Gifford Pinchot - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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This was a great trail. There was only a little snow in some spots, and we only saw only one other person. The waterfalls were spectacular!

Did this hike a while back. Did not disappoint, very beautiful.

Gorgeous hike with so many waterfalls! It’s busy because of the beauty and ideal for most hiking skills. Get there early and don’t complain about others wanting to enjoy this spectacular hike. Watch for slippery rocks. But enjoy God’s country!

Great views of the falls but I did not do the entire trail because it was closed. This was one of 3 waterfalls I was visiting so I was not too disappointed that it wasn’t much of a “hike”. I was treated with gorgeous views of a rainbow over the waterfall. I assume on any sunny day this occurs. As others have mentioned it is difficult to find. You will park at a gravel parking lot right off the road on the right and then you will need to cross the road by foot to find the trail head right off the edge of the road.

Here is a video from my day where I visited panther creek falls, lower creek falls, and spirit falls - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KasE9uJGAOA&t=630s

Travelers info:

Forest Pass: YES
Parking fee: no but forest Pass needed
Driving: about 2 hours from Portland, potholes on the road up to panther.

Just do the bottom half of the trail.

Too hard and far to drive to there.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, serene setting and landscape.

Great hike! It’s a long haul to the falls, but completely worth it!!

Road to the trailhead is very well maintained for a forest service road. There are a few pot holes but they’re more like speed bumps and easily avoided, my Honda Civic had no issues getting there if you’re worried. Trail to the base of the falls is easy and short, if you want more of a challenge hiking to the upper trail #152 has some steeper sections. Couldn’t really see the falls from the upper trail but found some cool camp spots with a view for backpacking.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice hike. Not very steep, except for the short trail that takes you up to the Falls Creek Trail #152. I went up to the base of the falls and then to the viewpoint above the falls and then completed the loop and my Alltrails app recorded 6.5 miles.

Relatively easy trail. Follows creek most of the way to the falls. Awesome little peekaboo of the falls from the trail before you get to the lower viewpoint.

was little steep and was raining for new bees like myself would have taken hiking poles.

Wonderful hike and an easy trail to navigate once you've found the trailhead. If you're hiking upstream the actual trailhead can be tricky to find if you don't have service or good directions. If you're unfamiliar with the area I strongly recommend getting familiar with directions because GPS commonly fails here.

This was by far my favorite hike of 2018. Challenging, beautiful, fun and plenty to see. Went of trail to get behind and underneath some waterfalls, but nothing too crazy!

Don't believe the negative reviews, there are plenty of signs and I believe only two pot holes that I can remember. The road is well maintained and you can easily get to the trail head in a car (I did) and there is a large parking lot with a bathroom. It was absolutely beautiful, the fall foliage is incredible right now. I did however almost hit a heard of Elk so be watchful on the main highway!

Beautiful view of the falls

Finding this hidden gem is hardest part. We ended up passing it, making a u-turn and then just walking back. I suggest if you just google maps to Panther, park at the very large shoulder (it has a bunch of rocks as a slope to your right) get out of the car and walk back on the right side of the road. Once you see this small rock structure (it’s literally 3 rocks stacked on top of each other), there on the right side of that is the trail to Panther Creek. Short walk to the platform and there in front of you is the massive Panther Creek falls. Definitely worth the drive.

Beautiful trail to backpack in the fall. The leaves are vibrant and less people on the trail!

hiking
2 months ago

Great Trail.. Love the waterfall at the end..

We took our kids Labor Day weekend. The water was low enough that the kids could cross without getting their shoes all wet. It was relatively short hike, the lake was beautiful, and the kids loved all the little frogs.

Great Trail..

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike went early,had Trail to ourselves. Will go again.

Panther Creek Falls..just FYI..we pulled & parked at rock pit...we got out of our car..checked out the Picas..went towards the asphalt ..look down "⬅️FALLS" is spray painted on the asphalt...go left then again "➡️FALLS"to the trailhead.. not much of a hike but breathtaking all the same

Beautiful falls from the base and very nice hike, but the signage is terrible, as is the road to get to the parking lot. We took a turn that we thought would loop around to parking, as described, and ended up turning an easy 6 mile hike into a 12 mile excursion filled with frustration. Download the map ahead of time...lesson learned!

lots of people but great entry level backpacking

Last 4 miles in were rough, but we did it in a Honda Civic. As long as you can maneuver well in your car you should be fine. The hike itself was pretty, the creek was pretty dried up. Plenty of falls with beautiful pools you can swim in. Tons of camping all over the place. You need a recreation pass, America the Beautiful or NW forest pass cover it.

7/22/18 - Trail is well groomed, road is good except for a small gravel portion, which was not bad. Expect for people to drive really slow specially if it's a small vehicle or minivan. A bit of advice - Never go on a Sunday, specially if it's a hot day. Lower Lewis was packed cars parked on both sides of the road with more behind us. We decided to skip Lower and went to Middle then went up to Upper, there was no more then 20 people at either. Happy travels!

hiking
3 months ago

Been up there twice in the last month. Did the short trail the first time, the long trail the second time.

Worth every step, and the rough forest service road to the trail head.

Very nice loop trail, all though the Falls Creek Trail #152 is more of a Mt. Bike trail and the rest of the loop is more for hiking. Falls Creek Falls Water Fall is very refreshing and great for pictures and videos. Cool camp grounds and swimming area up at the top.

hiking
3 months ago

it was a very nice and beautiful hike. There are lots of potholes but not as bad as some roads we've seen in Washington. The signs were minimal but that's why we have the All trails app and map. The trail was mostly soft and shady. The lower view of the falls was an oh my God moment. the upper falls and views looking down were nice of the valley but you can't see much of the lower falls. A short hike further is the small falls by a camp site.

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