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

West Cascades Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Visited Salt Creek Falls yesterday 12/10/18. The gate to drive up to the falls is closed, so you have to park in a smaller lot to the left and walk about a half mile to the larger parking lot. There’s a viewpoint just off the lot where you can see the falls, or you can walk down the trail to get closer to the bottom. There was only a few inches of snow so the trail is still pretty easy to get down in just snow/hiking boots. The end of the trail has been ruined by a rockslide, so you’ll know when to stop and turn around.

The Diamond Falls loop has a bit more snow (up to a foot in some places) and less foot traffic. We were able to complete the 3 mile loop without snowshoes, but you’ll probably need them if there’s any more snow. My only regret is that we didn’t walk all the way to the bottom of Diamond Falls. There’s a sign for “Lower Diamond Falls” - we followed the sign and walked off the main trail, but stopped at the bridge over the creek because it was broken and we didn’t know if it was worth it to cross over. After we turned around and made it to the upper Diamond Falls viewpoint we wished we would have seen the view from the bottom!

All in all it was a great trip! Both falls were beautiful, but Salt Creek Falls alone was worth the 3 hour drive from Portland to see.

The view is the best part once you get to the falls

it was an amazing hike. fell down coming out of the cave.

Trail isn't too tough to get to super cool and unique scenery and views on the way to the cave.

Great training hike, straight forward trail with decent views (but there are better views in the area).

hiking
15 days ago

This was such an amazing hike! It was pretty snowy the last mile and a half. The views at the top are incredible!

Went this last Sunday, it was raining and I came out muddy and wet but all worth it! I drive 2 wheel Hondai Tucson and took the road down as far as I felt comfortable then walked. Felt good about my stopping point. The last mile of the road is larger rocks and comfortable in a higher clearance Subaru but I didn’t want to chance it. The Hike is great once you get to the trail head. Stayed Left, very steep but ropes right where you needed them. Loved walking along the river, glad I had boots, lots of rocks to get they but the Waterfall is mind blowing!

Road to the trail is kinda hectic. alot of pot holes and big sharp rocks. asides from that I made it down to the gate in my honda crv. If u make it all the way to the end of the road the hike goes from 5.3 down to like 1 1/2 miles from the gate. stay to the left when u hike down the trail. STAY TO THE LEFT! if u don't want to climb down a cliff.

Great hike, moderate incline and well maintained smooth trail. Little parking lot with no toilet. Stunning 360* views if you can climb up a short steep trail at the top. Beautiful view of mt. jefferson

Boca Cave is spectacular. When you get close to the top of Triangulation Peak, the trail splits. Right up to the summit and left to the cave. Path descends on rocky ground to cave but is doable. Rocky, wet scramble into cave. Don’t miss the framed view of Jefferson.

hiking
22 days ago

Great place. Amazing weather for Mid-November. Simple but so beautiful.

Foggy, narrow trail, and I couldn't locate the cave.

hiking
23 days ago

One of my favorite hikes in Oregon that often gets overlooked. The view from the top is always worth it. Easy hike, well maintained trail and dog friendly.

We hiked with our two dogs to the peak of the Triangulation Tr. to get the most beautiful 360 panoramic view! From there we hiked down into Boca Cave to see Mt Jefferson through the eye of the Cave. Photos do not do the view and experience justice.

Phenomenal! The peak is definitely worth it, and Boca Cave is easy to find and really cool. Hike up is a bit brushy, not to difficult.

trail running
29 days ago

PERMIT REQUIRED (Online purchase) . Fantastic trail after the first 3 miles. I ran the loop clockwise in early October and saw only one other group of hikers. There were a couple of water filter opportunities, but I wore a pack with 2 liters and didn’t need it all running in cool weather.
Views of the mountains were stunning. The obsidian was sparkling and fall foliage was bright yellow, in contrast to the evergreens.
I plan to come back during mosquito season to see the wildflowers that were brown this time of year.
Highway 242 is closed from November to whenever the snow melts, so access is cut off during the winter.

hiking
29 days ago

Difficult road to travers to the actual trail head unless you have an all wheel drive vehicle. We walked the road to the TH and the trail itself is not long but steep and appearing not formerly maintained. The hike is sleek with rock and covered in fallen leaves making it difficult to traverse in many areas. The pay off is well worth the jaunt with a beautiful falls. The drive to this falls is also splendid.

hiking
30 days ago

Sweet trail, pretty easy, and theres a super cool helicopter pad and lookout at the top! Amazing drive to the trailhead too.

Super awesome hike!! Totally kick ass though. Straight uphill and lots of switch backs, but worth it.

hiking
30 days ago

Cool really short hike to an awesome waterfall!

hiking
30 days ago

Very easy long hike with a beautiful bridge and view at the halfway point. Cool mine town place also. long drive to get there though from salem area.

Really easy summit hike and great to see both the cave and the peak at the top! Great camp spot up there too. NOTE: when going to the cave you will go through a burned forest area and the trail is relatively difficult to follow so keep your eyes peeled. It's a scramble with lots of loose rock, but doable if careful

Basically, the right side is a trail and the left is a road. Look up some good directions online. Get there early. The rock slide isn't marked so you have to watch for it.

Helpful Hints **
The directions off of here were wrong when I plugged it in. It took me to a gated off forest road. Just type in the trailhead on google and it'll take you to the right place.
The cave won't be hard to find if you know what to look for (I didn't, but eventually found it.) There's an obvious trail that y's off to the left by the summit. Follow that till you get to another viewpoint, and you'll see the burn area. Don't walk down into the burn. Walk along as close to the rock as you can and there's a small trail that dips to the left and goes down, and hooks left right along the cliff wall. The cave faces Jefferson on the cliff wall of the viewpoint you passed walking towards the burn. It's right underneath it really. kind of hard to explain, hope that helps.

My dog and I LOVED this trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

It only seems like a quick little out n back.

6.4 mi if you're just gonna take a mellow walk to one of Oregon's smallest towns with a population of less than 20--though they do have their own hydroelectric power plant, a lodge, and cool little cabins.

So if you want a flat n easy 3.2 out, 3.2 back with some decent swimming holes here in there, go for it: anyone can make it. It's a flat and easy gravel road through some nice old growth that's as mellow on the feet as fat aunt Sharon's orthotics.

Start venturing off the trail, however, and you'll begin to find remnants and massive machinery from over a century ago when it was an active mining community. There are enormous boilers and hulking gear-and-pulley systems from times before there was power in the area. Many (giant) pieces of machinery were run from high-pressure steam systems, not to mention and gravity-fed mining hydro-systems. You'll find a little of this if you poke around off the main trail, but the hikes that aren't listed here are the ones that start at Jawbone Flats--and they offer some amazing glances back at a time and way of life long-forgotten.

Head east past the town, follow a spooky old sign pointing to the mines, and you'll find yourself on an amazing dark old growth over-canyon trail for a mile or two with remnants of old train tracks, machinery, and things you'd expect to see in grainy black-and-white Ken Burns photo-montages.

There are other cool creek trails with roots and medium-easy footing challenges south past the trail to the Opal Pools. if you want to explore some pleasantly deserted creek trails (with a decent spot or two to camp if you can handle some spots of tricky footing with your pack and gear).

But if you make it to the mines and start exploring in earnest, you'll discover that the trail didn't always end there. Find the remnants of a gigantic bridge and structure that probably washed away 50 years ago and you'll start finding things: like a trail that can connect you with the Bull of the Woods systems.

Moreover, not all of the mines are barred-off and closed. Make the dog-leg to the Ruth mine a little longer before you head-back on the upper trail a bit longer, and explore to the east, and maybe try-out the remnants of a road or two that looks like it hasn't been walked/used in 30 years, and you might find things. Also, look up/explore the canyon if you find the leftovers of a 15-ft wide bridge (and be careful on the rocks/over the stream--no one will be coming by if you make an error).

Anyway, it's an easy and popular hike if you like it easy, but if you're a bushwhacker's bushwhacker and have some time to explore and hop a stream or two, there are things to be found in the Opal Creek wilderness. And exercise caution if you poke-around: you'll often be the only one around for miles if you find something cool, and some of then old stream crossings/bridges are tenuous. Moreover, the navigation of trails that suffered a washout or haven't been maintained since the last century can be a challenge. And also a reward.

Absolutely gorgeous! made it to the white locked fence easily thanks to the directions of *always staying to the left and down hill * directions once turn off of Crooked Finger Rd. Took second trail as stated below with Abbey Foundation sign and it was a quick hike in staying left once we hit the river.
Definitely going back once every season this next year !

Completed 10-8-18
Went in the dark, still a fun hike

Beautiful hike. Great trail to hike on. Wish it was marked better. Saw all the falls but didn’t know which ones they were. Jaw bone flats was really cool. Would I do this hike again.. probably not.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy little stroll through the woods till you arrive at opal creek

Load More