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Marion Falls and Gatch Falls

moderate(61)
Willamette National Forest

Marion Falls and Gatch Falls is a 5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idanha, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until September.

Distance: 5.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,102 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

From its origin at Marion Lake to where it flows into the North Santiam River, at least four major waterfalls can be found along the ~6 miles length of Marion Creek. This trip was to Marion and Gatch Falls, which are a short distance downstream from Marion Lake. The two falls are very close together, with Marion being followed by Gatch Falls. The majority of the hike was along the Marion Lake trail, with the last half mile or so on an unmarked and unmaintained trail that leads to the falls. The trail is easy to follow to the top of Marion Falls, but then descends steeply as you work your way to the bottom of the Marion Falls and the top of Gatch Falls, and then down below Gatch Falls.

hiking
off trail
over grown
scramble
3 months ago

challenging hike, definitely worth it though! absolutely listen to directions from other reviews they helped us find the trail by the two down trees, they arent marked well but you will find it, we did this trail with two dogs and a toddler, made it safely to the fall theirs different points you can view them from just be careful they can be slippery/steep!

hiking
scramble
6 months ago

Beautiful falls.

hiking
6 months ago

there are great detailed instructions on how to find the falls on the outbound collective website. The key is to take the outlet trail and then when you see logs on your right climb ovee them and then there is a trail on the other side that leads to the lookout. Definitely worth searching.

hiking
6 months ago

Wonderful off trail trail even though it’s rather steep and muddy to get down to the falls! Well worth it and glad I had my trekking poles!

recorded Marion Lake Trail

hiking
6 months ago

Falls

hiking
7 months ago

We had hiked the trail to Ann Lake and Marion Lake last summer. We had found out afterwards that we missed Marion Falls. Two nice volunteers at the trail head today gave us great tips to finding the unmarked falls trailhead. It lead to the top of the first waterfalls and the view did not disappoint! We found the steep trail that leads down to the falls and were happy that we brought our hiking poles. After the second falls, the trail became steeper and muddier from the falls’ spray. We decided we would turn back and counted our selves fortunate to be able to navigate that far. Next trip down will see us wearing sturdy pants for the final leg. Is there another way, other than the one we took today, to take a lower, more direct route to the base of the falls?

no shade
over grown
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
muddy
off trail
7 months ago

Great shaded and cool temp wise hike because you walk in the beautiful forest covered in moss. You come up on the little lake to your left 1.6 miles in and you continue from there and on you come across a wooden post to follow to the right and 250 steps later is the turn with two large logs fallen on the ground at the start. The trial is not super maintained but you follow the sound of the stream. Always stick to your right even if the trail doesn’t look super clear. We just keep going right and were blown away by the two amazing falls. Went with a older lab and he did fine but if you wanna go all the way down to the bottom of the two falls then I wouldn’t bring a dog or small kids. Amazing hike and views only found it from these past reviews and other websites!

hiking
7 months ago

Good road in. Great trail condition. Mosquitoes are a bit of an issue but not too bad. Loved the hike. Great for Dogs and camping. Quit a few backpackers on the trail as well. Very quiet at the lake and LOTS of options for off chute trails in the area as well. A mile or so in on the trail you are in national forest. Great fishing and the water was beautiful. highly recommend for a day hike or a few nights of peace. On a clear night I imagine it would be breathtaking.

hiking
8 months ago

Great moderate hike and the falls are awesome! Be sure to jump into the pool at the bottom of the first fall - cold but so good!

hiking
9 months ago

Great day for a hike! You can add extra miles by hiking to Marion Lake and coming around the backside to the falls trail. The falls trail is not well maintained but easy to track. The last pitch down is intense. Hang in there. The falls views are amazing. Not many mosquitos today likely because it was cooler.

hiking
10 months ago

Fun hike. Went down to Marion Lake after seeing the falls- glad i did. Beautiful hike.

10 months ago

Great hike!

hiking
10 months ago

This is a great hike IF you know how to get to the trail - we passed it twice and hiked an extra three miles. When you come to the fork go to the Marion Outlet TR, look out on the right for two down trees, the trail starts there. It’s not at all marked or well maintained. Once you get to the point you have to go down to the fall it gets pretty dicey. We ended up going down on our butts because it was so steep and muddy. It’s well worth it, very beautiful but I wouldn’t take young kids if you plan on going down to the fall. My 8 year old did fine until the last bit down to the fall. Bring lots of bug spray! The mosquitos are monstrous. I highly recommend this hike!

off trail
10 months ago

This was a fun, easy hike. The trail to the waterfall isn't maked, so keep on the lookout! These are some beautiful waterfalls! Bring your mosquito repellent

hiking
snow
11 months ago

My friends and I attempted hiking this last week but were unable to complete it due to about 1-2 feet of snow still on the ground. We had to park .6 mi away from the parking lot and walk that as well, and weren’t able to hike past the parking lot. We’ll definitely try this again in July!

hiking
Mon Jan 21 2019

Hiked 1/19/19. Road to trailhead is open thankfully. We weren’t sure if it’d be closed for the winter. Definitely challenging to find the waterfall in the winter-snow was covering most of the trails the higher we got. Thankfully a few people left pretty detailed directions as to how to get there-specifically the outbound collective, while researching on the internet, so we were able to find them! The last part, scramble to get down to the falls I ended up putting spikes in my hiking shoes. It was steep, snowy and icy and they helped me A LOT. Pretty dangerous to go without any this time of year. Was a challenge but we did it and it was absolutely beautiful! Would definitely like to come back when there’s no snow to go down to the bottom of the falls and not freeze getting soaked by them.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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