Nels Rogers-University Falls Loop Trail

MODERATE 63 reviews
#3 of 18 trails in

Nels Rogers-University Falls Loop Trail is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Glenwood, Oregon that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.8 miles
1341 feet

dogs on leash



horseback riding

mountain biking





wild flowers



13 days ago

Beautiful trail! And it was nice to see al the new growth being planted!

27 days ago

Nice trail 45 min from Portland. We got an early start on a Saturday and while there were a lot of motorcycles and shooters in the area, we had the hiking trails to ourselves.

This is a great loop for runners looking for something more challenging than Forest Park. Mostly runnable with some challenging power hikes. The loop distance makes keeping supplies in your car and running multi-loops an option for long-mileage days.

1 month ago

I only saw two other hikers, but it was a Monday morning. There were a few muddy obstacles but were easily overcome with proper waking sticks. I would like to try this hike again mid summer. There were a few patches of snow , mostly off the sides of the trail. The trail did cross the motorized roads a few times and could hear the atv as well. It took me about 4 hours with plenty of stops between. The falls were well worth the trip!

2 months ago

Incredible winter hike

2 months ago

Wonderful hike. Can be done in about 4 hours if you don’t stop and rest too much. Creeks and foot bridges. Two waterfalls on the loop.
Gunshots are in the distance as well as dirt bikes and ATVs but they add to the idea you’re in the middle of no where back country and only those that want to be out there are.
Not too muddy but don’t recommend right after a huge rain spell. A lot of the trail is the runoff line for when it does rain hard. Some of the mud was deceivingly deeper than expected.
All around gorgeous!!

3 months ago

Though the sound of ATVs and gunshots at points takes away some of the peace, have to say we all thoroughly enjoyed this hike! Easy grade in a lovely forest- we didn’t pass a single other hiker or group, only one small group of mountain bikers in the beginning. All ATVs and vehicles were very respectful when we had to cross the road several times to return to the loop. Seems like it would be a nice trail run.

4 months ago

Really nothing to write home about to be honest. You walk through forest as well as old logging areas, cross a few bridges and then of course get to see University Falls. The falls were nice, raging from recent rains but nothing spectacular. Sounds of gunshots and atvs really put a damper on this hike.

Terrain was easy, I would guess my kids could do this with minimal complaining. It really is an easy hike but with that comes boredom.

5 months ago

Nice medium length hike - great views of steams and river as you go along. It’s not the most solitary hike, with ORVs and nearby shooting range. University Falls is highlight of hike.

8 months ago

I was looking for a mid-length hike to go on to warm up before going on a multi-day later this week. This was it.

The trail was well maintained with the worst being some sections that had become narrow due to the foliage. One nice thing (if you have a water filtration/purification system) is that about 1/4 of the trail is along a stream.

For the most part it's a beautiful hike. I could have done without going through the clear-cut sections of the forest, heating gun shots (but he a shooting range in the OHV area???) and the intermittent noise from the nearby OHVs (at one point I smelt the exhaust from one as it passed by on a neighboring trail).

One thing to note: I have service through Sprint and I did not have coverage while on the trail. Download your maps before you leave or bring a map and a compass.

8 months ago

This was a good hike, with lots of hilly area to get to the falls! The falls are very pretty and are worth the hike, despite the hike being long! Overall good hike.

8 months ago

This was a beautiful hike, but the 8 mile loop is tricky to follow because the trails are not always marked well. Definitely download or map it beforehand because there is no phone service. A note- there are tons of ATV/motorcycle trails that cross the paths. It wasn't too bad, but it can be noisy. There are a few mountain bikers sharing the trail, but we didn't see any hikers on the loop trails. I don't think the entire loop is a kid friendly hike.

9 months ago

definitely a cool hike. Lots of great views and cool pictures to be taken. would hike again. loved it.

9 months ago

Scenic hike that is very pretty with surroundings that constantly change keeping the hike interesting. Mixture of inclines and declines.

10 months ago

As we enter the summer months and everyone flocks to the coast or the gorge for hiking and camping, the Gales Creek/Wilson River area is a great hidden gem.

This hike is squarely moderate - not too hard, not too easy. Varied terrain and sights, and the waterfall is totally worth it!

I wasn't particularly bothered by the gunshots or motorcycles/ATV's. Personally it's a good reminder that Portland is a bubble and that people in other parts of our state like to do fun things like ride in the mud and shoot guns. Also, if you go early enough in the day (we started before 9am), you'll beat most of those folks anyway.

10 months ago

The hike is mostly cleared. Some fallen tree limbs and some mud here & there but nothing crazy.

It's so noisy though. The gun ranges and motor vehicles make this trail not really great for a peaceful outing. Also had a guy on a motor bike driving on the walking trails.

Also, there are no mile markers or 'you are here' signs on the map and we kept worrying we were not walking on the right trail.

11 months ago

Joe K. and I had pretty much the same experience.

The trail was fine... still muddy in some spots, but mostly fine. It looks like people have been working to clear it.

It looks like most do it clockwise, we did too. The Eastern portion is interesting and varied terrain, but the frequent road crossings bring a combination of gun range folks and OHV users. I get it... I like to shoot guns and go Jeepin, but the peace of this trail is interrupted by it constantly. We also commented (like Joe K) that it felt like entering a war zone at times,

The falls are nice, and we enjoyed a couple of beers and a snack we packed (in and out). If we did it again we would probably just hike the peaceful Western Portion out and back.

As an MTB trail this looked like lots of fun, but ends with a long ascent if you ride clockwise. I would try it, but it's a bit higher singletrack than I'm really used to. Maybe someday. We didn't encounter a single person going the other way.

11 months ago

The trail was in perfect condition (as trails go)... mud is mostly dried up and fallen trees have been cleared.

It was a fairly decent hike through very interesting terrain cutting across historically interesting wagon roads and rail beds. The only major downside was twofold: the dirt bikes are really noisy, and there must've been 3 or 4 impromptu firing ranges folks had set up on either side of Nels Rogers trail -- it sounded like a war zone. I thought to myself I could've had a more peaceful trek through the wilderness if I had gone to Forest Park instead.

Once we made it past University Falls, however, there were no more dirt bikes or gunfire for the next 3 miles or so. That last section on the Gravelle Bros. Trail and the perfect weather made the hike worth it.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Trail is in horrible shape due to horses leaving deep ruts and holes in the mud

Saturday, March 18, 2017

We did the 8.1 mile loop 3/16/2017. The trail is in horrible shape. There were so many time it was nearly impossible to keep going. The amount of fallen limbs and trees is enormous. Lots of snow and very wet with puddle that were impossible to avoid. It should be closed until it can be cleaned up and maintained. We were the only ones on it hiking.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

beautiful scenery with an easy hike

Sunday, August 28, 2016

We started from the university falls trailhead. nice and easy hike for the kids. the one downside is the trail isn't marked well and with a bunch of kiddos that can be confusing at times. The kids had fun at the falls and fun father down playing in the creek.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Rogers trailhead was taped off. Had to find the Gravelle Brothers Trailhead (which was by the entrance off highway 6). The hike was nice because my buddy and I were the only ones on it. Keep in mind we hiked on a Wednesday. The trail was woodsy and there was an awesome bridge going across the stream. Half the trail was through the logging area so clear cut garbage was not a pretty site. Once we got to the falls, it was a perfect spot for lunch. Very secluded. Can hear the dirt bikers on the roads around you at the falls. It is 5 miles round trip this way.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Was a great hike on Gravelle Brothers trail, but large portions of Nels-Rogers trail were closed due to logging.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Great trail, fun in the snow even. Ended up being about 9 miles.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Nice trail, but there's a bulletin about avoiding a portion of the trail due to logging during the week. I did not encounter any problems, but if you detour the road signage is not clearly marked and can be confusing

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This waterfall was pretty wimpy when we went. I'm sure it's nicer after it rains. Nice hike.

Friday, June 19, 2015

University Falls and Gravelle Brothers Trail are beautiful! Be prepared for significant elevation gain getting onto Nels Rogers Trail and back to complete the loop. We went yesterday and discovered the segment of Wilson River Wagon Road Trail needed to stay on the loop is closed on weekdays for timber harvest activity; the detour was a pain in the ass! If I go again, likely will hike to that midpoint and back. Other than that-it's a nice, moderate hike.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Difficult hike to recommend (ok for mountain biking). Terrible ending on gravel road next to a DOT gravel shed, ORVs, MTBs, target shooters, firewood collectors, and 2 active logging sites adjacent to the trail(!). There are definitely quiet spots, beautiful scenery, lush woods, wonderful waterfalls and really nice streams. Maybe if it were a little warmer, I would have enjoyed it more. I won't NOT recommend this one. Go during the week, less ORV traffic.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Very nice hike. We took our chihuahuas and they loved it too.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

enjoyed this hike, eventually the sound of the atv's gets smothered by the forest. I will do again in the fall for a better view of the falls..also watch for the high water detour as the first foot bridge is out.

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