Pup Creek Falls via Clackamas River Trail

MODERATE 120 reviews
#9 of 142 trails in

Pup Creek Falls via Clackamas River Trail is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Three Lynx, Oregon that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1807 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

forest

waterfall

wild flowers

hiking
1 hour ago

This trail was challenging for those who don't hike "moderate" trails that often; we did ourselves a big favor by bringing plenty of water and snacks. In checking in with other hikers, they were all in agreement that the mileage and time estimates were all underestimating the distance and time needed. It was beautiful for sure, but there were portions of the trail that were rocky mixed with a narrow passage and a steep cliff: one misstep or slip could be a major problem. It was a great challenge and I would definitely do it again, but would just steel myself that some portions are more difficult and not necessarily what my mind would define as "moderate".

1 day ago

Wonderful besides the shooting range across the road close to the start of the hike.

hiking
6 days ago

it was a beautiful hike I'd recommend it for anyone. It was on the easy side of moderate but the distance was definitely the biggest challenge of it all. I will definitely do this hike again.

16 days ago

Waterfall was worth the hike! Started at fish creek. Ups and downs along the way. Pretty much paralleled the Clackamas River and hwy. A couple steep switchbacks that I was glad were going to be downhill on the way back to the car. Brought a dog, some parts of the trail were iffy with steep Cliffside and some small springs and waterfalls flowing over trail. 2 or 3 logs we had to climb over. Wouldn’t recommend hike for children. And I take mine on a lot of hikes. Viewing area was a bit on the small side but still plenty of room to go down and sit on the logs and enjoy the view and a snack.

hiking
17 days ago

There were no forms for payment dues at the parking lot, which made me nervous about hiking there. The trail was quite easy, as there was not much elevation variation. I liked how natural and thin the trails were, which made the mood feel more 'back to nature' than a few trails in the area. I wish there was more challenge to the trails, and more lookouts to enjoy the views of the river. The waterfall was beautiful, but the small viewing area made it hard to enjoy/sit and relax. This would definitely be a good trail for training and endurance for trail runners.

hiking
20 days ago

Was a good hike. Hated how small the viewing area of the falls was. Went with a group and had to squeeze by to take pics. A little frustrating but beautiful nonetheless

20 days ago

Wear good shoes!! Hike was great!! Waterfall was beautiful!! Lots of ups and downs but worth it!! Saw a man in flip flops with his wife and a few month old baby! Wouldn’t recommend that!! A few dogs. Some sketchy spots not safe for small kids!!

hiking
20 days ago

Overall this hike was awesome! Was a bit challenging also. Lots of ups and downs with some switchbacks. The terrain was pretty rocky a lot of the way. So a good pair of hiking shoes is a good choice. I brought my Black Lab and he did great. The only downside was he ripped the pads on his paws somewhere on the way back. So he slowed down quite a bit but managed to push thru. So keep that in mind for your doggies on the trail. If you see them slow down check their paws! The waterfall was stunning. Was much bigger in person. Got some great pics for memories and enjoyed this hike.

hiking
26 days ago

This hike was pretty nice! My friends and I went 2 weeks ago and it was overcast and a bit rainy, but it was a good hike!

NOTE: Watch your step! There was upwards of 10+ newts on the trail that blend very closely with the leaves and twigs on the ground!!

The hike had some nice points, but around mile 4, we hit a ton of brush and didn't go much further because the trail didn't seem to go anywhere else.

I would say it is more of a easy hike, but moderate in length of walking if anything. It was actually nice of a cooler day!

I recommend!

hiking
27 days ago

This trail was really beautiful. I went yesterday 5/21/2018 and it was really warm! I could have worn shorts! First off, the trail head is across the street from the parking lot, to the left of the brown sign. The trail is pretty rocky with lots of steep slopes, so running this trail is a little challenging at times. I saw about 5 snakes. Three were red and black, two were black and yellow but they were definitely more afraid of me. None were even a foot long, just be sure to keep your eyes peel so you don’t step on them.

Throughout the trail you are walking besides a very gorgeous view of the Clackamas river and when I came back, nothing sounded better than jumping in because of the heat. Bring a swim suit in your car or jump in by the raft dock when you get back to the parking lot, as the river is mellower in that area if you’re a good swimmer :)

hiking
30 days ago

great hike. trail is a little iffy in places. Not a good trail for small children that's for sure. Not crowded at all. we saw maybe 10 people.

hiking
1 month ago

Very fun Hike! Laid back, and a great waterfall!

1 month ago

Excellent hike! The trail is across with road from the Fish Creek parking lot.

hiking
1 month ago

Good trail overall. Took me about 3 hours with taking all the side trails to get closer to waterfalls and taking some time to enjoy the river. Considerably steep at various points but nothing insurmountable. Only downside was being able to either see or hear the road for all but the entirety of the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this trail! Went during the week and had the waterfall to myself for a few minutes.

1 month ago

It’s beautiful and easy!

hiking
1 month ago

I tried getting to this trail but the directions from the Alltrails app didn't take me there and I ended up getting lost. it should be noted that the trailhead is called Fish Creek Trailhead and it's in the parking lot right after the bridge on Fish Creek Road. There's no signage for it, though, hence my confusion, but my boyfriend and I just mapped it and found it and we hope to hike it someday in the future.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Trail start is across the parking lot crossing the street. At a steady pace it will take you a good 2 1/2hours stoping once along the way to eat. We started around 12;30pm and arrived around 3:00pm to the waterfall. Great views along the way, with many small falls. One of the best hikes I have done. This will be the best time to do it since it's not so hot and not so cold and the trail is very green with a lot of moss around the trees. A lot of great spots to overnight camp next yo the river!! Do it!!!

hiking
3 months ago

This was overall a very beautiful hike, with a few small precautions that hikers should be made aware of. First, the restroom at the trailhead is poorly maintained. Second, do NOT leave valuables in your vehicle, as there was broken glass scattered throughout the parking lot. Third, many hikers not leashing their dogs. Otherwise, the river was crystal clear and mesmerizing, and the terrain made for a fantastic workout! Bring lots of snacks!

hiking
3 months ago

2/17/2018 - Pup Creek definitely makes you work for its beauty. This was an easy to access trail right off of 224. No snow on the roads or trail. The trail was worn down from the winter but looks like it’s usually well maintained otherwise. Lots of downed trees and even some sections of the trail that looked like it had recently washed out or had the potential to do so. The water of the clackamas river is a gorgeous turquoise/green and the forest you hike through is vibrant. Only downside is the road is also right there, but since I was hiking alone it was comforting. Elevation is fairly gradual but I definitely felt it on my trip back to the car.

hiking
4 months ago

Waterfall (pup creek falls) is a 5/5 - amazing.
Bald eagle sighting at parking site.

Hike came in at 9 miles for me (4.5 each way including off trail treks to see each smaller fall along the way)

For feb the weather was nice, no snow, trail not as exciting for the first 3 miles. Understandably a lot of downed trees with the sloping ridge/off season but also a lot of the trail was suffering. Clackamas river very pretty but hiking trail & river follow alongside a road with decent amount of cars across the way for the entirety. Nice hike with great payoff but dreaded having to go back on the same trail all 4m back.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful forest and falls! Semi busy on a Saturday afternoon but not too bad. A few logs and muddy spots to navigate, but all in all a fun afternoon.

4 months ago

Nice trail. Allot of people but all friendly. wish it was further from the road but pleasant anyway.

5 months ago

Nice views of the river and gently varying elevation along the route. The falls themselves are gorgeous. We saw a bald eagle hunting along the river. All in all a good winter hike that's easy to get to.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful trail. Lots of cute little waterfalls and a few nice places to hang out by the river along the way. No snow, but muddy (which my dog loved!). The elevation is not bad at all. A little steep in some areas. Overall a pretty easy hike. Pup creek falls was lovely. Be cautious when leaving your car at the trail head. Came back to find that a car near mine that had been broken into :(

hiking
5 months ago

I hiked this trail today and it was great. No snow, it wasn’t crowded , and the waterfall is gorgeous. You need a NW Forest Pass or pay $5 to park

5 months ago

Did this trail for the second time on 01/03/18. It was snow free as of the time of this writing.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked 12/27/17. First 1.5 miles traverses slopes that were burned in the 36 Pit fire of 2014. Some really awesome trees are in this section. There are several cedar trees that have fire scorched centers that are still alive. As of this writing, snow was present but not an issue, and the trail is highly visible all the way to Pup Falls. There are some steep cliffs along the trail which make for nice views across the road and up river. Have fun, stay safe and if you bring it with you, take it out. Note: the day I went I heard firearms discharging across the river along the road and it was unnerving.

6 months ago

Cool waterfall and cliff jumping

hiking
6 months ago

You can hike to Pup Creek Falls from Fish Creek trailhead or from Indian Henry Campground I believe. The recording saved here starts at Fish Creek, which is what I did, but I don't believe the 2,400ft elevation climb/drop is accurate for that route. Another site said 1,600, and that felt more like it. There is a parking lot at the trailhead, you pay $5 unless you have a Northwest Forest Pass. It was a beautiful hike along the Clackamas River, then the last .2 mile heads away from the river to the waterfall. Hwy 224 runs along the opposite side of the river, so you do see/hear cars occasionally, depending on the time of day/week. There weren't any wash outs or trail damage to speak of when I went last week. 4 adults carrying a baby and a toddler, took us about 5 hrs including time to stop at the waterfall, eat lunch, feed kids, change diapers, etc. It was enjoyable, would do it again. Some of the trail is packed soil, some is large (baseball sized) gravel, I'd recommend hiking boots with some ankle support.

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