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Pup Creek Falls via Clackamas River Trail

HARD 167 reviews
#8 of 151 trails in

Pup Creek Falls via Clackamas River Trail is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estacada, Oregon that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching 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
1,807 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

Although dogs are allowed on this trail, users have reported that there are steep drop-offs adjacent to the trail that can be dangerous for dogs.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 days ago

Rough terrain with a few rockslides over the trail. Some trees down, requiring hiker to climb over. All snow and ice is gone. Waterfall was totally worth the difficult level. Hiking boots a must. Took us about 3 hours and 20minutes.

recorded Recording - Mar 13, 08:12 PM

hiking
muddy
scramble
snow
washed out
9 days ago

Slick ice and snow, lots of mud, mud and rock slides, steep drop-offs, lots of elevation changes - all these conditions made this trail tougher than normal. The sight of Pup Creek Falls at the end was fabulous but I don't know if it was worth it. We ended up sliding on our butts a lot to traverse icy patches (or you risk sliding off the edge). We should've gotten spiked shoes.
We went today (3/13). A couple of ladies we saw at the trail head must've turned around because we didn't see them on our way back. They were wise to be cautious. Hopefully the trail will be better in about a week or so after the ice and snow melt.

hiking
snow
19 days ago

Good moderate trail. Current conditions are snow and ice.

27 days ago

While the trail runs alongside the highway more than I'd like and power lines take away from the beauty on parts of the trail the waterfall makes this hike worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Pictures do not do this waterfall justice! It’s beautiful and worth the long hike. It took about 4 hours to complete so to its distance but it was not a very strenuous hike. It had a couple hills but none too challenging for the everyday hiker. My girlfriend and I hiked it in mid winter and found that there were a couple more beautiful small waterfalls on the trail. Like a 4 in one hike! One of the most beautiful and our most favorite hikes of all. We’ve hiked many trails and seen many water falls and this is definitely one of our favorites because of the beautiful terrain and creeks and falls on the way in and the sheer beauty of the main falls. Absolutely stunning.

2 months ago

Hiked it yesterday starting from the Indian Henry trailhead. As far as trails go...meh. It’s not nearly as challenging as stated above and I’m not in particularly good shape. No snow but tons of ice so be careful

The good: it’s not too far from Portland and easy to find. The old growth and views of the river are beautiful and there are some great camping spots.

The bad: it’s not too far from Portland. I went on New Year’s Day and ran into 7 people, but I’m guessing any other day of the year the place is overrun with Subaru man-bun instagramers. Also, the trail never veers very far from highway 224, So you’re always in ear shot of Kenny-ray and his big ass diesel Chevy tearin’ down the highway. Lastly, a lot of the hike is under high tension power lines.

Overall...it’s meh

4 months ago

Enjoyed this hike. Beautiful fall leaves this time of year!

hiking
4 months ago

Do not take children or dogs on this trail. Our dog had one mis-step on the narrow trail and slid and then tumbled into a ravine. He fell so far that we couldn't see him, and we thought he had been killed for sure. We got him out and were unbelievably lucky that he could walk himself back to the trailhead (and that we didn't get injured rescuing him). I have no proof, but I agree with other posters that this trail seemed longer than 7.3 miles.

hiking
5 months ago

This was a beautiful hike! As others have stated, my only complaint is that you could see the road most of the time. Everything else was so beautiful that it didn’t really bother me. I definitely recommend going during the beginning of fall because it’s so beautiful when the leaves are starting to change and fog is dwelling around the trees. The waterfall was much bigger than I expected. Not very trafficked - even for a Saturday. We hung out at the waterfall for a good 30-45 min before people arrived.

6 months ago

This falls is well worth the hike!

hiking
6 months ago

Such a blast! Hiked about a month ago towards the end of July. Moderately trafficked, very few people at the waterfall. You can scurry up to the mid-level pool of the waterfall for a dip in the water and/or go for a swim from the parking lot.

hiking
6 months ago

Such a blast! Moderately trafficked, very few people at the waterfall. You can scurry up to the mid-level pool of the waterfall for a dip in the water and/or go for a swim from the parking lot.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike, close to a road- but a quiet one, so noise was never an issue. Lots of lovely places to stop and eat lunch + nearly constant views of the Clackamas river. Many very small water crossings, never an issue- even in early spring. Trail is very narrow and close to cliff edges at points, but as long as you're paying attention to your footing their isn't a reason to be afraid. Falls has a small viewing area, which can be frustrating if there are groups of hikers.

hiking
7 months ago

a nice hike, though it is near a road so not as remote as I'd prefer. the waterfall is so worth it though!

7 months ago

I will be going again but definitely not kid friendly. Next time I'll just take my aussie. It is worth it and beautiful. just not with clumsy kids or dogs. (i have a older aussie who did great and a young pit who did not! they have both done great on trails before this was just too long for my 1.5 year pup)

backpacking
7 months ago

Was there 3-4 days ago and see I may have walked past another Murray. Nice hike the river was a needed with the hot weather.

7 months ago

It’s more like 8.4. It felt long to me haha. It was shaded most of the way. It was rocky and at parts steep and cliffy edges. Many times you can get down to the Clackamas for a cool down. It is always near the river so the view is pretty. Trail goes up and down and up and down etc so it’s fairly consistent. The falls are nice and cool but not a whole lot of room. There are 2 tiers and you can climb up the first. I didn’t see a whole lot of people on the trail but it was fun to watch the rafts and kayaks come by.

8 months ago

good hike its 8.8 according to Strava and tons of Rocks the whole way but the juice is worth the squeeze on a hot day

8 months ago

Great trail, lots of shade

8 months ago

This trail has so many rocks. The rocks not sturdy. It’s actually a 10 miles hike. Not 7...... so many rocks! Wear sturdy shoes! It’s a long hike. BUT.... the waterfall is amazing! Beautiful!

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful views! You can get close to the falls eat lunch then on your walk back hanging out by the waters edge and read. The hike was a combination of up and down. Which eases the uphill and downhill climbs. Light traffic; everyone was friendly.

hiking
8 months ago

This is not a moderate hike. Many obstacles along the way (large log crossings, some wet areas, very sketchy steep cliff sides with loose rocks on a very narrow trail). Would not recommend bringing dog or children. Not recommended if you are iffy with steep drop offs. One of those hikes where you want to turn back because its been pretty far and no sign for waterfall yet. My fit bit marked this hike at 10 miles round trip. I was able to climb up the east side of the waterfall to the first tier pretty easily. Only writing this review for people who read the first description as "moderate" and think it will be flat and easy like I did. Overall its a very beautiful hike and the waterfall is one of the most underrated in the PNW.

8 months ago

Awesome hike with great views.

8 months ago

Amazing and beautiful!

walking
9 months ago

Nice hike. Relative easy. Started raining and was a bit slick. Nothing unmanageable but if you weren’t paying attention you could slide down quite a ways.

Waterfall was beautiful. Hike out was beautiful. Camp sites along the way are all very clean and well kept.

Recommend

hiking
9 months 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".

9 months ago

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

hiking
9 months 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.

9 months 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
9 months 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.

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