Shan Creek Trail

MODERATE 14 reviews

Shan Creek Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Grants Pass, Oregon that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

3.8 miles 1256 feet Out & Back

kid friendly



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


Directions from Grant's Pass: Travel southwest on Hwy. 199 (redwood Hwy.) to Riverbanks Road just across the Applegate River. Turn right onto Riverbanks Road and follow it to Forest Service Road # 2706(Shan Creek Road). Follow Shan Creek Road for about 1.2 miles to the trailhead.

20 days ago

Will add my two cents about finding the trail on the other side of the creek. Agree that the best way to stay on the trail is to cross at the shallower "beach" area about 100 feet before you get to the big tree that goes across the creek. The trail is easily visible from this shallower crossing area. But it was February when I went so going into knee high ice water wasn't ideal for me. But in the spring/summer this is the way to cross and continue on the trail.

When you cross at the big tree, it's tough to find the main trail again. The best way is to probably follow the fallen big tree up the hill a bit, you'll reach a trail. Then go right. This trail doesn't continue for long and it pretty much ends at a clearing with a steep valley that flows down into Shan creek. You'll see a huge Boulder below you to your right, right before you reach this valley. At the bottom of this boulder is where the trail is. You can maneuver your way down there, but it's pretty steep so be careful. Or you can try crossing that steep valley and picking up the trail a bit higher. Neither way is really that easy, but it's doable.

Once you do find it, you'll start the climb. It's pretty much constant uphill for the next 1.5 miles. The trail will switchback to the left pretty soon once you find it on the other side of the creek, and will head that way for the rest of the journey. The uphill part of the trail can be fairly strenuous since there's really no respite from the constant climb. Sometimes it may seem like it will not end but just keep going and you'll reach a "road". It's fairly anticlimactic and there's really nothing to see at the top, but the climb down is now pretty easy and there are some great views coming down.

Overall, a really fun and sufficiently challenging hike. I don't have much to compare it to as it was one of the first hikes I went on since I moved out here a few weeks ago, but it was gorgeous, and I look forward to doing it again in the summer when I can cool off in the creek a bit!

Lastly, I will say I missed the trailhead the first time. It's not very obvious if there aren't cars parked there as there's lots of turnouts and all of them (from the road) look like they just have a steep drop with no trailhead. But just look for the second turnout after the sign that says gravel/one lane road. The first turnout will be slightly elevated and look like a parking area (and will probably still have a bunch of trash). This isn't the one. Go to the next one and park and begin the journey!

1 month ago

Everyone in my party enjoyed the hike

8 months ago

for us it was tough, we got the crossing right the first time but were confused by reports of a big tree. so we crossed back and took the big tree up all the way using GPS to find it again just heading north. going back was easy. I wouldn't take the big tree up again. cross when the main trail ends at the creek and there is a clear trail on the other side.

9 months ago

Perfect for my kids and our dog!

trail running
10 months ago

I downloaded the trail map to my phone (thanks Chad) while I still had cell service as I knew this trail might be a challenge to follow. And it was somewhat. I made it from end to end. My mileage to the fire road at the top was 2.2 mi. Once I picked up the trail on the other side of the creek, I had no issues following the trail to the top. Once I found the unmarked trail head via GPS, the only challenge was staying on the trail thru the creek area. My tips: 1. Don't get sucked down to cross the creek too soon. There is an area I call the "main beach" where the trail appears to end, but if you go over the large rock on the right (see pic I uploaded) you will see the trail right there. 2. You know you are still on the trail when you see the large log going across the creek (see my loaded photo).

1 year ago

1 year ago

Went to this trail today.
Its really not as hard to find as others made it sound. My boyfriend and I were a little confused when we got to a rock and there wasnt a trail anymore but after climbing the slick rock we found there is even more trail. But this trail ends as well. So yes I can confirm, hike until the fallen tree, cross it, then go straight up. After the tree bridge there is another fallen tree on the ground and just follow it up and you'll find the trail. I'm not sure if we actually hiked the shan creek trail. I can assume we did but we never got to the end of the trail once we got on it. Maybe we were just tired or something but we guessed we had walked 2 miles and the trail just kept on going. We had to be back in town for something so we just turned around and headed back afterwards. i hope to go back and finish this trail if there is actually an end.
I saw the trash others were talking about, I brought a trash bag just for this and picked most of it up if not all. I didn't get to grab the tire, maybe someone else can be a good conservationist and pack it out. I can't bear to see such a nice place be ruined by bottles and cans and foam. If you can, pick up trash you see on hikes folks. It will pay off!
This hike was definitely worth the short drive and minor off-trail-ing. It was beautiful, the water was clear and looked yummy [didn't drink of course] and there were many things to see even in the fall. It was moderately strenuous at certain parts just because it was uphill. But where we ended up, we both knew the hike was worth it.
So basically:
1) The trailhead is not hard to find, follow the directions on here and you'll get to an area where the side of the road is open. Plenty of space to park you car and the trailhead is easily visible.
2.) Finding the rest of the trail is not too difficult. Just follow the trail until you get to the tree thats fallen over the stream then cross it. Follow the tree thats on the ground up the hill and you'll be on the trail for a while. Make your way back the same way.
3.) Maybe I missed some trash on this beautiful hike, do everyone a favor and pick it up even if it isn't yours. You will seriously be doing everyone a favor. This is a beautiful hike and it would be a shame to see it get ruined by careless people's trash.
I hope you go for this hike, its wonderful!

1 year ago

Hiked what I believe was this trail today.
No trailhead signs but we found a trail headed down to the creek about a quarter mile past the pavement end sign. The trail heads down the side of the mountain and you see a nice pool, as the trail on the south side proceeds it ends at the water. Upon crossing the water we picked up the trail again and with a steady incline continued on and traveled to switchback heading up the creek on the north side. after a mile or more the trail gets smaller and we turned around.There was some trash around the water, a old truck tire and other motor parts, A good hike got the heart rate up definately a moderate hike . We will return

1 year ago

Finally went back today. Boy oh boy am I glad I did. This hike is wonderful. Definitely worth it. Scenic, fragrant, wonderful, etc. (there aren't enough adjectives). Also, it can be somewhat strenuous. But it's so worth the work. How lucky we are to live in such a beautiful area. This place is a slice of paradise.

1 year ago

Thank you for responding Chad. I did read your review a day or so before setting out. (Then after my unsuccessful attempt.) I shall be returning to search for the trail, but this time with a more complete understanding.
Also, you were correct about the slip warning crossing the big log. I managed to keep myself dry, but I took a good seat upon the log when one of the other fallen trees shifted just as I put my weight on it. (Warning to others)

1 year ago

Joshua. If you look at my review below and have a GPS or a smart phone to put in waypoints in a GPS app there are GPS coordinates for the two crossings and the track in the tracks section. When you cross the fallen tree, I believe that off to the right the faint trail goes. I seem to recall just a little further on I took a left up a faint trail to a slightly more visible trail and took a right on that. It kinda gets to a point where you go down a little 15ft or so moist hill,valley, run off thing down to the main trail and take a left and you are there. Or easiest of all slightly before you get to the big tree is a plank in the Creek that only goes half way. If you cross it is about mid calf height as of 2 days ago and the trail is on the other side. Just bring some aquasocks or do it barefooted, some of my friends did that.

PS. If anyone knows how to email or personally respond to someone on alltrails let me know in the review above this so I don't have to clutter up the reviews trying to give advise. Thanks.

1 year ago

I did this hike today and it started out beautiful. From the road the decent is easy as is meanders alongside the sounds and sights of the creek below. I had anticipated at least a two hour outing and an elevated heart beat, but once the path lead me to the creek and across a fallen tree onto the other side, the path disappeared. I walked a little further up the hill and discovered what appeared to be an old path, so I followed it along until in disappeared as well. Rather than continuing to search through the heavy laden thicket of poison oak I opted to cross back over the creek onto the (obvious) trail from where I came and see if I missed a turn. I couldn't find one. From there, I walked back up the hill to the road and got in my car. What started off as an exhilarating hike through a beautiful scene was cut short by a path forgotten. So I drove down the road a stretch and went to Limpy Creek trail to end my outing. I hope to go back to Shan Creek with a better idea of how to reach the other trailhead. It is a beautiful hike, I just wish it was longer than 15 minutes.

2 years ago

Note: This is a partial review as I did like 20% of the actual trail not the whole thing. I'll do the rest and put up the final review PLEASE DONT LITTER, YOU COULD BRING A BAG AND HELP CLEAN UP OTHER PEOPLES TRASH!. Sadly people on this trail think they can just chuck their garbage on the trail... . NOTE 2: This trail so far requires you to be slightly limber as there are some small ledges about knee hight that you have to clime up/around. I started Shan Creek Trail on the side closest to Grants Pass and let me tell you what... It was awesome! It is by the creek the whole first part and it is so pretty. There are lots of little waterfalls and little pools in the creek and if you are feeling adventurous most parts you can hike UP the creek hopping from rock to rock. There are multiple paths down to overlooks or right down to the creek. One of the paths down to the creek leads to a small pool that would be AWESOME in the hot summer to relax in. There is a crossing that is partially washed out that leads to the trail on the other side of the creek. If you don't want to get wet there is a large log crossing the creek that takes you to the other side. Cross carefully as one of the logs touching the crossing shifted and dumped one of our group in the creek(He's ok). If you cross at the giant logs there are faint trails leading to the right(east?) that you can follow to get back to the main trail just passed the partially washed out original crossing. We turned around just before the trail left the creek. I plan to go back and get the rest of the trail soon!

Close to Grants pass TRHD: N42° 27.380' W123° 31.327'
Cool Little pool to relax: N42° 27.471' W123° 31.360'
Original crossing washed out, crossable but your feet will get wet: N42° 27.545' W123° 31.381'
Big log secondary crossing: N42° 27.561' W123° 31.407'

EDIT: 3/28/15
I finished the trail today. The forest service website says it is 2.7 miles or something like that, it's not it's 2mi from TRHD to TRHD. Neither TRHD is labeled and they are pretty difficult to see. I will have included the GPS coordinates for both TRHDs. Everything in my review above is still good. This trail seems to be split into 3 types. The first if you start at the TRHD closest to Grants Pass is down by the Creek. I covered it above, Green, Water, awesomeness. This time I brought a pair of aqua socks and crossed at the shallow washed out crossing, dried my feet and put my shoes back on. It is not a fast flow and it only got like mid calf, SUPER COLD water though. The second third is after it turns away from the creek. It starts to get moderately steeper, narrower, and rockier, and some poison oak starts to show up, But you get lots of wildflowers! They were pretty cool. The third gets slightly more narrow, rockier and steeper, not many wild flowers, with significantly more poison oak. If you watch where you are walking it shouldn't be a problem though. Had some lunch at the top. The TRHD at the top is harder to see then the one at the bottom. The only way it is distinguished is by an orange plastic ribbon on a tree right there. You might want to locate it with the GPS coordinate as I saw a few trees marked as such around there. Nice and quiet at the top. On the way back down (and up I guess if you look behind you) are some really cool views of the open valley. There is a little stream that comes out of the side of the hill that you can go check out before you get to the top in the last third. Its not big and you can hear it so you can locate it. CAUTION: there was no trail down to it and it is fairly steep so be careful, my walking stick helped out lots.

I really liked this trail, it seems really diverse. It was quite a bit more strenuous then I anticipated. I would call it at least moderate to difficult over all. The bottom is easy. You gain like 1100 feet from the bottom to the top. I suggest you start at the bottom and finish at the bottom so that way you don't have to come back up after you go all the way down. There is one big log that you have to climb over at the top though. Not too bad. I'll see if I can notify whomever to go cut a hole.

Far TRHD: N42° 28.177' W123° 32.533'
Little mountain stream: N42° 27.998' W123° 31.905'