Explore the most popular birding trails near Estacada with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Good legs workout to the tower, from pansy lake. A dozen or so trees across the trail. Bugs. Gorgeous view at the top.

trail running
9 days ago

Stopped in for travel break on way to Mt Hood. Good 5.5 mile loop for a quick trail run.

backpacking
24 days ago

The lake was beautiful, but getting there was rough. Cars with high clearance only. Even then it was a bit sketchy. A lot of fallen trees on the path to scramble over or under as the case may be. But all those obstacles made for a very peaceful evening

Started at 8am on a Saturday and only passed 3 groups of hikers. Falls were very impressive. It really is like Multnomah Falls without the crowds. Good elevation changes. Not too steep. Lots of overgrown bushes so wear something to protect your legs. Saw newts, snakes and elk along the trail. There is some traffic noise along the trail, but don't let that deter you. The sights along the trail far outweigh the traffic noise.

backpacking
26 days ago

I just went for a solo backpacking trip on the west side of the loop. I made it as far as Music Creek. This trail seems moderately trafficked for the first six or seven miles. After that it’s full-on bushwhacking. Many good camping spots along the river are to be found. Saw sign of coyote, deer, bear, cougar, and wolves. The rangers warned of mosquitoes, but they didn’t bother me at all. Ticks were a real problem, though.

:Disclaimer: (My review is for the whole mountain.)
When I was young my family camped near the river in RVs. the road we camped on is now part of the washout and shooting range. But my grandfather took me on long hikes up the mountain roads and trails that run throughout this mountains ridges. I learned to drive, fish, camp, track and hunt on this hill. Now in my 40s I take my own children and wife up here frequently. Often we car camp in one of hundreds of great turn offs and once logged ridges. While I havent hiked to the top of fish creek trail since before the washout in 96, anyone (without small children) who loves to get into the thick and really feel remote should explore this area. Ive found treasures I guard jealously and will never share on this gorgeous hill and so may you. beware of large cats and coyotes. Local tv news tonight says wolves are back.

I was on the hill 2 weeks ago and have been at least 5 times since april. ill be back again in a few days. :)

hiking
1 month ago

I visited this trail with my family on a rainy June day. It was absolutely beautiful. We saw many newts and even a frog. We stopped at a few points to get close to the Clackamas River. We skipped some rocks and stuck our feet in the cold water. I was grateful to see no trash, and I think we may have been the only people on the trail this day. We did the whole out and back.

This was a nice trail (for the most part), but you never really get away from the highway enough to stop hearing the cars go by, really drowned out the river noise. There’s a large section where you’re hiking directly under some very large power lines and unfortunately takes away from the trail quiet a bit. The waterfall was amazing but this trail wouldn’t be on the top of my list of recommendations for anyone wanting to see waterfalls.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a beautiful area. I typically prefer my hikes a little further out than this, but wanted something close to take the kids on (6,7, and 9). They all did extremely well, the little elevation gain always helps. The trail was simple, but had quite a bit of changes to break up the monotony for the kiddos. They loved stopping at the fish hatchery and checking it out. The trail is shared with horse riding, and the kids loved looking for horse tracks, and poop. We spent about 20 minutes just sitting at the Clackamas River watching for animals. We saw a Great Blue Heron, and a few other birds.

backpacking
1 month ago

My sister and I finished hiking this trail two days. We ended up choosing this trail last minute, it's a long story. Anyways, we would consider this trail more than "unmaintained" or "overgrown". For reference, I hunt and forage and spend a lot of time off trail. This was more similar to that experience. We hiked this trail counter-clockwise starting behind the shooting range and ending back up the road a bit. The hike took us two and a half days and we do not walk slow. Day one it took us 11 hours to hike 11 miles and I normally can cover at least 2/hr. There is a lot of bushwhacking and climbing/crawling over and under fallen trees. I cannot say I would recommend this trail in this condition without a machete.

If one were to start at the "end" of the trail and walk out and back about 8 miles it would be a beautiful but overgrown trail. If the trail was maintained (I understand a lack of human power) it would be a great weekend backpack trip that I could recommend to friends. There are some nice views of the valley and of the creek with a lot of evidence of wildlife.

9 miles RT from trailhead to falls. nice elevation intervals, dogs did well except one got lost in the overgrown shrubs at one point. nice flowers, small parking lot.

Spent Tuesday night at the camp and hiked most of the trail — very serene, easy and quiet! Didn’t pass one other person. I’d definitely recommend this as a really decent spot to take a peaceful, easygoing stroll especially with your dog.

I hiked this today after cycling all the way up from estacada- great workout if crowds bum you out this place is for you not another person anywhere!

Loved the trail and beautiful hike. My German Shepard pup loved it and did great on the trail. My car got broken into so just take extra care. When I parked there was a lot of glass on the ground and more so after my windows were broke so just take extra care with your pups paws in the parking lot.

03/30/18 Had a great hike with my little dogs. Every party I ran into (6 total) also had a dog. Had to help my two 9 lb chihuahuas across Pup Creek because the stepping stones don't go all the way across the creek, and she was flowing good enough to sweep away my little guys.
Hike not too strenuous but moderately lengthy. I calculated 3.7 miles each way. Didn't have to take a break. Lots of things to check out along the way.
Trail goes above the Clackamas around a thousand feet, then down to river level. Does that a few times. You never want to fall off a trail, but a couple miles in you can get in a lot of trouble if you fall off the trail.
I really enjoyed this hike, and I really recommend it to anyone.

Lots of fun and very beautiful

Pretty and lightly trafficked trail. Great river views and lush, green forest. Would be great for a picnic, as there are many nice river spots along the way. The only downside is that some parts are close to the road, and those tended to have some vehicle trash and toilet paper around them. Still, other parts were beautiful and secluded, and we only saw two other people while we were there, so it was nice to have to trail to ourselves. Trilliums and wildflowers are just beginning to bloom.

Great hike. good views and interesting variety of views, falls, geography, flora. very few people on the trail. a little mud but not much. fairly easy creek crossings. great main waterfall but only a small viewing area that didn't make sitting and enjoying it easy.

Great hike with my pup. Only saw a handful of other hikers and heard less than 10 cars pass by. I started at the middle point where these directions take you. I went left to the campground and back up to rainbow campground, then back to my car and my watch had me at 10 miles. Although I did explore all the side trails and frequently walked to river access. Also I did not see a waterfall. Great hike though!

trail running
3 months ago

Trail was amazing to run! Lots of scenery. Quad crushing hills. Sign is hard to find, FYI.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! super beautiful with all the fallen trees!

Hiked 03/03/18 - Having hiked the lower section of the Clackamas River Trail several times, I was eager to see this part. I think I prefer this section to the lower. Snow was still present, though not an issue. There are some very nice large trees and smaller waterfalls along the trail. I think my favorite part of this trail is between 1.5 - 2 miles in. There are more than a handful of waterfalls and really cool basalt ledges here, although I think many of these falls are seasonal. The boulder crossing at Pup Creek was the only obstacle, though not a problem for me. The boulders are well placed on both sides of the bank, but the middle is missing a few "steps." The overall trail description is spot on. Have fun. If you pack it in, pack it out. Even food waste is considered trash... ahem... I'm talking to you, leaver of orange peels. :)

One of my absolute favorite hikes of all time. Went to see the eclipse here and literally only saw one other group. This hike is totally under rated. Pup creek falls is amazing and beautiful and you can hike up to and on it. Easy to get to. Challenging enough that you’ll feel accomplished without kicking your ass.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a point to point hike along the Clackamas River that connects upstream Riverside Campground to downstream Rainbow Campground. I started and finished at Rainbow Campground trailhead. It is a good easy hike with very little elevation gain and I used it to increase my walking speed. Light snow was on the trail in some areas though not an issue. I imagine with all the spur trails to the river this is a good place for summer swims. Hiked on 02/15/18.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice easy trail, very narrow in some places. There are two entry points. You can start at the first one one which is about .50 mile from the Ripplebrook guard station, which is also a general store that sells passes to Bagby Hot Springs if you wanna full day. There is a sign indicating the trail, but this point drops you off in the middle of the trail and you can walk up and down both directions. If you want to start at the beginning of the trail, head further down to Riverside camp ground for an easy 3.7 mile trek one-way. As noted it runs close to the road, but traffic was light as was the trail on a cloudy Sunday morning in February.

This hike is great in all weather. Trail is stable even when wet. Lots of tree coverage. A nice, cleared plateau about half way in right by the river where you can sit and watch the rapids. The waterfall itself is very impressive. Lots of little ones along the way. Feels very mystical and peaceful.

Do NOT go here. The trailhead is completely littered with shotgun shells among other trash. People are shooting guns very close by with no regard for others enjoying the woods. Trail is clearly not well maintained if at all.

Went 2 months ago trail was fine done this hike twice. The lake is a little colder than i was thinkin but its so serene and peaceful. Will hike.again.

Went a few days ago and it was so green and beautiful!

trail running
9 months ago

Unfortunately, the start (if following the river) involves wandering through a garbage strewn target practice area, and the trails (both along the river and the other, along the hillside) are very overgrown. Not very hike-able or run-able right now.

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