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Pup Creek Falls Out and Back

Easy/Intermediate
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Follow the Clackamas River to one of the most beautiful waterfalls close to Portland but outside the Gorge.


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Map Key

8.1

Miles

13.0

KM

81%

Runnable

1,494' 455 m

High

933' 285 m

Low

2,074' 632 m

Up

2,075' 632 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

59%

Max Grade (31°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fishing · River/Creek · Waterfall

NW Forest Pass required at Fish Creek Trailhead

Overview

This is a well-made trail that gets lots of use and is easy to follow. You'll have great views of the Clackamas River much of the route, a few nice creek crossing, pass through old growth, and then be treated to a gorgeous 240 foot waterfall before returning along the same route.

Description

There is parking available at the Fish Creek Trailhead, but it may fill up due to the popularity of this run. Many cars will thus park up and down the Fish Creek Road. The trail begins along the Clackamas River Trail #715 which begins flat and wide as it heads north towards the first views of the river. Continue running upriver on the clear and well maintained trail.

There are occasional sections that gain elevation to get around cliffs on the river but for the most part these sections are short and manageable for young kids. Part of the joy of this trail is that the forest will change dramatically between dry and open areas and incredibly lush and mossy sections. You'll also pass a few creeks that form mini-falls and are easily crossed on bridges or on rocks with dry feet. There are a number of nice camping spots along the river too.

At about 3.75 miles you'll come to a signed intersection with Pup Creek Falls Trail - only 0.2 miles to go! Take this trail up a switchback and then the amazing falls will come into view. Pup Creek Falls drops 240 feet and changes from a plunge to a fan about halfway down when it hits harder rock. The lush moss around it makes the falls extra special. Unfortunately, there isn't much space at the end of the trail to enjoy the falls from, especially if its a nice, crowded day.

When you're done enjoying the falls return the way you came. Note, it can be worth continuing east/upriver a few feet to where Clackamas River Trail #715 crosses Pup Creek for one more beautiful area before returning.

Contacts

Shared By:

Karl W

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3773

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#121

in Oregon

#3,773

Overall
22 Views Last Month
174 Since Jul 12, 2020
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

A stream crossing provides a pleasant view up the ravine on the Clackamas River Trail.
Mar 21, 2017 near Mount H…, OR
Pup Creek Falls cascades over moss-covered cliffs near the end of its namesake trail.
Mar 21, 2017 near Mount H…, OR
Huge western red cedars grow along the Clackamas.
Mar 21, 2017 near Estacada, OR
Looking down on the Clackamas from the trail, enjoy white water and verdant forests.
Mar 21, 2017 near Estacada, OR
As they continue to grow, these Douglas firs will narrow this passage along the Clackamas River Trail.
Mar 21, 2017 near Estacada, OR
You'll have to navigate a few creek crossings along the Clackamas River Trail.
Mar 21, 2017 near Estacada, OR

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