Willamette National Forest, French Creek Area Waterfalls


Depending on the time of year, there is water cascading down every where on the drive up Hwy 22 heading towards Detroit. On the way up Hwy 22 from Salem, Niagara County park is a nice stop. It’s a place were the Santiam river boils through a small slot in the rocks and a small falls tumbles into the river across the way.

Niagra Park Waterfall

Niagra Park, Oregon

Just before the town of Detroit, you take a left on French Creek Rd/2223, it’s a paved single lane with French Creek on the right. At about 2.7 miles you come to the first falls (only in Spring), it’s a least a few hundred foot tall on the right side, up on the mountain. It appears to be Marten Creek.

Marten Creek Falls

At the junction of 2223 and 2207 the road switches to gravel, stayed to the left on 2223.  2223 starts to climb and get a little rocky as it heads up towards Water Tower Mountain. About a mile up you start to get great views of Mount Jefferson off the east. At little further up if you look close, you can see the previous falls across the valley.

Mount Jefferson, Oregon

Waterfall across the valley

Over the next mile or so there are a number of falls depending on the time of year.

Subaru by FallsSuzuki by Falls

Waterfall 2Waterfall 3

If you continue up 2223 you’ll find Tumble Lake, Elephant Rock and Phantom Natural Bridge. Down one of the side trails I came across some nice camping spots by a little pond.
Subaru on RiseSubaru by pond

Back down to the junction and continuing on 2207 will take you over the mountain and to the Opal Creek area. Unfortunately the road has been closed for a few years now a couple of miles past the junction due to a large landslide.

End of the Road!

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2 thoughts on “Willamette National Forest, French Creek Area Waterfalls

  1. Looks like a great trip. Please define rocky. It looks like you may have made two different trips. Thanks for the idea.

    1. Hi Jeanne:

      About a half mile after it turns to gravel, there is a section where rocks may have fallen from the hill onto the road. The road through this section is; gravel for the most part and dodging the fallen rocks.

      A little further up is a water bar that is a little ‘rocky’ – then after that its basically a gravel road.

      Those photos are a collection of at least three trips.

      Thanks for your comment, Jeanne. Keep em’ coming!
      Scott

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