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Salt Creek Falls, Oakridge

4.9
#78 of 143 in Nature in Oregon
Waterfall Nature / Park
Salt Creek Falls is a cascade and plunge waterfall on Salt Creek, a tributary of the Middle Fork Willamette River, that plunges into a gaping canyon near Willamette Pass in the Willamette National Forest, near Oakridge, Oregon. The waterfall is notable for its main drop of 286ft which makes it the third highest plunge waterfall in Oregon after Multnomah Falls and Watson Falls the second highest, which was re-measured in 2009 and found to be 293 feet rather than an earlier measurement of 272 feet passing Salt Creek Falls. The pool at the bottom of the waterfall is deep.DescriptionThe Salt Creek Falls drops about, which varies little in height because of the even level of the giant boulders at its crest. The waterfall has a couple of noticeable breaks by protruding rocks that interrupt the horizontal fall of the water. The average annual volume of water approaching the falls is 250cuft/s. At its crest, the waterfall sits at 3902ft above sea level. Since the flow is a direct function of the Salt Creek water volume, it typically peaks when the mountain snow melts in the late spring or early summer. No water diversion facility exists within the falls or anywhere along Salt Creek.HistorySalt Creek Falls was formed when glaciers receded during the last ice age, and water from newly formed lakes upstream carved a valley through the forest. The main glacier on the Salt Creek valley seemed to have deepened the canyon at a greater rate than the tributaries, leaving the side valleys towering high above the floor of the river. Lava flows then filled in a portion of this valley, creating narrow canyon walls composed of columnar basalt that are now seen surrounding the falls.
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  • My husband, myself and two young children (3 and 5) stopped here on our way up to Odell Lake last weekend. The parking lot is very large and the bathrooms were clean. We took the main trail head up to...  more »
  • A nice place to see as your travel Highway 58. A nicely created stop, paved paths, handicapped persons can use wheel chairs. A good place to picnic. Watch your small children in this area.  more »
  • so first off, we did not actually make it to the falls, but i think our experience may be useful for others... we drove a couple of hours to see the falls, and knowing that the cascades still have a l...  more »