The French Creek drainage near the east end of Detroit Lake seems to be teeming with waterfalls. The USGS topographic maps of the area mark five falls in the drainage, but thus far we have recorded least 11 in the area. Of all of the falls in the basin , Marten Buttes Falls is likely the tallest and certainly one of the most impressive - even though the stream is seasonal (it isn't even marked on the topographic maps) and will dry out entirely during the summer.
During the wet season, the unnamed stream producing the falls hurtles off a large cliff lining the north side of the French Creek valley, spraying a total of 364 feet in a long horsetail-style fall which splits into two segments about halfway down the drop. Because of the aforementioned small drainage area - likely less than a quarter of a square mile - the stream will almost certainly shrivel up and dry out by the end of May in most years.
- Marten Buttes Falls is the Unofficial name of this waterfall.
Neither the creek nor the falls are known to have bore any name, colloquial or otherwise. We have proposed calling the falls after the Marten Buttes, which loom over the northern edge of the basin which the falls drain from.
From the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 22 in Salem, take Highway 22 east for 49 miles and turn left onto French Creek Road, immediately west of the bridge over the Breitenbush River just before the town of Detroit. Follow French Creek Road for just over 4 miles, then bear right onto FSR# 2207 shortly after the pavement ends. Drive another mile up Road 2207 to a sharp switchback and park next to where Road 2207-175 branches off to the right (it may be possible for high clearance vehicles to drive about 500 feet up Road 175, but it is bermed shortly after). Follow Road 175 for about one-third of a mile to the base of the falls. The old roadbed has been pretty severely washed out by the creek, and small trees are quickly overtaking the remaining roadbed, so expect to have to deal with brush and lackluster views.