Ayers Creek is the smallest tributary of Stout Creek in the waterfall-studded canyon above Mehama. This means that the falls become dry, or nearly dry in the summer, but it also means that the creek doesn't have the erosive power that the other area streams have and thus the falls are larger than adjacent Horseshoe Falls, which drops over the same basalt formation. Ayers Creek Falls is located about 100 feet upstream from Stout Creek, and is relatively easy to access. The falls spray 79 feet over the ubiquitous overhanging basalt ledge of the area, but are slightly difficult to see completely unobstructed from the canyon rim thanks to an inconveniently placed tree or three. Because of Ayers Creek's small drainage area, I expect it probably runs dry by May, give or take a month depending on the winter rainfall. When I visited the falls in March of 2005, Oregon was experiencing a significant drought, and the falls were running much lower than they should have been at that time of the year.
- Ayers Creek Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
- Known Alternate Names: Ayers Falls
The falls are also known as Ayers Falls, but it is not known for sure who Ayers was. Most likely the creek was named for Ayers, and the falls were named for the creek.
Located just outside Santiam State Forest land near Mehama. From I-5 in Salem, take Highway 22 east for about 22 miles to the small town of Mehama. Turn left on Wagner Road, and proceed 2 Â½ miles, climbing steeply to the top of the ridge. Just before you reach the 2 Â½ mile mark, make sure you stay straight, crossing Stout Creek, rather than making a hard right and following the tree farm. Immediately after crossing Stout Creek, make a left on an unmarked gravel road, and park near the gate (don't block the gate). Walk about 1/5 of a mile up this road to the second right-hand bend in the road. Looking off to the left you will be staring into the canyon of Ayers Creek. Simply pick a place to start, and drop down the slope for another 200 feet to the rim of the gorge and views of the falls. To reach the base of the falls, find a suitable place along the trail to the base of Horseshoe Falls to head downstream, then up the Ayers Creek drainage. This route is not recommended for inexperienced bushwhackers.