Pinnacle Peak Falls is a moderately significant free-falling plunge style waterfall of 145 feet in height, occurring along seasonal tributary to Lost Creek near the divide between the North and Middle Santiam Rivers. When the small stream is flowing at peak levels, the falls appear as a narrow plume of spray lofting into an alcove adjacent to the road. By the late spring months however the stream shrivels up and turns into a narrow wall of dribbles before (likely) drying out completely during the summer.
Though the drainage are for this waterfall is quite small, both times we've surveyed this waterfall we found the volume of water present in the stream to be considerably less than expected. Near the falls, dropping into the canyon along Lost Creek to the south, are several other minor waterfalls which form a "weeping wall" of sorts. Topographic maps give no hint to the source of these streams, so one theory we have put forth is that the stream which produces Pinnacle Peak Falls may have some of its water siphoned off at some point upstream, which results in the falls being reduced in volume. This is purely speculative and would require extensive surveying of the stream above the falls to verify.
- Pinnacle Peak Falls is the Unofficial name of this waterfall.
From the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 22 in Salem, take Highway 22 east for 66 miles, or from Santiam Junction (intersection of Highways 22 and 126/20) follow Highway 22 for 13 miles north, to Straight Creek Road. Cross the North Santiam River and follow Straight Creek Road (Forest Service Road 11), also known as the Quartzville Backcountry Byway for just over 6 miles to a 5-way junction. Take the second right (at two o'clock) onto Lost Creek Road #10 (gravel surface, so do not follow the paved road). Follow Road #10 for just under three miles to the bridge over Lost Creek and park. The falls will be visible along the cliff immediately west of the bridge and can be easily seen from the road. Unobstructed views of the falls require an easy scramble 100 feet up the draw from the road.