Sweet Creek Falls is the largest and best waterfall in the excellent Sweet Creek Falls trail complex. The falls drop 70 feet in four distinct tiers. The first is a 10 foot punchbowl that can only be seen from the trail above the falls and can't is very difficult to photograph at all. The second drop is a 30 foot tall horsetail where the creek crashes into a narrow recess in the cliff just an arms length (at least it feels that close) from the viewpoint. Because of the shape of the recess, this portion of the fall is difficult to see from the main trail. The falls culminate in a pair of 15 foot drops that plunge into a large pool. Hikers who visit the falls from downstream often only see the two final drops due to the way the creek bends through the gorge and don't realize the true scope of the falls. Better views of the larger portions of the falls can be had from a less popular trail on the opposite side of Sweet Creek that leads to a rougher (sometimes heavily overgrown) viewpoint above the falls. Hopefully one day the Forest Service will construct a bridge across the creek below the falls to unify both trails. Both trails provide different perspectives of the falls, and both are recommended.
- Sweet Creek Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Sweet Creek was named after homesteaders Cecil C. Sweet and Zara T. Sweet who settled near the mouth of the creek. The book Oregon Geographic Names seems to hint that these two may not have been related. Sweet Creek Falls was named for the creek.
Located in the Sweet Creek Falls trail complex, south of Mapleton, in the Siuslaw National Forest. From Mapleton, follow Highway 126 east, across the Siuslaw River, and turn right onto Sweet Creek Road. Drive 11 miles along the Sweet Creek Road to the Homestead (Sweet Creek) Trailhead. Follow the Sweet Creek Trail upstream, passing several other waterfalls, for about 6/10 of a mile to this waterfall. One can alternatively start at the Sweet Creek Falls Trailhead about 2/3 of a mile further up the road from the Homestead Trailhead (though starting there skips the best part of the trail system). The uppermost trailhead, which provides access to the opposite side of the creek, can be found an additional mile upstream where the road crosses Sweet Creek.