University Falls is located within an area devastated by one of the worst forest fires in Oregon's history. In 1933, 1945 and 1951, wildfires burnt a total of 350,000 acres and more than 13.5 billion board feet of wood. Land which was previously under consideration for wilderness designation was hence maligned. Wildlife was decimated and tourism was viewed as irrelevant and futile, so the push for wilderness designation ended. However, in 1948, Oregon Voters passed a 12 million dollar measure to rehabilitate the forest by clearing dead snags and planting over 70 million trees. The area re-grew to its present condition and the Tillamook State Forest was born. The Tillamook Burn is essentially invisible at this point, however in areas such as those around University Falls, there is a noticeable lack in old growth fir trees - most are deciduous, Red Alder being the most prevalent. History lesson learned, the scars of old don't detract from the site of University Falls at all. The scenic 55 foot fall veils over a jagged wall of basalt, creating perfect patterns for macro photography. Because Elliot Creek has a small drainage, the falls won't flow nearly as powerfully in the summer as they do in the winter, and in some cases, may not be worth seeing.
- University Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Make sure you have a good map with you when visiting this waterfall, as its easy to get lost on the logging roads in the area. At the Wilson River Summit, 34 miles east of Tillamook, turn south on to Saddle Mountain Road - following signs for University Falls. Stay right at the first junction and left at the second. At the third junction, stay right and cross the Devils Lake Fork of the Wilson River. Stay right at the fourth junction and ignore any road that doesn't look well traveled by cars. If you went the right way, you'll reach the trailhead about 3 Â½ miles from Highway 6. From the parking area, follow the trail for Â½ mile to the base of the falls. Keep note that dirt bike roads crisscross the foot trail in several places. The trail will go straight across in all instances.