Kilchis Falls had intrigued me for the longest time. Stuffed way up the end of a drainage not known to possess any other major water features and claimed to be a "small waterfall on an even smaller stream" by some publications, I wasn't sold. The topographic maps show a vertical drop of over 80 feet, which just stoked my curiosity. So after subjecting my poor car to a 1500 foot climb in less than 2 miles on a so-so gravel road, I stumbled upon a greatly underestimated waterfall dropping about 100 feet over a dark wall of Rhyolite. Granted, the falls are on a tiny stream that I doubt will flow with any sort of gusto beyond the end of April, but if they are caught during the wet season and you have a good four-wheel drive vehicle, this makes a nice little adventurous side-trip from travel along Highway 6.
- Kilchis Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
There are two ways to reach Kilchis Falls. One will test your cars endurance and the other will test yours. You will want maps for both. The shortest method of access is to follow Highway 6 east from Tillamook for 23 miles to Cedar Creek Road - just east of the Tillamook Forestry Center. Follow Cedar Creek Road for about 4 Â½ miles, staying right at the first major junction and left at the next two. At 4 Â½ miles, you'll cross Cedar Creek where the road makes a sharp horseshoe and then beings climbing in a dramatic fashion. For the next 2 Â½ miles, you'll gain 1500 feet, eventually topping out on a precarious ridge. At the top of the ridge, stay straight where a road makes a hard right, then about Â¼ mile further, head to the right, downhill, and in another 2 miles, you'll pass the falls on the left. It'll be about 8 miles back to Highway 6. The flatter method of access is to take Kilchis River Road approximately 23 miles from Highway 101 to the falls. Be sure to bring along maps because the logging roads in the Coast Mountains are a mess and often not marked.