Salt Creek creates one of the most impressive waterfalls in Oregon as it hurtles 286 feet into a gaping canyon near Willamette Pass. The size of the falls isn't terribly notable in the area, but rather the process by which the falls were formed. Glaciers scoured the valley out during the last Ice Age, then following their retreat, lava flows filled in a portion of the valley, creating the narrow canyon walls composed of columnar basalt that are now seen at the falls. Views are afforded all along the canyon rim, from the brink of the falls to the base of the falls. In my opinion, the best views are had about Â¾ of the way to the bottom of the falls. Access is possible year round, though in the winter, I don't think the parking lot is plowed (Highway 58 is), so it should be possible to see the falls no matter the conditions.
- Salt Creek Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Salt Creek Falls was discovered by Anglos Frank S. Warner and Charles Tufti, his guide, in March of 1887. Salt Creek was named after a series of springs with a high salt content often used as salt licks by wildlife. The falls were named for the creek. Though the falls are located within relatively close proximity to Eugene, this area was more or less wilderness for quite some time. The original viewpoint of the falls was from a pullout along the old Willamette Pass Road, directly across the canyon from the falls. The perspective is still possible to achieve, but there is nowhere to park, so you'd have to walk along the road from the developed viewpoints.
Located west of Willamette Pass, just off of Highway 58. The Salt Creek Falls day use area is located 21 miles east of Oakridge, or 5 miles west of Willamette Pass. The parking lot is well signed from the main road, and east bounders will undoubtedly see the falls through the trees before reaching the turnoff. The first viewpoints are handicap accessible, with the trail to the base being easy, but with numerous stairs.