Like so many waterfalls in the foothills of the Oregon Cascades, Horseshoe Falls plunges over an undercut basalt ledge, forming the commonly seen walk-behind recess in back of the waterfall. This one obviously is notable enough that the falls were named for the horseshoe-shape of the canyon and recess. The falls themselves aren't anything overly special - a simple 48 foot free-fall into a small, murky pool - but the setting is quite photogenic, and well worth the short walk to reach.
- Horseshoe Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
- Known Alternate Names: Stout Creek Falls
Though I can't find any evidence to support the theory, I am certain the falls were named for the horseshoe shaped recess and rim of the canyon. The USGS GNIS lists an entry for Stout Creek Falls as being very near by, however, I saw no evidence that another waterfall was in the immediate vicinity. It is possible that Stout Creek Falls was an alternate name for the falls, but the coordinates listed by the GNIS are different than those listed for Horseshoe Falls. I currently have the name Stout Creek Falls applied to a waterfall located about Ã‚Â½ mile upstream from this location. Further confusing the matter, Stout Creek Falls and Stasel Falls are both listed (erroneously) as variant names for this waterfall, even though Stasel Falls is known to be located further downstream.
Located just outside Santiam State Forest land near Mehama. From I-5 in Salem, take Highway 22 east for about 22 miles to the small town of Mehama. Turn left on Wagner Road, and proceed 2 Â½ miles, climbing steeply to the top of the ridge. Just before you reach the 2 Â½ mile mark, make sure you stay straight, crossing Stout Creek, rather than making a hard right and following the tree farm. Immediately after crossing Stout Creek, make a left on an unmarked gravel road, and park near the gate (don't block the gate). Walk about 500 feet up this road to a turnout on the left, where you should find a faint, but fairly obvious boot trail that leads steeply down into the canyon, and eventually to the base of the falls in about 500 feet. The trail can be slick and muddy in some places, so make sure your shoes have good traction and you have both hands free to steady yourself.