NOTICE: According to linnparks.com, posted March 1, 2019, due to winter storm damage, McDowell Creek Park will be closed until further notice. Questions may be directed to (541)967-3917.
With so many glorious waterfalls in Oregon, it can be hard to choose from. But if you are looking for one that’s fairly easy to hike, look no further than the McDowell Creek Falls Loop. During the warmer season, it’s also a great place to dip your feet in and cool off.
I have hiked this one a few times now, and I love it more every time I go. This 1.8-mile loop is sure to impress, and is perfect for the little ones too. This small park features three waterfalls, starting at Lower McDowell Falls and working your way up about 0.2 miles to Royal Terrace Falls.
You will hear the falls upon arriving at the first parking lot. Royal Terrace is a triple-decker cascade dropping around 119 feet.
After Lower McDowell Falls and Royal Terrace Falls, you will cross a gravel road which will take you to the 40-foot Majestic Falls.
The wooden bridges you will cross to get here are pretty freaking awesome too.
So if you’re looking for a less crowded hike, McDowell Creek Falls Loop is the perfect place to get away. Your furry friends are also welcome, as long as you put them on a leash. Don’t worry about the day-use fee, as you don’t have to pay to park here.
GPS coordinates Lat: 44.46389 Long: -122.68278
Exit off I-5 in Albany onto Highway 20 and proceed for approximately 20 miles to McDowell Creek Road and turn left, follow McDowell Creek Road – watching for signs for the park – for about 6 ½ miles, to the first of three parking areas within the park. Alternatively, westbounders can proceed as follows to avoid backtracking. Turn off Highway 20 at Quartzville Road # 11, about 7 miles west of Sweet Home, and proceed 1 mile across the Foster Reservoir, head left on North River Drive for about 1/3 of a mile, then right onto Sunnyside Drive. Follow Sunnyside, which becomes McDowell Creek Road, after 2 ½ miles, for about 6 miles to the lower parking area.