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Abiqua Falls

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Private Property / Santiam State Park, Oregon, 2023


I'm just going to sum this hike up in one word for you: S U B L I M E

Was it the longest hike ever? No, definitely not.

Was it completely out of the way and on an insane road requiring 4WD and high clearance? Yes, yes it was.

Would you do it again?

One Hundred Percent.



Length: 0.74 miles

Elevation Gain: 249 feet Max Elevation: 1,437 feet

Route Type: Out and Back

AllTrails Difficulty: Moderate

Pups: Welcome on a leash



This was the second stop on our 20 waterfalls in 20 miles extravaganza (check out our first stop, Trail of Ten Falls, here) and it gave me all the Jurassic Park feels I needed for the day: moss, lichen, ferns, humid AF, stalked by a raptor... just another day in the great Pacific Northwest (PNW). I swear, if it's not a vampire stalking us in the dense, foggy woods, then it's a raptor 😂😉

I downloaded the navigation for Abiqua Falls from AllTrails, and am super thankful I did! We ended up using the offline map and navigation multiple times, including locating the trailhead and where to go at the bottom of the ravine. To make this very clear: this trail does not have any trail markers.

At first, I wasn't exactly sure why this was a moderately challenging hike, it appeared to be just a stroll through the forest. That was short-lived. This was a true PNW hike: we had multiple over/under tree obstacles; wet, moss-covered rocks; and ropes. Yes, ropes. I was not prepared for ropes (maybe I should do better research before I blindly follow another person on an adventure 🤔). From the parking area, it is a short walk through the forest to the edge of the ravine leading down to Abiqua Creek (ropes section). Once you make it down to the creek, follow the creek south (to the left of the ropes when looking at the creek) until you reach the falls.

Ramblings: I wish every steep section of trail had ropes, LOL! I crushed that section. 🏋🏽‍♀️💪🏽



The easiest way to get to the Abiqua Falls trailhead is to use the navigation system of your choice with your destination set as Abiqua Falls Trailhead. A few quick notes:

  1. On Google Maps, there is an icon for Abiqua Falls Trailhead (Parking) at the beginning of CF 300 Rd. Park here and walk down CF 300 Rd if you do not have a 4WD, high-clearance vehicle. Walking from this parking area down to the trailhead will add approximately 2 additional miles (roundtrip) to your hike and an extra thousand-foot elevation gain on the walk back.

  2. The icon for Abiqua Falls Trailhead appears to be located at the end of CF 300 Rd (Google Maps). This is not where the trailhead is located.

  3. Continue driving down CF 300 Rd until you reach the closed gate with private property signs. Once you reach the gate, turn around and park off to the right. The trailhead is located on this side of the road (west) near a black-and-white private land sign.

CF 300 Rd has multiple intense bumps and dips, and I'm not talking potholes you can skirt. There was one section in particular where we had to get out and spot our champion driver. I failed to take photos/videos, missed opportunity for sure! Huge shout-out to Shari for being a badass, off-roading, hiker babe! 😘



Even though this hike is under a mile and down a car-eating road, the waterfall at the end is worth the journey. I always get asked what my favorite waterfall is, and while it is hard to pick a favorite child 😉, I can easily say Abiqua Falls is in my top 3. BEST TIME TO VISIT: ensure you catch this trail during peak waterfall season, which is typically April through June in the PNW.



  • Pack Gloves. The rope section is steep and does not provide many hand/foot holds beyond the ropes. While you could conquer this section without gloves, there is a thorny rope that will not be pleasant on your bare hands. That said, I would definitely recommend using a glove that is more sturdy in the palm and fingers. I know a ton of people who hike with gardening gloves in their packs - these gloves are rubber coated, breathable, and typically under $20 for a pack of 6. Darcy Wanders' Recommendation: If you read my blog entry, then you know I was not prepared for ropes. With this being a short hike, we had left our packs back at the yurt, so I couldn't even save myself. Fortunately, I had thrown my favorite pair of Smartwool Isto Handwarmers in my coat pocket, but that thorny rope did a number on the cable knit pattern (sad days). My typical gloves for adventures such as this are Magpul Technical Gloves that include touchscreen-compatible fingertips on both hands (gotta be able to snap pictures).

  • Private Property Etiquette. This trail is on private property, but it is open to the public for recreational use. When passing through private property easements and right-of-ways it is especially important to stay on the path and respect posted guidance. Local officials and private landowners work in partnership to provide public access to this area. Staying on the path while on private property ensures that agreements between local officials and the landowner are upheld and that this trail remains open to the public in the future.


 Darcy Wanders 



Welcome to Darcy Wanders! I'm Darcy, the wanderer and writer for all things Darcy Wanders.

I love hiking, camping, paddling, and wandering new places! When I'm not wandering, I turn to books, puzzles, and dreaming up plans for my next epic adventure.

I believe the outdoors is for everyone and created Darcy Wanders as a way to share incredible hikes, gear recommendations, and educate on things such as trail etiquette and leave no trace principles. 

happy wandering!

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