Last week my friend moved to Portland, OR and asked if I’d join him on the drive north. Having never been outside of Portland, while in Oregon, it didn’t take much arm twisting. We set off after the Bay Area rush hour had subsided and aimed towards Eugene, OR (originally the target was crater lake, but snow was forecast which, given our mode of transit, was a deal breaker). The sun had set by the time we reached Eugene, so we made a quick stop for dinner, grabbing massive plates from Tasty Thai Campus and I hopped on my phone to search for a day hike for the following morning before we lost cell service. We were looking for a short hike that would give us a feel for the Siuslaw Forest without being too much of a detour on our journey. Unfortunately the Siuslaw National Forest’s website doesn’t facilitate hike discovery as the hikes are presented as a long list of arbirary organization, rather than a map or popular hikes. Thankfully we soon came across the Statesman Journal that had something a bit more useful: Top 5 Hikes in Oregon’s Central Coast Range.
After a dry and restful sleep beneath the pitter patter of rain falling on the Budget Truck’s sheet metal roof we set off down the Sweet Creek Falls Trail. The Siuslaw is a lush, beautiful forest thick with ferns, western hemlocks, Douglas firs, and aspens. The lichen is also incredible, draped and dripping over skeletons of trees both dead and alive, creating a haunted aura. And of course the Sweet Creek Falls Trail has a multitude of beautiful waterfalls ranging from full-width, straight-edge, slab drop offs, to tall 40+ foot chutes to smaller rambling rapids.
Learn more about Siuslaw National Forest at fs.usda.gov where there are downloadable maps and a long list of hikes.