National Creek Falls is a very pretty, cascading waterfall that drops over 40 feet in a multi-veiled fan. The falls are an easy walk to get down to and are a great place to visit for the whole family. Because the falls are fed by springs emanating from the pumice lined slopes of Mt Mazama, the flow remains fairly steady year long. On a hot day, the mossy grotto below the falls is an excellent place to sit back and enjoy the spray.
The trailhead to National Creek Falls is located off of Forest Road 6530 about 4 miles from Oregon Highway 230. The trail exits out of the back end of the small parking area and quickly begins switch-backing down the valley. After a quarter mile, you will come to the top of the falls, but there won’t be much to see here. Keep heading down one more big, sweeping switchback to the base of the waterfall.
Once you are down, take your shoes off and stay awhile. This area used to be used as a rest stop for travelers heading to newly discovered gold mines near John Day in the 1860s. Now it’s yours to explore. Just remember you get to climb that hill back out when you are all finished.
To reach the National Creek Falls trailhead, head east on National Forest Road 6530 22 miles south of the Highway 138 junction near Diamond Lake or 11 miles north of Union Creek (There will be a sign on the highway directing you to the falls). The forest road is paved, but narrow and there are some bumps and potholes in it, so be mindful as you drive. The road will fork about 1.25 miles from the highway, just after you pass over the Rogue River. Stay to the left on the paved road and continue on for another 2.5 miles until you see the sign directing you to National Creek Falls on your left.
Passes: No passes are required
Dogs: Dogs are allowed and must be on leash or under voice control at all times.
Bugs: Mosquitos definitely inhabit the area, practically in the early part of summer.
Open Season: The road and trail should be snow free mid May into November most years.