• McDowell Creek Falls County Park is a hidden gem with dramatic landscape
• Popular for its beautiful Majestic and Royal Terrace waterfalls
McDowell Creek Falls County Park is a hidden gem in the canyons of Fall and McDowell Creeks on the west foothills of the Cascade Mountains. The 110-acre park with dramatic landscape offers beautiful views of two large and two small waterfalls, fishing, hiking, and picnicking opportunities.
While hiking along a popular year-round trail, you can see all waterfalls. This 1-8-mile loop trail runs the length of the park through the scenic mossy rainforest along the McDowell Creek and cross the Fall Creek. The trail can be accessed from the Upper, Middle or Lower Parking Areas.
If you prefer short hikes to waterfalls, you can park your car at the Upper or Lower parking lots and start exploring waterfalls nearby.
Majestic Falls & Crystall Falls
The Majestic Falls and Crystall Falls are close to the Upper Parking Area.
Majestic Falls is most beautiful waterfall of McDowell Creek Falls County Park. Established system of staircases with 69 steps allows exploring cascading waterfall from different viewpoints. You will start your journey from the wide platform offering vistas of the water streams leaping down the 39 feet cliff. To see The Majestic Falls from the bottom, continue down the stairs to a lower viewing platform and a wooden bridge.
For the 14-foot Crystal Falls and Pool, cross the wooden bridge and hike 0.2 miles downstream where you will find steep trail to the creek and better waterfall's observation.
Royal Terrace Falls & Lower McDowell Creek Falls
Royal Terrace Falls and Lower McDowell Creek Falls are easily accessible from the Lower parking lot.
The trail from the parking area leads to the bridge with an excellent view of the double 119-foot Royal Terrace Falls. Cross the bridge and continue to the next fork. The trail on the right runs toward Majestic Falls. Steep stone stairs with 123 steps on the left take you up to the middle waterfall terrace and a small viewing platform. Be aware that the trail is a very steep, tends to be muddy after the rains and can be challenging for unprepared hikers. Also, a floor of the stone terrace between upper and lower drops is slippery.
After the middle terrace, climb up to the wooden bridge that cross the Fall Creek just before the rushing water slides and cascades down the rock face.
Lower McDowell Creek Falls is visible as you cross the wooden bridge near the Lower parking area.
McDowell Creek Falls | General Description
Managed: Linn County Park
Location: McDowell Creek Falls County Park
Services: Picnic areas, restrooms
Distance from the parking: Vary
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Free
Activities: Hiking, nature viewing, fishing, wading, picnicking
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Popularity: Medium to high
Elevation: 900-1,045 ft (274-319 m)
McDowell Creek Falls County Park is located:
- 9 miles northeast of Sweet Home
- 47 miles southeast of Salem
- 50 miles northeast of Eugene
- 90 miles south of Portland.
From I-5 in Albany,
- Take exit 228 for Highway OR-34 toward Lebanon
- Drive 5.4 miles east on Highway OR-34 to Denny School Road
- Take Denny School Road on the right and go 1.5 miles south and then 2.1 miles east on Airport Drive to Highway US-20
- Turn right onto Highway US-20 and go 5.3 miles to Old Santiam Highway
- Turn left and then right onto Fairview Road
- Continue 0.9 miles on Fairview Road to McDowell Creek Road
- Turn left onto McDowell Creek Road and go 8.2 miles to the destination.