Salmon Falls Park

• Salmon Falls County Park features a 30-foot high waterfall
• A deep pool is located at the base of the waterfall

Salmon Falls Park

Salmon Falls - Little North Fork Santiam River

Salmon Falls - Little North Fork Santiam River

Salmon Falls Park

A part of the Little North Fork Santiam Recreation Area, Salmon Falls County Park is located along the Little North Fork of the Santiam River about 36 miles east of Salem. The 23-acre scenic forested area with minimum development is a popular destination during the summer months.

The site features a nearly vertical cliff wall across the river, estimated to be abou 250 feet wide. The 30-foot high waterfall splits into two parallel segments. The pool is deep at the cliff base below the falls and often is used for cliff jumping. Salmon Falls is the the largest waterfall on the Little North Fork Santiam River. The lower part of the river bank consists of large pebbles and small boulders.

The top of the waterfall is easily accessible via a 0.2-mile flat trail that starts on the left of the parking. The area above the falls is shallow and good for wading. A few deep pockets in the monolith cliff can be used for refreshing dips. The flat ledges create islands that are perfect spots for relaxing and sunbathing right in the middle of the river. Moreover, the top of the cliff wall provides panoramic views of the picturesque canyon, lush old-growth forest and the waterfall dropping into the emerald plunge pool.

A fish ladder was built into the distant part of the cliff wall to help salmon bypass the falls.

Picnic tables and hiking trails are available.

Cautions. Cliff jumping and slippery rocks are associated with risks, please use caution and make safe decisions.


Salmon Falls | General Description

Open: May 1 - October 31 from 6 am to 10 pm
Managed: Marion County
Location: Little North Fork Recreation Area

Services: Vault toilets, no water, garbage service, picnic sites
Activities: Swimming, hiking, fishing
Accommodations: Elkhorn Valley Campsite, Bear Creek Campground

Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Popularity: Moderate to high

Elevation: 1,082 ft (330 m)

Salmon Falls Park is located:

  • 10 miles northeast of Mill City
  • 39 miles east of Salem
  • 85 miles southeast of Portland
  • 87 miles northeast of Eugene.

Swimming hole rating: 3 out of 5
Water body: River, falls
Water quality: Transparent
Current: Moderate
Depth: Deep and shallow
Beach: River rocks
Water T° (summer): Cool


From Salem,

  • Drive approximately 24 miles east on State Highway 22 to North Fork Road/Little North Fork
  • Turn left onto North Fork Road and continue 14 miles to your destination on the right.

Phone: 503-588-5036

GPS: N 44°49.894' W 122°22.181' | 44.8316, -122.3697

Points of Interest Nearby

1 Comment

  1. Author

    From 2017 visitors of Marion County Parks must pay a parking fee of $5 per day per vehicle or purchase a $30 annual parking pass.

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