Hike to Linton Falls

Oregon Alder Springs Trailhead

Added by Elliott Kramer

  • Beautiful Day Hike through the Three Sisters Wilderness Area
  • Arguably two of Oregon's most scenic and least known waterfalls
  • Total hike 4 miles roundtrip
  • Elevation gain: 900 feet
  • No development of viewing areas or trail makes for more of a wilderness experience than other waterfalls in the region

Hiking to Linton Falls accounts for the two larger waterfalls on the cascading Linton Creek. The hike begins at the trailhead to Linton Lake, off the Mackenzie Pass Highway (242) about 8 miles east from the junction with Highway 126.

The first 1.5 miles of the trail to Linton Lake is relatively easy hiking, with a well defined trail leading you through lava fields and along the edge of Linton Lake. This is the official trail to Linton Lake, and this ends at the campground at Obsidian Creek (a good way to make this an overnight trip!).

The hike then turns into more of an adventure, with several trails continuing further along the lakeside in the direction of Linton Creek. These trails can be quite challenging to follow, with plenty of climbing over fallen trees and squishing through mud. Follow these trails for about 1/3 of a mile until you reach Linton Creek, where the real challenge begins.

The ever diminishing trail then leads uphill, following an obvious ridgeline beside the creek and gaining elevation at a much faster rate than the creek. After about 1/4 of a mile the ridge flattens out and you find yourself on the edge of a gorge overlooking the lower of the two main falls.

From here, continue following the trail upstream, and a good spot for lunch can be found by hiking to the top of the lower falls and setting up there - it's a beautiful spot.

The second and more scenic of the falls can be reached by scrambling directly upstream from this spot atop the falls about 100 yards to the base of the upper falls. It is here you will experience the true magic of Linton Falls as you stand at the base of the falls and watch the water come down beside you.

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Lunch/Good snacks
  • Swimmers and Towel (For the lake in Summer)
  • Camera/Tripod
  • Good walking boots
  • Map/GPS
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Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn



Easy Parking

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How to Get There

about 1 month ago

Quintessential West Cascades hike and Scenery

The hike to the lake is beautiful and the trail is easy to follow, the trail to the falls is a little bit harder, but still completely doable and definitely worth it. There are lots of down trees. When I went (september 23) it was misty and had the general damp feeling. I appreciated this change of pace as I come from the eastern cascades. but just a heads up be ready for humidity.

about 1 month ago

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