Hike to Marion Falls

Oregon Marion Lake Trailhead

Added by Richard Bacon

Spectacular off-trail waterfallScenic forest hikePasses a peaceful lakeOption to continue on to beautiful Marion Lake5 mile roundtrip, out-and-back hike

This hike explores an off-trail trip to one of my favorite waterfalls in Oregon. To kick off this hike, you'll start at the Marion Lake trailhead. The road to this trailhead is Marion Creek Road at mile point 66.5 off Highway 22. It's 4.3 miles until you reach the parking lot and start your journey. This trail is heavily traveled for people heading to Marion Lake, but the waterfall is before you hit the lake.

Starting at an elevation of 3,400 feet, it's a 1.6 mile hike through the forest, passing a small lake, until you break away from the trail to find the falls. Although the junction in which you break away from the trail is fairly visible, it helps to have a GPS tracker or phone app letting you know when you're approaching 1.6 miles. At this point, there's a sign saying "outlet trail" that leads you to the falls. Bare with me here, because it gets specific. Once you see the junction, go right for 213 steps. Obviously step size will vary (It was about 206 steps for me), but after this walk, you'll see a faint trail to the right. Take this path for 5 minutes. You'll begin to hear the sounds of a stream, and begin to head right. The path sort of disappears around this point, but don't worry, you're very close to the falls. As you head diagonally right, you should come across a lookout over the first tier of the falls (The top falls is called Gatch Falls). If for some reason you can't find the lookout, just follow the stream until you find it.

Once you get to the overlook, it's a bit of a scramble to get to the best viewpoint. There's a worn path that shows the best route down. Depending on the time of year you go, there can be a lot of snow here. I would recommend to see it during seasons other than winter. As you climb down, there's a break off point to see the first waterfall (Gatch Falls). As you continue, the awesome sight of both waterfalls together will be visible. It can be wet and slippery to reach some closer viewpoints, so use caution.

After spending time hanging out at these awesome falls, you can head back to the junction and back to your car, or continue on the trail to Marion Lake, which is a beautiful spot a little more than a mile down the trail.

Key Coordinates:

  • "Outlet Trail" 44.5664014, -121.8721833
  • Marion Falls 44.566926, -121.876021

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Camera
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Warm clothes (depending on the season, this area can receive considerable amounts of snow)
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Activities:

Chillin, Fitness, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

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11 months ago

Great Hike

This hike is amazing. Highly recommend it for anyone who is up for an adventure. Low traffic, and an awesome view. I can't wait to go back!

11 months ago

over 1 year ago

One of my favorite falls in all of Oregon, looks amazing if you catch it during a foggy day as well!

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

nivw

sd

over 1 year ago

almost 2 years ago

Stunning. Thank you!

almost 2 years ago

almost 2 years ago

This was a great hike to a beautiful location. We really appreciated the very specific and accurate trail directions. Highly recommend seeing these falls. I think it is close to 4.25 or 4.5 miles round trip. Thank you for the idea

almost 2 years ago

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