Idanha, Oregon

Hike to Marion Falls

Originally added by Richard Bacon

Spectacular off-trail waterfall. Scenic forest hike. Passes a peaceful lake. Option to continue on to beautiful Marion Lake. 5 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
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Tags

Fitness
Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

George Choi

almost 2 years ago

Waterfalls

Follow the instruction but cannot found it, hiked total six miles, very disappointed.

Jacob Hanson

almost 4 years 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!

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

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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