Hiking with Kids: National Creek Falls (Rogue River Siskyou National Forest)

Nitty-gritty:

  • 0.5 mile hike to the falls
  • The elevation gain is only about 170 feet
  • Great for families! The falls put off a great deal of mist which is very refreshing on warm/hot days!IMG_1560

During our weekend in southern Oregon where we stayed at Farewell Bend Campground and visited Crater Lake National Park, we wanted to get a few hikes in. There are loads of hiking trails in the area, but many don’t officially “open” until later in June and July due to snowfall. We decided we wanted to hike around 5 miles and decided Muir Falls was going to be our destination!

For instanceFinding the pull in to the parking proved difficult enough for us (I just completely missed it, turned around and spotted another car there and figured that had to be it), and then we struggled with finding the trail. There are a lot of trees down in the area and crawling under and going over trees was proving challenging. Many had uprooted and fallen over – I haven’t seen anything like this. The bugs were also a big problem and I don’t like spaying down with DEET, but I did. And then we hit snow. I IMG_1561have a 3-strike rule and that was it for me. I had a fear of losing our trail and with absolutely no cell coverage, my husband out of the country on a business trip and my son out on a lake fishing with his friend, the math didn’t add up (was listening to my gut!) and it was time to turn back. This trail was classified as “easy” in every place we looked, but under the current circumstances, I would not call it easy or recommend it unless you know where you are going (our maps were not good enough) and are ready for an obstacle course.

IMG_1569We changed tactics as I had seen National Creek Falls both in my book and sign posted on Highway 230. The book said the hike is good from April on so we figured we would have better luck there and we did. We got in the car and made the short drive to the trailhead. From Prospect follow State Highway 62 (Crater Lake Highway) to intersection with State Highway 230. Continue on State Highway 230 for approximately 6 miles to Forest Road 6530. Turn right and continue 3 miles to Forest Road 6530-300. Turn right and proceed to the IMG_1566parking area and trailhead at the end of the road. There are signs that will lead you though in case this sounds confusing. Once you get to the rather small parking area (don’t fear – traffic turns over quickly), the falls are an easy 1/2 mile hike down the hill. The trail is shaded by a variety of conifers that leads to the base of the falls which are fed by springs on Mt. Mazama. The mist created by the falls will cool you on a hot day and it is really beautiful there! This was a favorite stop by the pioneers too!

The hike was really quick and fun will be perfect for kids (and the hike out isn’t long for carrying tired kids)! Check it out!

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