Hog Canyon Falls, Washington

Hog Canyon Falls in April 2011

A NOTE OF CAUTION (5/31/2016):  After reading comments elsewhere and here, I feel led to state that you should use caution when approaching this waterfall. I believe in respecting ALL private property so we can continue to visit waterfalls. In this case, I would suggest staying some distance from the waterfall EVEN if it seems like you might be able to get closer to barbed wire or other marked boundaries. It (anecdotally) seems that the landowner has some extreme reactions at times, and so I wouldn’t risk getting too close. Bring a lens that can zoom and enjoy it from afar on public land…

I’m not really sure why Hog Canyon Falls isn’t more widely known, but maybe that’s a good thing. The waterfalls in downtown Spokane are popular, as is Palouse Falls, which is southwest of Spokane. In the books on Pacific Northwest waterfalls, though, there really isn’t any mention of falls in between. I personally feel this falls is more than interesting enough to warrant a stop, and it’s right in on the way!

Getting to Hog Canyon Falls is not really that bad, as long as you stay on the trail, which sometimes seems to lead away from the lake. The lake itself is very beautiful, and the rock cliffs that rise out of the water are impressive and photogenic. At first, when you’re hiking along, you might wonder where the falls are (or where they could be hidden), and then suddenly, you’ll see the falls off in the distance, over the blue lake in front of you. Since the falls is on private property, please pay attention and do not go any further than any wire fence boundary that has been set up. There are great views to be had even from a distance. (Please respect any boundaries…there seem to have been some altercations over trespassing as of April 2016, and I wouldn’t want access to see the falls to disappear.)

Directions:

  1. From I-90/US-395 south of Spokane, take exit 254.
  2. We were heading south along the way. Once you exit, turn LEFT (if you were going south) onto Sprague Highway Road.
  3. Drive south along the road until you come to the first dirt road on your LEFT. You will have just passed under a railroad overpass.
  4. Head south a short distance down the dirt road (on maps/GPS as Lake Valley Loop Road).
  5. After a little over a mile, turn right toward the BLM access area. After a ways, you will reach a sign indicating a trail head. You may be able to get to the falls from here, but you won’t see the lake. Continue heading down the narrow dirt road until it ends at a boat launch.
  6. Park here. Walk toward the lake and start following the trails near the lake. The best bet to finding the falls is to keep the lake in your sight at all times (unless when it’s dangerous!). You’ll walk the whole length of the lake to get to the falls, which is not nearly as long as it seems, but the terrain is a little steeper than might be expected. Still it’s doable.

Accessibility: 5/10 (moderate, may be easier if you stay on the wider trails, but you may not see the lake as well)
Height: 50′
Length of Hike: 3.2 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Hog Canyon Falls?

Rocky Creek Falls, Oregon

This is the mystery waterfall in Oregon. As you drive north on US-101 in Oregon, you’ll notice that there are a multitude of state parks along the Pacific Ocean (and in the general area). I was having a hard time deciding where to stop and which parks to pass by. I ended up passing the first turn onto a road that leads to Devil’s Punchbowl and Otter Crest State Parks. Driving further north, there was another chance to turn and head back south to both of those state parks. I ended up turning left onto that road, not sure whether I would actually go to either parks.

As I turned onto the road, I quickly passed over a bridge and noticed a roadside turnoff that afforded a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. I got out, snapped a few photos, and realized that in the corner of my eye, I could see what looked like a waterfall down below. There wasn’t much to see, but what confused me is that looking near and above the bridge, I couldn’t see any river/creek/water flowing there…Where was the water coming from. It looks like there was a pipe above, so maybe some water was flowing from the pipe.

I got back into the car, decided to turn and head back north. I decided to stop on the side of the road (where there was a “parking” area) after crossing the bridge over no water just to see if I could get a better view of the possible falls. I got out, climbed down near the bridge, and realized there was this absolutely beautiful waterfall plunging right into the Pacific. Where the water is coming from is still a mystery to me. I’ve called it Rocky Creek Falls because its near Rocky Creek State Park on the map, though I’m not sure where the water is even coming from.

Directions:

  1. The falls are found off of US-101 south of Depoe Bay and north of Otter Rock. The Otter Creek Loop is found off of the main road, and can be accessed from two different locations.
  2. If headed south from Depoe Bay, Otter Crest Loop will be on your right. Drive less than a mile to pull-off on your right. There is a gravel parking area before the bridge and a paved circular parking area after crossing the bridge. The views are much better before crossing the bridge.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 40′
Length of Hike: Roadside

Rocky Creek Falls flowing into the Pacific

Where in the World is Rocky Creek Falls?