how to hike to abiqua falls oregon 01

How to Hike to Abiqua Falls Oregon For First Timers

I thought hiking to Abiqua Falls Oregon would be easy. But as I quickly discovered, there’s a number of things you need to know beforehand to even get there. And so after figuring it all out, I’m going to detail that with you and narrow down the list to the 5 most important things to note.

The good news is that with what I’ll be sharing with you here, it’ll make the trip much easier and the next time you go, you’ll easily be able to find your way to Abiqua Falls without any issues (hopefully). But first, let me give you an overview of this hike in case it’s your first time hearing about this awesome waterfall:

Quick info on Abiqua Falls Oregon:

  • Name: Abiqua Falls (sometimes spelled as Abique Falls).
  • Location: Oregon (near Silver Falls State Park).
  • Height: Over 90 feet high.
  • Hiking distance: 3/4 mile one way (there’s a lot more to this).
  • Is it easy to find this waterfall? Somewhat.
  • Difficulty: Moderate to difficult at spots.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Dangerous? Some parts of the hike are (slippery areas), but it’s ok for the most part.
  • Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s an awesome waterfall with stunning views. Aside from these basics, getting there is a bit of a different story (it’s not that simple):

5 things you need to know before hiking to Abiqua Falls Oregon:

  1. There’s actually 2 trailheads (I’ll show you which one is better to get to Abiqua Falls).
  2. The drive to the right trailhead is very rugged and difficult (I recommend you have an SUV).
  3. The Abiqua Falls trail can be slippery and a bit dangerous.
  4. Your goal once you are on the hike and get to the river is to go upstream to reach Abiqua Falls.
  5. There’s actually a bunch of other waterfalls and swimming holes above Abiqua Falls (details below).

Now all 5 of these things are important to break down and this is what I’m going to do. Now if there’s any questions that you have about the Abiqua Falls hike, you can ask about it below in the comments but just know that the drive and hike isn’t that easy (but it’s worth it).

1) Starting at the correct Abiqua Falls trailhead:

There’s actually 2 trailheads to Abiqua Falls and one is way closer to the waterfall than the other:

  1. Abiqua Falls trailhead parking (it has a lot of spaces but is 5 miles from the actual trailhead).
  2. Then there’s another trailhead 5 miles further down from the first one which is also called Abiqua Falls trailhead (that’s the one you’ll ideally want to reach because the waterfall is only 1/2 miles from there).

However, before you input the second Abiqua Falls trailhead into your GPS, know that there’s at least 5 miles of dirty, rugged, pot hole ridden roads that you’ll have to cross from the parking area to the hiking area. Unless you are driving an SUV or better, I wouldn’t bother going down that rocky road (I was driving a Toyota Rav 4 and there were times I wasn’t too confident about that road).

If you’re in a situation where you don’t have a good vehicle to drive down to the trailhead, park in the first Abiqua Falls trailhead (the parking area) and then walk down the road until the end of it. If you do have an SUV or better and are confident in your driving skills, drive down that rocky road until it ends. Here’s how this all looks:

abiqua falls map 04

2) Here’s one of the Abiqua Falls trailhead photos:

how to find the trailhead to abiqua falls 06

This is a photo of the trailhead that’s way closer to the waterfall. When you reach the end of the road, there will be a white gate which you can park next to and about 50 feet away from there is where the Abiqua Falls trail begins. You may see a sign on a tree here and there but for the most part, this trail is not very official.

Also, you do have to keep in mind that you are actually walking near a private area, but the trail itself is open to the public, so make sure you stay on the path. As you start the Abiqua Falls trail, you will basically walk down a little bit, then shift left, then further down and left. You will see a path as you start the trail notifying you that beyond a certain point, you are on private land. Make sure not to continue on that restricted road/path, and stay on the official trail.

3) The Abiqua Falls hike gets very slippery (be prepared):

abiqua falls oregon trail photo

Here’s how the Abiqua Falls hike is going to look:

  1. The Abiqua Falls trail starts off on an easy trail.
  2. A few 100 feet into it, there will be a very slippery slope to hike down (there are ropes provided for help).
  3. When you get to the bottom of that area (by the river), hike upstream for 1/4 miles till you reach Abiqua Falls.
  4. I don’t know if you can swim at Abiqua Falls but a bunch of people do go into the water at least knee deep. 
  5. Once you finish exploring Abiqua Falls, just return the same exact way and drive (or hike) back on the same rugged road.

Here’s a photo of the first 2 parts of the hike which include the rope area:

difficult part of hike to abiqua falls

And after you finish the rope area, here are 2 more photos of the hike upriver to Abiqua Falls:

last part of abiqua falls hike trail 02

When you go through this hike, of the best suggestions I can make here is to wear good hiking shoes. Here are some of my personal recommendations for this terrain:

4) Bonus! There’s another waterfall above Abiqua Falls:

abiqua falls secret trail hike 09

Warning: This place is not easy or safe to reach. Please be very careful!

I accidentally discovered it when my GPS took me to the wrong parking area. When I parked my car, it was only about 300 feet away from the official trailhead area. The parking lot can only fit about 3 cars, but it’s slightly above the Abiqua Falls area.

I found what I thought was a small trail and followed it down thinking it would lead me to the falls. If you stay to the left of that “trail”, you will eventually come across a rocky cliff and if you’re going in the right direction, there will be ropes available for you to descend on. When you make it down there, you will see a swimming hole, a waterfall and even a short trail that takes you to the top of Abiqua Falls:

hike to top of abiqua falls 04

For me, when I reached this spot, while I was very happy to discover it, I was also angry because it was the wrong spot and that I had to climb all the way back up to find the real trail (plus I was in a lot of pain from my earlier hikes spanning for a few weeks earlier).

Other questions related to Abiqua Falls Oregon:

How long of a hike is Abiqua Falls?

The hike to Abiqua Falls is anywhere from 1-4 miles and that depends on how close to the trailhead you park. The closer you park to it, the shorter your hike will be. Very often the main trailhead is filled up so you may need to park further.

Can you swim in Abiqua Falls?

I have seen people swim in Abiqua Falls and no signs restricting that.

Did Abiqua Falls burn?

No the area in Abiqua Falls is fine. There were fires outside the area in other parts of Oregon, but this area is not damaged.


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