• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

Distance: 3.75 Mile out and back with a loop at the falls. Duration: 1-2 hours. Elevation gain: 520 ft. Lower and Upper Shellburg Falls (100ft). Moss covered arches lead to an obersvation deck. Natural cavern behind the falls. Lush moss covered forrest surrounding upper & lower falls. Remote, minimal hiker's during spring months.

The two unique features of Upper Shellburg Falls are moss covered arches leading to an observation deck at the basin of the falls and a large carved out cavern that runs behind the falls. One should be cautious when walking behind the falls as the ground can be extremely muddy and slick during the winter and early spring seasons. The small bridge at the trailhead gives an impressive lookout at Lower Shellburg Falls and the ravine below. You can also check out Stasel Falls, which is only a short walk past the trail head and down a small trail to the right off the road.

The hike, including the initial 1.25 mile gravel road to the trailhead, is easy to complete within 1-2 hours and only requires a moderate level of fitness. Snacks and water are recommended.

Since the falls are rather remote there are very few hikers on the trails most days so one shouldn't have a problem finding parking or avoiding crowds. There is extra parking space along the roadside if you do arrive at an unusually populated time.

Location Coordinates
Trailhead: 44.806001, -122.62546
Shellburg Falls: 44.81201, -122.60802

Pack List

  • Running or Hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Nikon D3200 entry-level camera
  • Tripod
  • 18-55mm kit lens
  • ND filter for any long exposure shooting
  • 11-14mm wide angle lens recommended
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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The map for the falls led me to a gated road about 2 miles off the highway. Signs posted said the land was privately owned by Weyerhaeuser Columbia Timber. Passes can be purchased to access the land - however I would recommend staying away from this area. In the spring and fall, Weyerhaeuser is known to use herbicides to control their forests leaving the underbrush unsafe for exposure to pets and humans. I'm disappointed to hear that Weyerhaeuser owns land and is harvesting timber so close to a healthy stream. I would not suggest this hike to anyone, but I would urge the environmentally conscious to make complaints to state and local government. There is no room for big timber in our recreation areas.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Once we got there I grabbed a pamphlet they had available with a map of the area. The southern falls was really nice and it Felt like a non-tourist Silver falls once we actually got to the north fall. Saw cows along the way. all in all it was a great day! Excited to go back!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Found this place by accident while looking for camping near Silver Falls State Park. The falls are awesome and feel very secluded.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Forests as dense as this one elude written description. The trail system here could be explored for days if one really wanted to do so. All of the moss along the trees and plants near the creek create incredible visuals and refreshing experiences.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

This was a great hike. I took my two little girls 7 and 9, nice and easy for them. Total time including hanging out at the falls was about 3hrs. Great little picnic table at about the halfway point to sit and have some snacks. I would mind going back and running this on my own. The Google directions were not very good took me to a closed gate. You want to take Fernridge Rd at the east end of Gates, about 1.2 miles from HWY 22 with a clear parking area on the right side of the road. No fee.

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago

Awesome hike and waterfall.

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago

Jhamil Bader

Student | IG: @Jhamil_Bader

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