Abiqua Creek

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Abiqua Creek Canyoneering Canyoning Caving
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Abiqua Creek Banner.jpg

Difficulty:3C1 II (v3a4 II)
Raps:‌1-3, max ↨100ft
Overall: ⟷1mi
Red Tape:No permit required
Shuttle:Optional 5min
Condition Reports:
10 Sep 2023

"Returning to Abiqua for a chill relaxing day. Saw no one above the main falls. Confirmed the upper two drops can be jumped. Found a better way in via

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Best season:


Abiqua Falls (AB-ih-kwa) is one of the most scenic waterfalls in Oregon. While the upper canyon isn't super technical, but has beautiful rock formations, a dark slot, and some excellent jump potential. Access is relatively easy and makes a chill day out in late summer. Be aware, this is also a popular canyon, especially the big drop which sees a large number of non-canyoneer hikers throughout the summer.

  • Please try to avoid leaving fixed anchors in the canyon. The presence of anchors may encourage the unprepared to try to follow you. There are already plenty of fixed ropes and handlines; please do not add any more.
  • The creek can run high during the early season. The lower slot and big falls might be dangerous in high water. Make sure you're able to exit the pool above the big falls before committing.
  • When the nearby Butte Creek reopens, an Abiqua-Butte double-feature would make a fantastic full-day canyon adventure.
  • With a bit more hiking, Abiqua could be combined with Homestead Falls nearby. (Stats: Total height is 250ft in three stages. R1- 75ft DCR from a tree to a bolt at the lip. Enough room for 3 people. R2- 100ft from a single bolt on a shelf DCR. R3-75ft.) Apparently, the top of the falls has a legendary thicket of Devils Club / Salmonberries.


The road down to the falls has a dire reputation, but after visiting in 2021, it seems like a carefully driven high-clearance vehicle can make it to the bottom. 4WD might be preferred. The worst bit is some eroded gullies near the switchback. Passenger cars (2WD) should park higher up and hike down via the road. There are a few pullouts along the road. Many visitors choose to park at the top and hike down.

Drive down the road as far as you dare. Not far past the infamous switchback, look for a large pullout on the left/south. Follow the obvious trail here. It leads on a short traverse and then dives down to the creek with a number of ropes to hang onto. R1 is just downstream.

  • If you have two HC/4WD vehicles, you could set up a short shuttle to avoid some (easy) road-walking.


Always scout pools before jumping. Canyons are extremely dynamic and there's no guarantee there isn't a hidden log under the surface or the pool has filled in with rocks or sand. Jumping is a leading cause of canyon injury (i.e. broken ankles and legs).

  • R1: 20ft. Rappel from tree DCR, jump DCL, or downclimb far DCL.
  • R2: 30ft. Rappel (meat anchoring to run the flow is fun), jump, or bypass via user trail DCR.

From R2 it's about a half mile downstream to the big falls. It's a lovely stream walk with interesting rock formations, columnar basalt, and other features. Keep an eye out for good jumping pools.

  • The Jump Pool - Eventually, reach a large and extremely deep pool with a beautiful ledge (15-20ft high) DCL that's pretty much designed for jumping. There's easy access to the top.
  • Ahead, the creek starts to narrow up. It's a nice shallow chute at first, which gradually becomes narrower and narrower, eventually entering The Dark Slot as it passes under a giant suspended rootball. This is a fun water-filled corridor and a sign that you're nearing the big falls. Just ahead another waterfall pours in on the left. In late summer, exiting the last pool should be easy, but it might be an issue in high water.
  • R3: Abiqua Falls - 105ft from an excellent tree DCR. One of the most photogenic waterfalls in Oregon. Check your length carefully here and make sure the pull side is long enough. Use caution to avoid hitting any swimmers or hikers who might be in the landing zone. Be aware, you will likely have an audience on this rappel. Again, ghosting techniques are recommended to avoid leaving anchors accessible to the general public. There's also is an exit trail up to the road DCR here if you don't want to rappel the final drop.

Swim in the plunge pool and enjoy the beautiful amphitheater.


Head downstream following user trails along the DCR bank. Resist the urge to follow the first obvious trail that presents (this it the high water trail) and continue to a large boulder in the creek and locate the real trail heading out. It's festooned with a ridiculous number of ropes and handlines (largely unnecessary). Follow the obvious trail upwards until you reach the road. If you didn't leave a shuttle a the exit trailhead, hike back to your car.

Red tape

Be aware: unlike other parts of the country, canyoning is not widely known or recognized in the Pacific NW. Individuals climbing, rappelling, or slack-lining around "show waterfalls" are far more likely to garner negative reactions from the general public at large. Negative reactions can lead to complaints and more rules by the local authorities. Locals suggest descending Abiqua Falls (the final drop) when the number of hikers will be low - e.g. early in the morning or on weekdays. Please be scrupulous about following a Leave-No-Trace ethic. Leaving brightly colored anchors can annoy waterfall photographers, irk land managers, and may encourage the inexperienced / unprepared to attempt to follow you. Another option is to hike back up to the top when you're leaving and remove your anchor.

Beta sites

Trip reports and media



Information provided by automated processes. KML map by (unknown). Main photo by (unknown). Authors are listed in chronological order.

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