Squaw Creek Falls

August 19, 1984

The “Great Waterfall Loop Trip” was the result of the excellent attitude on the part of the members of what was to be originally the “Squaw Creek Falls” trip. Excellent in that they were receptive to ray idea of an exploratory trip of the whole area. A total of five waterfalls on three separate creeks were seen. We (a party of seven) met at “Cold Springs Camp” just four miles west of Sisters on the “Old McKenzie Highway” at 8:30 in the morning of the 19th of August. Following the forest road we headed to ward Squaw Creek. On the way a short stop was made to get a superb view of the Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Squaw Creek Falls from the top of a small butte which had been logged over. A short drive got us to the trailhead where we parked the cars. About ¾ of a mile up the trail we got to the first falls. From the amount of worn down area at this viewpoint and the diminished trail leading from this falls, it’s obvious that most people think that this is “Squaw Creek Falls”. It is in a way, but it’s not the main falls which is upstream. The trail becomes less obvious from here, and in fact, just prior to the falls we were going cross-country. The main falls is very impressive and in itself worth the hike. It was here that it was decided to do a bit of exploring. We climbed up the left hand side of the falls where we then crossed the creek to a very nice lunch spot. One of our group decided a quick dip in the creek would be nice. Soon from behind the bushes came screams, gasps, gurgles, and other strange sounds. The water temperature was a bit cold I guess. Soon we were on our way again, picking our direction by expertise, skill, and just plain luck. Anne Montgomery was kind enough to tell the rest of the members of the party about my skill as a route finder when we were on Ed Lovegren’s “Rebel Rock Death March” together. I was able to find and then lead the rest of the pasty down probably one of the oldest abandoned trails in the Willamette Forest for about a ½ mile before admitting it was not the way to go. With that background story as a confidence builder from the party about my route finding ability. I did hear some “comments” from the troops as we wandered through the brush. Still, with all that going for us we found the falls on “Park Creek”. We crossed the creek and got almost below the broad cascade of water to cool off in the mist. Leaving the falls we started toward “South Fork Creeks” passing through a mile section of small moss-lined creeks which were every few feet, one after another. They were quickly named by one of the party as “Poster Creeks”. It was one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever been (I shall return). Soon we were at “Upper South Fork Falls” where we then headed down stream to “Lower South Fork Falls”. A short stop, and then we were crashing down the hill toward Squaw Creek with hope there would be a log across the creek so we could get ourselves across. Luck was with us; soon we were on the trail back to cars.

This was a fun trip—a fun group—a fun day—Let’s do it again! Those on the trip were Anne Montgomery, Whitey Lueck, Joe Clark, Kim and Louis Pepe, and Tom Taylor. Tom, who now lives in Reno, Nevada, is a past president of the Obsidians, and was the architect of the Obsidian Lodge. Trip leader Gary Kirk.

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