Curly Creek Falls

Gifford Pinchot National Forest / Skamania County, Washington, USA

Rating: 1     Difficulty: 1.5
The dry Curly Creek Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Curly Creek Falls was supposed to be the famed waterfall that had the rare distinction of having natural bridges spanning its falling watercourse. Unfortunately when we were there in late August 2009, the falls was nowhere to be seen (i.e. dry) and the natural bridges were hard to make out due to the harsh mid-day lighting under sunny skies.

We suspect the watercourse flowing through the natural bridges would only flow in June and July, but it's quite possible that the pair of severe winter snowstorms in 2008 and 2009 might have also obstructed the watercourse with debris thereby choking off the falls. We're not totally sure though a local we met here said they were flowing last year (2008).

We actually did make an attempt in March earlier in 2009, but bad weather and unplowed snow prevented us from reaching the car park for the waterfall.

A footpath led from the car park towards a pair of wooden railed overlooks. The first overlook was of the natural bridge and possible stream. Continuing further along the trail to its end yielded another wooden railed overlook with a view of a light-flowing waterfall in the distance under the shadow of foliage further across the gorge.

A partial sign (only the word "falls" wasn't scratched out) at this railing might indicate that this was the real Curly Creek Falls (and not the natural bridge one), but in any case, this particular waterfall was really not much to brag about as you can see from the photos on this page.

Perhaps in some future time, we'll make another go at this waterfall and hopefully see it the way that have caused many others to admire and praise it.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Not too far from Curly Creek Falls was the eastern face of the infamous Mt St HelensNot too far from Curly Creek Falls was the eastern face of the infamous Mt St Helens
Curly Creek Falls and nearby Mt St Helens was roughly a couple hour's drive north then east of Portland, but on a nice day, we were even able to see the volcano from within the city itselfCurly Creek Falls and nearby Mt St Helens was roughly a couple hour's drive north then east of Portland, but on a nice day, we were even able to see the volcano from within the city itself
Julie checking out the sign at the trailheadJulie checking out the sign at the trailhead

The real falls?The real falls?

Earlier in the year, we did try to visit Curly Creek Falls in late March, but we knew something was wrong when we started seeing snow on the banks of the roadEarlier in the year, we did try to visit Curly Creek Falls in late March, but we knew something was wrong when we started seeing snow on the banks of the road

Snow blocked further progress on this road and we were still not close enough to walk to the car park so this attempt was a failSnow blocked further progress on this road and we were still not close enough to walk to the car park so this attempt was a fail


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Bottom up sweep of the very-hard-to-see falls in low, late Summer flow. Note: this is not the same stream as the one with the natural bridges through them. That one is a couple minutes further up the trail at a lookout platform. That falls was dry when we were there.


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

The Curly Creek Trailhead is located a couple of miles along the unpaved Curly Creek Road 5 miles east of Eagle Cliff (or just under 20 miles east of Cougar) along the Lewis River Road (Route 90). Once you're on the unpaved turnoff, the car park is beyond the bridge and a little bit further up the hill where a signpost indicates the car park for this attraction.

For geographical context, this waterfall was 81 miles (about 2 hours drive) northeast of Portland or just 42 miles (under 90 minutes drive) north of Cascade Locks.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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RELATED PAGES



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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

It's still there, just seasonal (Curly Creek Falls) 
I've seen it in November twice, and it definitely flows during the winter rainy season. Apparently there's a sinkhole (old lava tube) upstream that diverts …

Northwest Waterfall Survey (Curly Creek Falls) 
Curly Creek Falls appears to have been partially channeled into a sink between the bridge on FR 90 and the falls. It flows well during the spring and …

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