About Pheasant Creek Falls and Niagara Falls
Pheasant Creek Falls and Niagara Falls were two waterfalls across from each other at the head of a gorge carved out by a combination of Pheasant Creek and Niagara Creek.
The size of each waterfall in this pairing (107ft and 112ft, respectively) actually surprised me, because it turned out that Niagara Falls was concealed from view until the trail made a bend around a protrusion.
According to Greg Plumb’s book, he said that Niagara Creek’s flow would tend to diminish as the rainfall amounts would decrease over the summer.
In any case, this hike deep in the coastal range set back from the Oregon Coast near the small town of Beaver in the Siuslaw National Forest was an exercise in peace and tranquility thanks to its relative obscurity.
Although I found the hike to be pretty straightforward, the narrow unpaved road to get to the trailhead was flanked with fallen trees (luckily none of them caused any roadblocks).
This gave me the sense that I really was in a remote wilderness.
Despite that, the trail to access these waterfalls were a mere 1.2 miles in each direction (according to my GPS logs).
My data seemed to agree with the trailhead signage, because it said that Niagara Falls (the first waterfall) was just one mile from there.
Hiking The Niagara Falls Trail
From the outset, the trail gently descended among a very lush trail full of ferns and tall trees with moss growing on them.
The trail would continue to descend among this scenery while traversing the odd muddy patches, especially since this area can get a lot of rain.
After about 3/4-mile, the trail traversed a bridge over a small, seasonal cascade (that’s hard to see in the overgrowth).
Beyond that, the trail then descended towards another bend as the scenery started to open up as the path started to skirt eastward above Pheasant Creek.
It was at this point that I finally started to see Pheasant Creek Falls in the distance (which I at first thought was Niagara Falls).
As this hastened my steps to get closer to that waterfall, the trail then rounded a bend, and that was when I was surprised to see another waterfall, which turned out to be Niagara Falls (or Niagara Creek Falls).
Crossing the footbridge at the waterfall’s base, the trail then made a short 0.2-mile jaunt to the official end of the trail before the Pheasant Creek Falls where there was a picnic table.
There was also a couple of unsanctioned use-trails to get closer to the waterfall – one going down to Pheasant Creek and another going up to a precarious and slippery knob.
As much as I wanted to photograph both waterfalls together, they were too far apart to do that from any point along the trail.
So I pretty much had to experience each waterfall one-at-a-time.
But for all intents and purposes, this was the end of the upside-down hike so the way back was a roughly 400ft climb to regain the trailhead.
Pheasant Creek Falls and Niagara Falls reside in the Siuslaw National Forest near Pacific City in Tillamook County, Oregon. It is administered by the National Forest Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
Both Pheasant Creek Falls and Niagara Falls are accessed from the Niagara Falls Trail near Pacific City.
That said, we actually drove there from Cannon Beach so I’ll start by describing the driving directions from there.
Driving from Cannon Beach to Niagara Falls Trail
So from Cannon Beach, we drove south on the US101 for about 55 miles towards the small town of Beaver (which itself was 15 miles south of Tillamook).
Once in the town of Beaver, we turned left onto Blaine Road / Nestucca River Road, and then we followed this rural road for about 11.5 miles to the signed turnoff for the Niagara Road on the right.
Next, we drove south on the narrow and unpaved Niagara Road for the final 5 miles (following the signs at the key junctions along the way).
Overall, this drive took us a little under 2 hours.
Driving from Pacific City to Niagara Falls Trail
Coming from Pacific City, we would drive for about 3 miles towards the US101, and then we’d drive north on the US101 for 10 miles towards Beaver.
Once in Beaver, we’d turn right onto Blaine Road, and then we’d follow the driving directions as given above.
Overall, this drive would take about an hour.
Due to the narrowness of the Niagara Falls Road as well as the presence of fallen trees (at least when I made my visit in early April 2021), I would definitely check the road conditions with the National Forest Service before setting out.
That could save some unnecessary driving (or possibly being stranded) if a fallen tree or landslide would cut off access on the Niagara Road.
Moreover, I would also caution to take it slow on the Niagara Road due to the presence of blind turns.
For some geographical context, Pacific City was 49 miles (over an hour drive) south of Nehalem, 65 miles (90 minutes drive) south of Cannon Beach, 73 miles (over 90 minutes drive) south of Seaside, 87 miles (under 2 hours drive) southwest of Portland, and 96 miles (over 2 hours drive) north of Florence.
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