Clackamas River Trail Delivers Spectacular Hike (video)

Seeking forest and river…a cool hike on a hot summer day.

We set out to hike from Indian Henry Trailhead to Pup Creek Falls on the Clackamas River Trail early today. Just a little over an hour from Portland, we pulled into an empty parking lot and headed into the forest. We were not disappointed.

Old growth forest with huge trees. Bright, flower-filled openings under the power lines. Clear, blue water in the Clackamas River below us. Waterfalls big and small.

And not another human being in sight for the five hours we hiked. (Apparently the Clackamas District of the Mt. Hood National Forest is not quite as well-known or traveled as the ZigZag District or the Gorge!)

Four miles in and four miles out – we found magical faerie lands of ferns and clover under old growth Douglas fir and western hemlocks. Enormous basalt rock outcroppings and beautiful moss covered rocks dripping water from above.

Lunch at Pup Creek Falls – a little hidden gem off a short switch-back spur from the river trail. It’s marked only by a blank post, which someone enhanced by writing Pup Creek Falls on it with a marker.

The only hitch in our day was when Keith took off his pack and his water bottle slipped out and over the cliff at a place called The Narrows. Into the Clackamas River it went, never to be seen again.

It was a beautiful hike and a fantastic day. I highly recommend it.

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