Abiqua Falls Hike • Guide to This Oregon Gem

Water pouring over the waterfall with basalt columns all around

Oregon is home to many gorgeous and famous waterfall hikes, and Abiqua Falls has to be one of the most beautiful. It’s so unique, so special, and an overall not very difficult hike assuming weather is in your favor. So if you’re wanting to plan a day trip from Portland or are somewhere near Silver Falls State Park in western Oregon, you’re definitely going to want to make time for this stunning waterfall trek. Keep reading for everything you need to know before attempting the Abiqua Falls hike in Oregon!

What Makes Abiqua Falls Special?

Abiqua Falls is special because it is a 92′ tall waterfall pouring over incredible hexagonal basalt columns that also creates its own natural amphitheater. It’s perfect and mossy and green and everything gorgeous that you love about Oregon’s natural beauty. It’s like a little slice of Iceland in the Pacific Northwest and one of the best bang-for-your-buck hikes I’ve ever done. I truly loved my time hiking to Abiqua Falls. I did this hike after work one day; my husband and I drove from Portland and had the place all to ourselves. We both really, really loved taking this short, steep, and sweet hike.

How to Get to the Abiqua Falls Hike

Abiqua Falls is about an hour and a half away from Portland, close to Silver Falls State Park but not actually in it. Technically Abiqua Falls is on private property, owned by Mt. Angel Abbey, but they have GRACIOUSLY allowed the public access to it. So that means your hike to Abiqua Falls is legal only because of someone else’s good graces. So this means you absolutely – as always but just yelling it for the people in the back – need to leave no trace.

Google Maps directions

  • IF YOU HAVE A 4X4 – use this map to get to the actual trailhead
  • IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A 4X4 – use this map to get to the low-clearance parking lot

Why Do You Need a 4×4 to Hike Abiqua Falls?

The road to the Abiqua Falls hike’s actual trailhead is BUMPY and full of MASSIVE potholes. I have a Jeep Cherokee and that is just about the absolute smallest/lowest vehicle I would use to attempt to drive down. We were absolutely fine and Meryl Jeep did great, but a friend of mine did break the axle on her Range Rover driving this road, so like… it’s legitimately rough.

If you don’t have a 4×4 but still want to do the Abiqua Falls hike, you can absolutely hike from the parking lot linked above in the map, but it does add about 4 miles of hiking along a mostly uncovered road (so not very pretty or lovely and in direct sun) and a bunch of elevation to your hike. So honestly, I’d just rent a 4×4 for a day to drive down there.

If you have a 4×4 you can park right at the trailhead. When we arrived there was no one else on the trail until we were almost back to the Jeep, so we didn’t have any issue parking down here.

About the Abiqua Falls Hike

This hike, assuming you start from the trailhead has some important things to know before attempting it:

  • It’s short (<1 mile) but steep - so steep that there are ropes set up so you can hold onto them to help guide you down and pull yourself back up
  • It is basically entirely a dirt trail so if it is rainy or wet at all it’s going to be SUPER muddy
  • You go down the super steep hill until you arrive to the creek, take that left, and follow that until you get to the falls
    • Early into the Abiqua Falls hike, you’ll see a white sign that says “Abbey Foundation of Oregon” – if you see this you know you’re going the right direction
  • In addition to the steepness, you’ll have to climb over some rock and under/around some tree trunks throughout the hike

Tips for Hiking Abiqua Falls

If this has all convinced you to take on this amazing Oregon waterfall hike (which hopefully it has!) here are my top tips for making life easier on yourself:

  • Download the hiking trail for use offline via AllTrails and/or Google Maps so you don’t get lost because there is absolutely no cell signal
  • Wear long sleeves and pants because it is decently buggy down by the water (I always hike with this zip up and these leggings)
  • Not to sound like a broken record but don’t attempt to drive all the way to the trailhead unless you have a 4×4
  • I considered bringing my dog on this hike and while they are allowed, I wouldn’t recommend them due to how steep it is
  • Leave no trace as always
  • If you have any accessibility concerns or injuries, this might not be a good hike for you because there’s no good way up/down that doesn’t require excessive climbing
  • Wear good hiking boots (these are my absolute favorite and I’ve been wearing them for years) so you are prepared for the terrain climbing

So there you have it, everything you need to know before you tackle the gorgeous Abiqua Falls hike! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out as always. For more boots on the ground views, check out my Portland, Oregon stories on Instagram!

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