Opal Creek Wilderness – No Hike Hike! Sullivan Falls


Sullivan Falls

June 23, 2012

Info: (http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org/wiki/Sullivan_Creek_Falls)

There are no trailheads here nor any trails within two miles of this falls, but what makes Sullivan Creek Falls a worthy destination is its proximity to a road. The falls is literally next to FR2207, the road that connects the Little North Fork of the Santiam canyon with Detroit. There is a small parking area on the other side of the road from the falls with a messageboard, both of which are new additions since the Opal Creek Area gained wilderness status. There is room for 4-5 cars.

The falls is a fantastic place to visit if you are in the area, as it requires no effort beyond a bit of driving, and the reward is a chance to relax at a gorgeous 100+ foot waterfall. You can find the falls by driving to the upper trailhead of the Little North Fork of the Santiam trail on FR2207 and continuing up the road for two miles until you see the falls by the side of the road.


  • On I-5 exit onto Hwy 22 and head east towards Stayton
  • In 22 miles – at second yellow light just east of Mehama – turn left onto North Fork Road SE
  • After 15.1 miles road turns to gravel. Another 1.2 miles you will reach a fork in the road.
  • Bear right at the fork where the sign says “Three Pools”. This will be Forest Road 2207.
  • 3.8 miles from the fork will be a wide spot off to the left of the road for parking.
  • Sullivan Creek Falls is on the right side of the road.
  • No facilities.

Jenn’s View: I was actually looking for the Three Pools. I wanted to see if there really are 3 pools. Why not? Couldn’t find it. So, instead of forking to the left like I normally do towards Henline Falls, I went right towards Three Pools. Found another fork in the road and decided to take the path to the left. It had more gravel and just thought it would lead to Three Pools. Hmmm, I found a creepy old house. It reminded me of that movie The Cabin in the Woods. It freaked me out. There is literally no other homes or cabins in the area. You are just driving along and bam, here you go. Here is the picture:

Cabin in the Woods in Opal Creek Wilderness

LOL, well it’s freakier in person. Well, I never saw any Three Pools or any place that I would consider a “pool” of water so I decided after my odometer hits 20 miles, I will turn around. About 20.7 miles (from Hwy 22), I hit Sullivan Falls. I would have used this as the featured image but stupid people decide to graffiti the boards that it’s not pretty.

Sullivan FallsI met a family while I was there. They had a sticker on the back of their car stating “Chuck’s Trading Post”, I think. They were telling me that it is pretty nice during warm weather to play in the water. It’s called a NO HIKE hike because you drive to it and get out of your car and voila, you are there. No hiking whatsoever. BUT, Shadowlynn and I found a little trail up so we got to do a little scramble. It was to the point where I got stuck. I know that there is a way to get to the very top to at least get a picture of the top tier of the waterfall.

If you can see in the pictures below, there are two tiers… One at the top, flows and then another tier that you can see. There is a small waterfall slide right next to it. More like a run off. It’s real pretty.It’s hard to see the top tier but you can when you get real closeSullivan Falls

Concept Camping on the Oregon Hikes Facebook page (LIKE THE PAGE IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE SO, DO SO ALREADY!)shows this waterfall in the wintertime.

Opal Creek Wilderness Sullivan Falls

Picture taken by a friend on our Oregon Hikes Facebook Page – Compact Camping Concepts

I sat in the car for a little bit while it started pouring but I asked the universe to make it sunny and to stop raining so I can take pictures. It finally let up and the sun did shine. It was so nice.  Thank you UNIVERSE!

Sullivan Falls Park Sullivan Falls

We found a little path off to the right of the falls. It looks like it can get me to the second tier. Grabbed my gloves and started climbing up.

Sullivan Falls

Looking down at the pool, we ended up at the little slide fall or right next to it.

Sullivan Falls Sullivan Falls Sullivan Falls

Shadowlynn was watching the family down below so it was a perfect time to get a great shot of her.

Sullivan Falls

I tried to go further up but got stuck. The forest is pretty dense and couldn’t see that it would go up to the direction that I needed. Besides, I would want Scott to go with me 🙂

Sullivan Falls Sullivan Falls

My recommendation, if you want to play in the water, enjoy the waterfall…this is a great place. The family that was parked right next to me, they took out some chairs, had a snack/meal and played in the water more. If you are passing by, great place to take pictures. Otherwise, it’s just one of those drive by waterfalls 🙂 Go check out the other No Hike Hikes I did the same day

SALMON FALLS PARK: https://oregonhike.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/opal-creek-wilderness-elkhorn-falls-7/

NORTH FALLS PARK: https://oregonhike.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/opal-creek-wilderness-no-hike-hikes-north-fork-park/


5 thoughts on “Opal Creek Wilderness – No Hike Hike! Sullivan Falls

  1. Pingback: Opal Creek Wilderness – No Hike Hikes! North Fork Park | Hiking Throughout OREGON

  2. Pingback: Opal Creek Wilderness – Salmon Falls (#7) | Hiking Throughout OREGON

  3. “You are just driving along and bam, here you go.” Ha..ha… Was reading this during my lunch break at work and was cracking up.

  4. Three Pools is on the way to Sullivan Falls. It’s about a mile from the Opal Creek Road and about mile before Shady Cove Campground (where you cross the Little North Santiam River). It may not be signed but it’s pretty obvious because there’s a huge Wal-Mart sized parking lot downhill to your right.

    Also: the house is the old Pearl Creek Guard Station, where forest rangers lived back in the 30s and 40s. That’s why there’s still a house there.

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