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Buck Creek Falls Loop

South Cascades


South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area
View map below


3.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 770 ft.
Highest Point: 1090 ft.


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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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A short, family-friendly loop that can be done all year round. You'll meander through douglas fir, western redcedar, bigleaf maple, and other deciduous trees, along a creek, and end at a lovely waterfall, perfect for picnicking.

You can enjoy the waterfall on this loop two ways: make it the first stop on your hike, or save it until the very end. Because it makes a nice spot to stop for a snack, we recommend saving it for the end.

Beginning from the Buck Creek Falls Loop Trailhead and Campground (with toilet!), cross the road carefully and walk 150 down the road, then turning onto a trail. This trail parallels the stream, climbing gradually. Look for signs on posts indicating "Buck Creek" at intersections. There are also white diamond tags on tree trunks indicating the route.

A quarter mile into your hike, the trail merges with the trail from Monte Carlo Peak. Continue through this intersection to an overlook of the valley at it's high point, then beginning to descend. On this descent the trail merges with the logging road for a while, ending at a low concrete bridge.

This marks the separation between the east and west side of the trail. The west side of the loop begins past this bridge, heading upstream and following the corridor of the buried water pipeline. This pipeline is what channels the water in the Buck Creek watershed to the city of White Salmon, which has used this watershed for its water supply since 1929.

While the corridor is wide, the tread is quite narrow due to encroaching vegetation.

Meander up and downhill, crossing swampy areas and sweeps until, a quarter mile from the end of your loop, you'll find the namesake waterfall coursing througha slot canyon into a a bowl-shaped plunge pool.

The overlook of the waterfall is a great place for a picnic. When you're done, continue on down the trail, crossing a bridge leading back to the trailhead and campground.


Buck Creek Falls Loop

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 45.8172, -121.5429 Open map in new window


South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

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Getting There

Cross the Hood River Bridge from I-84 to White Salmon (toll $2). After crossing the bridge, turn left on Highway 14 heading west for Stevenson and Vancouver. In 1.5 miles, turn right onto Highway 141 Alt. for Trout Lake and the Mt. Adams Recreation Area.

In 2.2 miles, turn left onto Highway 141 for BZ Corner, Trout Lake and Glenwood. Drive 2 miles and make a left turn onto easy-to-miss Northwestern Lake Road.

Go 0.4 miles, crossing the White Salmon River and come to a four-way junction and a large signboard detailing the Buck Creek Trail System. Keep straight here. The road becomes gravel and you drive 0.5 miles to the junction with Nestor Peak Road (Road N-1000). Stay on the B-1000 Road.

Continue on B-1000 aka Buck Creek Road to the Campground (milepost 3). This is a pull-in semicircle gravel area off the road with room for 6 vehicles. This is the Buck Creek Falls Loop Trailhead.

The campground has two sites, picnic tables, and a vault toilet. No trash here, so please pack it in and pack it out. A kiosk has information about the campground and a map of the trails in the area.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

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Buck Creek Falls Loop

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