Watson Falls Hike

Oh, Watson! (And no, I don’t mean the crime solving side kick, though, I do momentarily think of Martin Freeman). We’re talking about Watson Falls, the lone giant that falls straight through a massive amphitheater of beautifully aged basalt. The falls is just as easy to access as Toketee, but offers more opportunities to get up close and personal.

The trail only goes upwards, past centuries old trees as wide as we stand tall, until you reach Watson’s side. You’re misted at first and then given a generous drench if you dare stand too close. The trail is short and sweet, with the best views right at the base of the falls, among the fallen boulders.

If you’re visiting Watson Falls, we’d highly recommend stopping at Toketee Falls as well, just 3 miles up the road.

Getting To Watson Falls Trailhead

  • From Portland: 4 hours
  • From Salem: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • From Eugene: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • From Bend: 2 hours

The trailhead is just south of N Umpqua Hwy (138/4). If traveling from the west (Portland,Salem,Eugene,Roseburg), you will take a right on NF-37 (you will also see a brown sign here saying “Watson Falls Day Use Area”). In just 0.1 miles, you will find the paved parking lot to your right. There is also a bathroom here.

Hiking From the Trailhead to Watson Falls

From the parking lot, you will walk across the street to find the trailhead. It only takes about 20 minutes to get to the viewing platform at the top. It was very misty when we went, so be sure to bring a rain jacket if you want to get close!


About halfway up, at a bend in the trail, you will see a small dirt footpath to your left that takes you over a few rocks. Just 30 feet down this trail, you’ll be gifted great views of the falls from below. Highly recommended!

Again, if you’re traveling all the way to Watson Falls, we’d highly recommend stopping at Toketee Falls, just 3 miles up the road.

Other Oregon Destinations

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