Travel Directions: Waterfalls and Hiking Trails on the S Umpqua River

Forward ~ The road less traveled: Leisurely routes that meander along streambeds and river canyons.

Back ~ Scenery in the Umpqua Watershed.

USFS: Umpqua National Forest. BLM: Roseburg
District of the Bureau of Land Management.

North Umpqua Waterfall Tour: Directions, Map, Scenery; can include Crater Lake and the Diverse Loop Tour, Travel Directions, Map and Scenery ~ includes Crater Lake: Introduction. Both tours include sightseeing, hiking and mountain biking trails, waterfalls, mountains and more. Combine the two tours.

Protect our National Forests
and Wilderness Areas. Leave NO Trace!
Be sure to check out fire conditions at
the Ranger Station before traveling,
hiking or camping in the forest.

Brice creek waterfalls, stairway with trail to the creek from the campground.

Directions to the South Umpqua River Waterfalls from Medford, Oregon

While traveling on the west side of the mountains on the Crater Lake Hwy, or Oregon State Hwy 62, as it’s also known, you’ll come to a directional sign for Tiller, north of Shady Cove, Oregon. Turn west towards Tiller, which you will reach after a time. It’s not far. I’m sorry, right now I’m writing this from memory, so I cannot give an exact count of miles. The drive isn’t long, and it’s quite lovely driving in the Cascade Mountains alongside Elk Creek. Just give yourself time to enjoy. You’ll arrive in Tiller where you’ll find the South Umpqua River.

Cross the bridge and turn right; you’ll be heading roughly north along the South Umpqua River.

The road along the South Umpqua River is first known as County Road 46 then becomes the South Umpqua Road.

Directions to the South Umpqua River Waterfalls from I – 5.
Canyonville is very small. Don’t be daunted by these freehand directions. I’m writing from memory.

Take the exit for Canyonville — it’s just beyond mile marker 98. Don’t turn and go under the freeway. Turn right into the town proper, follow the directions to Day Creek (Road 1). Stay on Road 1 and it will bring you into Tiller. Tiller is a blink on the road: a small grocery, a ranger station, probably a couple of other buildings besides homes that escape me now. If you cross the bridge into Tiller proper, you’ve gone too far. Turn left onto County Road 46 – South Umpqua Road before crossing the bridge, and you’ll be traveling along the South Umpqua River.

The road along the South Umpqua River is first known as County Road 46 then becomes South Umpqua Road.

Waterfalls and hiking trails on South Umpqua River.
Cathedral Falls appears only in wet weather, and I’ve never seen it. Although the rock formation resembling a cathedral window is always there, no matter the weather. 🙂 Take County Road 46 – South Umpqua Road 5 miles to the 3 – C Rock Day Use Site. The hiking trail is across the road from the Day Use Area. This hike is only 0.2 mile and is rated easiest by the USFS.

Campbell Falls and old growth forests! Drive for 14 miles on County Road 46 – South Umpqua Road to Boulder Creek Campground. The hiking trail to Campbell Waterfall is just upriver from the campground. The hike is short: 0.3 of a mile and is rated more difficult. Also, Poison Oak borders this trail. That didn’t stop Brad and I, but we stepped carefully. When we hiked back up to Boulder Creek, we bathed any exposed skin in the creek.

South Umpqua Waterfalls: Follow County Road 46 – South Umpqua Road 21 miles to the South Umpqua Waterfall. The waterfalls are roadside. Find parking for this popular waterfall and enjoy.

Deer Lick Waterfalls: Follow County Road 46 – South Umpqua Road 28 miles. The hiking trail begins 1.8 miles beyond Camp Comfort. The waterfall is on Black Rock Fork Creek, which in itself offers many lovely vistas driving through the forest. The hiking trail to Deer Lick Waterfalls is rated more difficult, but only 0.3 mile.

Campgrounds on the South Umpqua River.
Boulder Creek is a nice unimproved campground, and I’m not certain a big RV would fit in there. I think not, looking back in my memory. Check with the Forest Service if you need to know for certain. However, the forest, the creek; all combine to make a very nice place. It’s well suited for further exploration in the Umpqua National Forest also.

If you want to see more, just continue driving along the South Umpqua River. The road becomes a forest service road, but it’s been well maintained every time I’ve driven it. I’ve even gone alone. The road follows the gorge of the South Umpqua for quite sometime, and the views of the river are quite magnificent. The turnoff to Hwy 138 is well marked, and unless you have some other destination in the Umpqua National Forest in mind, that’s where you’ll want to go.

Traveling this way, you’ll come upon Copeland Creek, which exhibits the familiar columnar basalt rock patterns of the north Umpqua River. The gorge is beautiful. Brad and I went late summer one time and stopped to pick and eat wild huckleberries along the way.

When you come to Hwy 138, or the Umpqua Scenic Byway, as it’s otherwise known, you can head west to access I – 5 at Roseburg if that’s your preference, and continue west on 138 at Sutherlin to the Oregon Coast, or you can turn east, and take advantage of the all the waterfalls and hikes in the Umpqua Waterfall Tour and finally Crater Lake National Park.

P.S. Remember the dangers of poison oak when traveling at these elevations on the west side of the Cascade Mountains. It’s rampant, but don’t let this keep you from a good thing. Bathe in the river when you think you’ve come in contact. That does help.

Travel Oregon and northern California while staying at Gathering Light … a retreat
located in southern Oregon near Crater Lake National Park.

Travel to Gathering Lighton the Umpqua Scenic Byway: wild and scenic rivers, mountains, waterfalls, hiking trails, Crater Lake, Rogue Umpqua Scenic Byway, Umpqua River Trail: Directions, Map and Scenery.

Directions to and Day Trips of about 100 miles from the retreat.