After 3.6 miles and near a powerline clearing, take a path to the right to see Pup Creek Falls. At least that’s what the hiking guide said. So, after roughly 3.5 miles according to my pedometer and near a powerline clearing a rough, unmarked trail took off to the right.
The trail dead ended soon with an obstructed view of a small waterfall. I said to myself that can’t be Pup Creek Falls, can it?
But, back to the beginning. The trailhead was near a large parking area overlooking the Clackamas River. I began heading east on a trail above the River, sometimes dropping down to the water and sometimes climbing to pass over cliffs. It was very pretty and pleasant to listen to the sound of the River.
After several miles of relatively open vistas due to the cleansing actions of an old burn, the trail entered thick vegetation with rhododendrons scattered about.
After reaching the end of the side trail described above, I was disappointed at the poor views of the little waterfall dropping off the cliffs. After returning to the main trail, I thought about going further to see if the “real” Pup Creek Falls was up ahead. But, I had other commitments and needed to turn around.
After returning home I checked online for photos of Pup Creek Falls. And, sure enough it was much more spectacular than the waterfalls I had seen. I faced up to the fact that I hadn’t hiked far enough. Still, it was a pleasant outing of 7.2 miles with 1,200 feet of elevation gain.
Now I have a good excuse to return to the trail in the future.