Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Beaver Creek Falls, about a 40-minute drive from St. Helens, Oregon.

St. Helens Marina is a sweet and affordable spot to moor while waiting for warmer, drier, less windy weather. The town of St. Helens offers everything we need, mostly within walking distance, plus it’s close to our favorite beach on the river when beach-worthy weather lures there. Traditionally, that’s mostly the 5th of July, other than a few teaser days here and there.

Map and directions to St.Helens, Oregon to Beaver Falls, Clatskanie.

Meanwhile, besides boat work, my freelance writing and editing work and chores, we’re busy. Nonetheless, even in cooler weather, we like to get off our duffs and walk. Charming as St. Helens is, the area is a bit shy on worthwhile hiking trails. Beaver Falls was the closest well-rated trail we could find.

All Trails is one of my go-to sources in trying to find a good hiking trail. Click here for their link to the Beaver Falls trail.

Other than a wide turnout area on the road, there’s nothing to mark the trailhead for Beaver Falls. There were enough cars there for us to figure we were at the spot.

Even once parked, it’s easy to miss the trail to Beaver Falls. No sign, but this is it.

Beaver Falls was not just a short drive away, it was also a short walk—a good thing given we often get a late start.

Foxglove bloomed profusely at the edge of the parking area.

That June day, there wasn’t a whole lot of wildflowers in bloom, but the blooming foxgloves are among my favorites. Native American Indians used foxglove to treat heart conditions—carefully—as can foxgloves can also be toxic.

This Beaver Falls sign seemed to help.

AllTrials mentioned there was an issue with litter at Beaver Falls. It looked to us that there was an effort to clean up. On our walk, I saw only a few pieces of litter.

Recently cut, this stump sap reminded me of tears. Maybe in their own way, they are.

We came across a substantial tree hacked, obviously felled by an ax.

Tree stump section stepping stones across Beaver Creek to get to the falls.

The stepping stones across Beaver Creek were mostly stable (just two were wobbly), and looked like they were the reason the tree was cut.

More picturesque view of Beaver Falls after crossing over Beaver Creek.

Ferns and other flora loved this damp, slightly misty spot.

The fellow about to walk behind the falls gives you a better sense of scale.

The trail makes its way behind the falls, for those interested in a different falls view.

Cool view from behind the falls.

I took the trail behind the falls to look out from under them. If you do, take your time, the trail is slippery!

Slick clay-mud behind Beaver Creek Falls.

On our drive back to Highway 30, we noticed a smaller set of falls off the side of the road.

No idea what these Beaver Creek falls are called. They’re not the main event, but they’re pleasant.

The area just beyond the falls is an idyllic-looking spot.

This is up-creek from the little Beaver Creek waterfall.

Beaver Creek would be an excellent stop to beat the heat on a blistering hot summer day. 

Much as we enjoyed Beaver Falls, we realize how spoiled we are with Portland Oregon’s and SW Washington State’s fantastic options: Lucia and Mouton FallsForest Park, the West Hills, and quick access to the Gorge (though many options are still closed due to COVID-19) and the Mt. St. Helens area.

Location Location

This ~50-foot snag is why we don’t sail at night on the Columbia River.

The sun is shining for one more day, so we’re on the hook off Sauvie Island N45 47.453 W 122 47.193 getting in our dose of vitamin D while we can. Saturday’s forecast is soggy, so we’ll hightail back to St. Helens Marina for that.  A week or so before, most of the trails at Sauvie were more like creeks, something to walk through rather than on.