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gem icon Cottonwood Creek Falls [Suggest Edits]

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Your first look at Cottonwood Creek Falls can be stunning. Maybe it’s the effort it takes to see them, maybe it’s the unexpectedness of them existing only a few hundred feet from a (seemingly) waterless expanse, maybe it’s the cool breeze and spray wafting up from them, or maybe it’s the little rainbow at the base of the falls. Regardless, seeing them is totally worth it. Amazing!

All-Day Hike: The hike to reach the falls is 14 miles round-trip on-and-off-trail from the Howlock Mountain Trailhead at the north end of Diamond Lake, Oregon. The falls are located on the largely trail-less east side of the Mount Thielsen Wilderness.

Gem Type: Waterfall

Shared by:
Bruce Hope
This basin and falls is a very special place as it is rarely visited. I was there mid-July 2001 and never saw another soul nor was there recent traces of hikers. There was even an old fire ring that I bet was last used 10 years prior to my visit. Let's keep it this way!!! Dec 9, 2018
Bruce Hope
Medford, OR
Bruce Hope   Medford, OR
Yes, this is a botanically & geologically unique area - we're lucky it's in a wilderness. This area was brought to my attention by others but I can't say whether they had actually visited it. The only record I could find of an actual visit was by the Native Plant Society back in 1998. During my visit in 2016, I, like you, saw no evidence of recent visitors. So, a known, but seldom visited, area. Should I keep my visit secret or not? That's a tough question what with folks flocking to geo-tagged Instagram-able locations and stomping all over them. In the end, I opted to share so that others could enjoy what I'd seen. I did so in the hope that people would be responsible enough not to disrespect this area. I also figured that a 14-mile hike, partially off-trail, would filter-out some of the less respectful. I hope I'm right. :) Dec 9, 2018

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Jul 15, 2016
Bruce Hope

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Shared by Bruce Hope on Oct 19, 2017. All Page Views: 294. Last Month: 38.