On my way south from Silver Falls State Park I stopped in at Shellburg Falls on my way back to the i5. Shellburg Falls is similar to other waterfalls in the area. It’s a single drop falls with a grotto underneath just like many of the ones in Silver Falls State Park. It is in Santiam State Forest but the first mile of the hike is on a service road with private property on either side (watch for cows).
drive time from Seattle
The rain was threatening for most of the morning as I hiked out to Shellburg Falls. The first mile on the access road was pretty boring but I enjoyed catching sight of a Woodpecker and seeing some of the fruit trees in bloom. Just before reaching the state forest the paddocks end and trees pop up on either side of the road making it feel like you have entered the wilderness. Shortly after passing the sign of the start of the state forest the road crosses over Shellburg Creek and you can view the Lower Shellburg Falls. The view of the lower falls isn’t that great from the vantage you get on the road but I didn’t want to scramble down to try to get a better one.
Just across the bridge, there is singletrack leading to Shellburg Falls. This trail winds up to the falls and goes behind it through the grotto. I had the whole place to myself. I guess as the forecast for the day wasn’t that great and the spot isn’t as big a name as Silver Falls. The falls were very pretty being surrounded by maples and moss adding to the atmosphere of the forest.
I followed the trail beyond the grotto and it switched back up to the top of the falls. From here it continues on to a camp ground. I didn’t want to go any further to the campground so I bushwhacked a little to join a forest road which turned out to be the road I started in on. This way I was able to make the hike a bit of a loop. I hiked back to the car and just as I got out of the forest the rain started so I could enjoy the last mile in the rain.