Whitehorse Falls is a short hiking trail in Umpqua National Forest near the town of Clearwater, Oregon. This short hiking trail features a beautiful waterfall engulfed by lush conifer forests.

Hiking Whitehorse Falls Trail

With almost one million acres of forest (983,129 to be exact), Umpqua National Forest is one place that doesn’t disappoint. The forest stretches from just north of Crater Lake National Park and spans to the western edges of the southern Cascade ranges. Within its boundaries are an abundance of culture, lakes, waterfalls, enchanting forests, and snow-capped volcanic domes.

The Whitehorse Falls trail is located along the Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway. This scenic highway travels through the heavily forested Southern Cascade ranges and is 172 miles long. Whitehorse Falls is one of the many waterfalls that are of easy access off this highway. This particular waterfall is off of the beautiful Highway 138.

Whitehorse Falls is fed by the Clearwater River which originates in the higher elevations of the cascades from abundant rain and snowfall. This waterfall plunges approximately fifteen feet in height into a blue punchbowl. The flow of this waterfall flucuates seasonally more than it’s eastward neighbor, Clearwater Falls but it does flow year round.

White Horse Falls Camping Information

This waterfall is a great area to camp. A total of five campsites with with two separate picnic sites are available for day use. There are two vault toilets in the area. There are no reservations available. Camping is on a first come first served basis. For full camping information please visit the Umpqua National Forest site.

On A Personal Note:

Whitehorse Falls was my second encounter with one of the many waterfalls along Highway 138. The trail is very short and is even handicapped accessible. Highway 138 is one of the most beautiful drives I have done and I highly recommend it if you have the time.

Looking for a springfed fanning waterfall surrounded by moss covered rocks and trees? Try the nearby Clearwater Falls along the same river.

Do you have any updates to the hiking trail or want to share your hike/pictures? Please leave a comment below.

Sources:

1. N.a. “About The Forest.” Umpqua National Forest. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/umpqua/about-forest. Accessed 1 June 2020.
2. N.a. “Whitehorse Falls Campground.” Umpqua National Forest. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/umpqua/recarea/?recid=63656.  jAccessed 1 June 2020.

  • Overall Difficulty: 5% 5%
  • Overall Views: 100% 100%
WhitehorseFalls Trail Quick Facts:
  • Max Elevation: 3,766 feet.
  • Elevation Gain: 43 feet.
  • Estimated Distance: 0.1 miles.
  • My Actual Distance: 625 feet.
  • Estimated Time: 10-15 minutes.
  • My Time: 3 minutes moving; 8 minutes total.
Whitehorse Falls Trail Directions:
Open in maps. Whitehorse Falls is located off of Highway 138. From Highway 138 there will be a turnoff on the north side of the road. This road is called Road 4770. There is a small parking lot at the campground with a footbridge overlooking the falls.  There are no day use fees for visiting this site except for camping. Although this is a national forest an Annual Northwest Forest Pass or an America The Beautiful Pass is not required.
Whitehorse Falls Trail Pictures:
Who Whitehorse Falls Trail Is For:
Novice Hikers: This is a very simple trail that is great for hikers in this category. The views are incredible for how little effort is required to view them. This short trail is a great option for those with mobility limitations or are handicapped. 

Advanced Hikers: This is not a physicallly demanding hike but the views are worth ten minutes of your day. 

Expert Hikers: Expert hikers may enjoy using this camping area as a base for other hikes in the area. 

It’s always a good idea to be aware of what type of hiking level you’re at.

Best Time Of Year To Hike Whitehorse Falls:
This is an area that experiences a full four seasons with warm summers and cold winters. The Pacific Northwest has beautiful conifer forests for a reason: there is ample rain. The bulk of the rainfall happens from September to May. The peak of that happens from late fall to early spring. Although this area is just under three thousand feet of elevation, it is high enough for cold winter storms to drop ample feet of snow. 

Late spring to early summer is probably the best time of year to view these falls not only for weather reasons but it’s also when the river is at its highest levels. Spring and early summer is when new growth is abounding from the plants. During this time of year the forest looks a crisp green with bright green moss carpeting the forest floor. All that being said, don’t let the seasons stop you from visiting this waterfall. 

It’s always a good idea to check the weather prior to hiking.

Whitehorse Falls Trail Conditions:
This trail is very short and leads directly from the parking area to a viewpoint overlooking the falls. The area is well maintained and in great condition. There is no poison oak along the trail. However, any meandering done off the trail should be done with eye open for leaves of three. Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes during the warmer months. The elevation is low enough here to provide the warmer temperatures that are suitable to their habitat. That being said, because of how forested the area is, they’re not likely.