Drift Creek Falls; Lincoln City, OR— Located along the central Oregon coast, Drift Creek Falls was a hidden gem. A secluded waterfall with a suspension bridge over the top was all I needed to hear to put it on the list. The falls are hidden a bit inland and often are not accurately searchable by name using an iPhone or GPS. I used the coordinates to input into Google Maps to be sure I was headed in the right direction. You can find coordinates at portlandhikers.org along with other really useful information for hiking all over the state. My advice would be to add these coordinates into your GPS before getting too close to the hike itself because service is limited on the drive in. The drive is mellow at first from the coast but gets intense during the last 10 miles with tall trees rising up between large canyons along the road with no guard rails.
The fog during my trip helped to conceal the elevation gain. The road is also very narrow so driving carefully to allow oncoming traffic to pass is really important (I say this because a man driving very fast almost drove off the cliff and unlike E.T. he would not have flown across the skyline). At 3 miles round trip, this cool forest hike is doable in under 2 or 3 hours and has promise at the end. Although the bridge can be a little freaky for those of us with a fear of heights, the waterfall views at the end are worth it. Parts of this trail remind me of scenes from the classic movie E.T. with towering trees and fog along an almost red dirt path. This is a beautiful hike that’s easy to miss while traveling the coast!