Bonnie Falls

bonnie falls waterfall scappoose creek scappoose-vernonia highway cz trail crown zellerbach columbia county northwest oregon
Bonnie Falls in December

Height and type: A 15-foot segmented horsetail falls. There is another smaller falls known as “Upper Scappoose Falls” just upstream.

Water body: Scappoose Creek

Access: The falls are found off of Scappoose-Vernonia Highway about 4 miles west of Highway 30. There is a turnoff for parking on the southwest (creek) side of the road just 300 yards before you reach Walker Road. From there a trail takes you within easy view of the falls. Actually getting down to the water is a dicey proposition and can require climbing (or wading in from downstream if the water is low enough) and is not recommended for inexperienced persons, or anyone at all when the cliffs are wet.

Property status: The area next to the road is part of the highway right-of-way. The status of the falls themselves is unclear.

Notable Wildlife: american dippers, coastal giant salamanders, coho salmon, steelhead, pacific lamprey, sculpin

Interesting History: Bonnie Falls has one of the first two fish ladders built in Columbia County (the other was on the Clatskanie River), both built around 1952. This ladder continues to be used to monitor fish populations on Scappoose Creek. Data from 1999 to 2010 showed Coho Salmon, Steelhead, Cutthroat Trout, Brook Trout, and Pacific Lamprey were still coming up the stream.

In the 1950s a store operated at Bonnie Falls that prepared and sold smoked fish and other meats.

Back to Waterfalls of Northwest Oregon

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