Lava Creek Falls

Lava Creek Falls waterfall apiary vernonia mist columbia county northwest oregon
Lava Creek Falls in winter (photo courtesy of Doug Hecker)

Height and type: A 108-foot horsetail falls. There is a smaller creek waterfall present on the side.

Water body: Lava Creek, a tributary of Carcus Creek which itself flows into the Clatskanie River.

Access: There is no direct route accessible to the public.

Property status: Weyerhaeuser leased land. As of now (fall 2022) you cannot go here unless you have the lease access.

Notable Wildlife: Pacific jumping mouse, sculpins, stream amphibians

Interesting History: Lava Creek Falls is designated a “scenic resource” of Columbia County, and suggestions have been made to develop it for recreational use. Columbia County’s 1984 comprehensive plan (still integrated though at least 2011) states:

Carcus Creek Falls, Lava Creek Falls, and the Clatskanie River-Apiary Falls to Carcus Creek are presently undeveloped privately held scenic resources. There is no present public access to these areas. Consequently, their social value is limited. However, these scenic sites could potentially be made more accessible to the public in the future. For example, a trail system could be developed up Carcus Creek to Carcus Creek Falls and Lava Creek Falls, assuming an easement along the creeks can first be obtained from the landowners. Potential also exists to connect these scenic sites with a 280-acre tract of County-owned land situated within ½ mile of both falls. The falls are rare features whose value lies primarily in their aesthetic appearance. Allowing conflicting uses could have serious social and environmental consequences.

These falls and stream have immense biodiversity value for the county and in our view are a top-5 priority for preservation.

Back to Waterfalls of Northwest Oregon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: