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Drift Creek Falls is located just East of Lincoln City, Oregon, at the North end of town.  $3.00 fee required.  Suspension Bridge.  Water Fall.

Drift Creek Falls: The bridge at Drift Creek Falls in Oregon's Coast Range is a cross between the Golden Gate Bridge and one of those rope bridges that span Himalayan gorges. The waterfall it overlooks --a 75-foot cataract tumbling down a sheer cliff before free-falling the last few feet into a pool--is itself worth the 1-1/4 mile hike in. But the bridge itself is simply awesome--and a little scarey. It sways ever so slightly as you cross, more so if someone is on the bridge with you. If you approach, look, and decline to cross, you wont be the first.

One glance at the bridge reveals that, structurally, it has more in common with the Golden Gate Bridge. Support towers at each end stand 29 feet tall; they're conected by 1-1/4" cable anchored in bedrock. Still, standing midspan on the 2-1/2 foot-wide walkway and looking down 100 feet to the creek with the roar of the falls in your ears can bring out a little fear of heights in anyone. It's a must visit with some kids, a definite no-no with others.

The hike is an education in forestry. The trail passes through an almost 50 year old second-growth forest, a more recently replanted clear-cut, and a narrow band of old growth. It's a steep but wheelchair negotiable descent to the bridge; across it, the trail switchbacks down the canyon wall to end at the creek.

Where:The trailhead is off Forest Road 17 east of Lincoln City from State highway 18 at Rose Lodge. Turn south onto Bear Creek road (which becomes F.R 17) and follow signs about 9 miles. Alternatly, from U.S 101 at the south end of Lincoln City, turn east onto Drift Creek Road., then south onto S. Drift Creek Rd. Turn east onto F.R. 17 and continue for 10 miles.

Distance: 1-1/4 miles to the bridge, one way; another 1/4 mile to the creek-level view point.

Costs: $5 park permit per vechicle or $30.00 Annual NW Forest Pass

Contact: Hebo Ranger District (503)392-3161

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