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Friday, March 29, 2013

January 12, 2013

Trip Report from Timothy:

In the pursuit of visiting 365 waterfalls this year I will be revisiting most of the waterfalls I saw last year. So to make things more interesting for the ones I did last year I am trying to get better pictures of those I have already been to. Today's goal was to get to the bottom of Stasel Falls which is located on Stout Creek about 20 miles SE of Salem. We parked at the trail head to Shellburg Falls on Fern Ridge Road, it was nice and frosty out. The trail to Shellburg Falls is a gravel road through private property for 1 1/4miles so this part of the hike was shared with mountain bikers and cows. Yes....cows. 

It was pretty cold out and we saw our share of ice.

About a 1/4 mile past Shellburg Creek the road bends to the north but there is an old logging road that continues east. Despite not being on the hiking map for this area this old logging road sees lots of boot traffic. The top of Stasel Falls is easily reached about a 1/4 mile down this road.

Following Brian Swan's suggestion from his 
NW Waterfall Survey we broke off of the logging road after a hundred feet and made our way down to the creek.

The bushwhack was pretty brutal but it was really the only safe way to get to the bottom of the falls. The cliffs along the creek were pretty steep all the way to the falls.

I kept turning around thinking I was going to have to wait for my partner to catch up to me but she was on my heels the whole time. She was just as anxious to see Stasel Falls from the bottom as I was. It was totally worth the bushwhack. 

There is a pool between the two tiers and some of the water flows behind the large rock column on the right of the top tier. That water makes the two lower falls on the right which you can't see from the top. Stasel Falls are definitely more impressive from the bottom.
# 23  Stasel Falls  (bushwhack ~ difficult)
I decided to climb the cliff out on the side of the waterfall. You could probably get down this way but I wouldn't recommend it without a rope, it's pretty steep. I grabbed another picture on the way up.
Lots of ice.

Heading back we headed up to see Shellburg Falls. Only a 1/4 mile off the road.

This was my first time up here in the winter. Definitely looks better with a higher water flow. The trail goes behind the waterfall and up some neat stairs on the other side of the creek. There is a campground above the waterfall that the trail leads to about a 1/2 mile up. The road to it doesn't open until June 1, I think.
# 24  Shellburg Falls  (trail ~ moderate access)
Last waterfall of the day...Lower Shellburg Falls. We walked by it twice already but we didn't climb down to the bottom until the end. It was an easy climb in comparison to what we did earlier in the day. Really wondering why I never went down for this picture before.
# 25  Lower Shellburg Falls  (bushwhack ~ moderate access)
Heading back to the car. What a great day for hike. 

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