Sweet Creek - March 2, 2013
Coordinator Ray Jensen, narration by Ray Jensen and pictures by Ray Jensen and Richard O'Neill
Sweet Creek is located just outside Mapleton, Oregon. It is indeed a very ‘sweet’ creek but contrary to what most may think that is not what it is named for. It is named after the Zara Sweet family who homesteaded near the mouth of the creek in 1876.
Those of us who go to the coast for visits always seem to bypass this hike which is not that far from Hwy 101. Reading about it in a hiking book always made it sound boring but it is not even close to that. After Linda and I did it in December we knew this would be enjoyable for most club members.
Thirteen club hikers dared follow me nearly 2 1/2 hours to the trailhead. It was a three part hike totaling approx. 5.2 miles. It was rather easy, being of mostly gentle elevation gain/loss. The first part ascended along the creek for over 1 mile with some of the most beautiful waterfalls, gorges, shelf drops, side creek falls, and rushing waters of any in Oregon. Literally dozens of waterfalls from 2 feet to 70 feet high in a short span. Some of the trail is on a manmade walkway built next to a rock face over the creek itself. It culminates at Sweet Creek Falls which cannot be seen in its entirety from this side of the creek.
After returning to our cars and eating a quick lunch, we drove up the road another 1+ miles to another trailhead and hiked down the creek to views of the same Sweet Creek Falls only this time you could see the complete falls face on. It did not disappoint. Again returning to the trailhead we hiked ½ mile up the same creek to another falls which was actually two falls – Sweet Creek and Beaver Creek – which came together and became one creek.
I really believe Sullivan did not do this one justice. This is a hike that must be experienced to fully appreciate the grandeur of the visual spectacle. Not a long hike but enough to get some exercise and be a very enjoyable visually different kind of hike preferably in the winter or early spring when the water levels are high.
Roseburg Oregon Hiking Club