The Highest Waterfalls on the Oregon Coast: Munson Creek Falls

Munson Creek Falls near Tillamook, Oregon. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

The upper section of Munson Creek Falls.

Peggy has been lobbying for a tour of Oregon waterfalls for quite a while. So, when I read that Munson Creek Falls was near Tillamook, I knew we would have to pay a visit on our recent trip to the coast. We drove over to Tillamook from Rockaway Beach where we were staying and then south for seven miles following Highway 101. Along the way, we passed the giant blimp hangar built during World War II that now serves as an air museum. I visited the hangar a couple of years ago when I was passing through the area. Close to the turnoff, we also passed the campground where I had stayed. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the falls— I’d been too busy counting rabbits.

A view of the blimp hangar during World War II. The blimps were used for spotting Japanese submarines off the coast. (Photo from Tillamook Air Museum.)

The Tillamook Air Museum shown here, served as a blimp hangar during World War II.

A photograph of the Air Museum I took on my previous visit. The airplane in front is known as a guppy. The house provides a perspective on size.

White rabbit near Tillamook, Oregon. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

This lovely creature was one of over a hundred rabbits wandering around freely at Pleasant Valley Campground near the exit to Munson Creek Falls.

A sign along 101 told us to turn inland for the falls. We followed a narrow, pothole filled road that became narrower as we went, making it more difficult to dodge the potholes that were simultaneously becoming deeper and more numerous! The short three and a half miles felt like twenty. We finally reached the parking lot, however, and discovered that we had entered a rainforest. Trees covered in moss gave a magical feel to the area.  An easy, quarter of a mile trail led off toward the falls. More moss-covered trees and rocks, the dashing Munson Creek, brightly colored fallen leaves, mushrooms and ferns lined the trail.

Moos covered tree along path to Munson Creek Falls. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Moss covered trees gave a magical feeling to the path leading to the falls.

Hanging moss at Munson Creek Falls near Tillamook, Oregon.

A close up of the hanging moss. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Moss draped across branch along trail to Munson Creek Falls on the north coast of Oregon.

And another. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Fall leaves along trail to Munson Creek Falls near Tillamook, Oregon. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

The damp conditions added to the colors of the leaves that had fallen along the trail.

Fallen leaves along trail to Munson Creek Falls near Tillamook, Oregon.

A close up. This is from a Big Leaf Maple tree. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Mushrooms along the trail to Munson Creek Falls off of Highway 101 in northern Oregon.

These reddish mushrooms caught my eye.

Munson Creek near Munson Creek Falls on north coast of Oregon.

Munson Creek dashed along beside the trail, keeping us company. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Moss covered rock in Munson Creek near Munson Creek Falls on north Oregon Coast. (Photo by Curtis Mekemson.)

A moss-covered rock decorated with fall leaves sat in the middle of the creek.

Moss, ferns and leaves on a tree near Munson Creek Falls near Tillamook, Oregon. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Moss, ferns and fallen leaves on a tree had a Christmas look.

Trail to Munson Creek Falls near Tillamook, Oregon. (Photo by Curtis Mekemson.)

A view of the trail.

Our first view of the falls assured us that we had made the right decision to make the trip. Water shot out from the top and tumbled some 319 feet to the bottom, making Munson Creek Falls the highest on the Oregon coat. Halfway down a log jam gave testimony to the power of the stream. The rainforest provided a dramatic backdrop. We wandered around seeking various vantage points to appreciate the beauty, and finally, being satiated, hiked back to the parking lot. The drive out went much faster, or so it seemed.

Munson Creek falls in the coastal mountains near Tillamook, Oregon. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

The 319 foot tall falls. The log jam with its large logs spoke to the power of the creek. I also like the moss-covered tree to the right.

Photo by Peggy Mekemson of Munson Creek Falls near Tillamook, Oregon.

A final look at the falls above the log jam. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)


Photos: Most of the photos I use on this blog are taken by either Peggy or me. Photos without attribution are taken by me. I always note any other sources such as the Air Museum above.

NEXT POSTS: Almost everyone I know who tries to maintain a blog while writing books runs into a challenge with time. There isn’t enough. Solutions range from dropping out of the blogosphere for a while to limiting blogs. I am going to try something else for the next month. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to a move to a more dramatic solution. Here’s what I am going to try: On Mondays I will do my usual travel blog; on Wednesdays I will put up photos from my collection of 76,000; on Fridays, I am going to blog my book on MisAdventures. The theory is that this will allow me most of the week to work on the book. We’ll see.

WEDNESDAY: We will drop down to the South Island of New Zealand and visit the beautiful Milford Sound.












47 thoughts on “The Highest Waterfalls on the Oregon Coast: Munson Creek Falls

  1. Just takes your breath away. I am not an ocean person. I was meant for high Mountains and Quaking Aspen but I can see where others would enjoy both.

  2. Just west of me there’s an old blimp base. Only the four corner supports are left. They look a bit War-of-the-Worlds-ish, but they’re pretty cool. Industry has grown up around them a bit, and there are “keep out” signs everywhere, but I think now and then that I should go over there during business hours and see if I can get in for some photos. I’m pretty sure there aren’t any government secrets at stake, since the fencing is old cedar. On the other hand, perhaps it’s all a disguise: fake fencing, if you will. 🙂

    • Maybe its an extension of Area 51, Linda!
      A blimp base at Moffet Field in the Bay Area has been taken over by Google and is being used to develop some of their more far out projects. –Curt

  3. The scene of Munson Creek and the tree with hanging moss looks like a great place to film a fantasy movie. Couldn’t you just see Hobbits romping through the forest?

  4. Very cool blimp barn! But the fecund earth shots were especially wonderful here – the moss, the leaves, the fungi, etc. – all in those rich, wet, autumnal colors!

  5. “PNW”- Took me 10 minutes to figure that one out. Pacific Northwest, got it. Now I got to go get a dictionary and find “Fecund” Geesh Smart people on this thing!

  6. Strangely enough, I’ve never been to Munson Creek Falls, although it’s a doable day trip. (Actually I only just heard of it a year or so ago.) On the other hand, I have been to Wednesday’s Milford Sound, half a world away. Your photos give me incentive to make that shorter trip.

  7. You’ve made me want to break out the map of Oregon now to see where Tillamook and Munson Creek Falls are. Your photos make me wish we had seen this area when we visited the state, but I guess we’ll just have to make a return trip! The moss-covered trees remind me of some of your photos of the Burning Man sculptures. Eerie, for sure.

    • Both the Oregon and Northern California coasts are spectacular, Rusha. Washington has a slightly different personality, as you will see from upcoming posts, but is also impressive. It is definitely time for you to plan a trip! 🙂 –Curt

  8. Hard to pick a favorite photo from your stunning gallery, Curt! Oregon is a gorgeous state. That’s the problem in those United States. Too many gorgeous places to visit. And so many adorable bunnies…
    I’ve been impressed by the Spanish moss while visiting Charleston and New Orleans. But the Oregon moss is not too shabby!

    • I know… so many beautiful places and so little time. And then there is the whole world out there! 🙂 I like the Spanish moss that grows in Florida and Georgia, too. It has a different feel to it. I don’t remember whole trees being covered in moss? –Curt

  9. Pingback: The Highest Waterfalls on the Oregon Coast: Munson Creek Falls — Wandering through Time and Place – Marc Bombenon

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