Hard Creek Falls
RATING - 34.0
VR - 4.0 (Med) HR - 6.0 SR - 10/20
TYPE OF APPROACH - Roadside
DIFFICULTY - Very Easy
LOCATION - Cascade River Road
TYPE - Tiered
HEIGHT - 155'
WIDTH - 5'
DIRECTIONS - Take HWY 20 east to the Cascade River Road. As of 2008, Hard Creek washed out part of the Cascade River Road so it is easy to spot. There is a new bridge installed and plenty of signs warning you about the narrow bridge. The bottom tier of the falls can be seen from the road. To see the main section you must climb up above this bottom tier. This is most easily done by walking a few hundred feet down the road and then climbing up the slope towards the creek.
Hard Creek Falls occurs just upstream from the bridge over the creek. From the road, the small bottom tier can be seen, along with a little mine in the hillside next to the creek. Climbing up past this little cave is pretty sketchy because of the very loose rocks, but will reveal a view of the upper section of the falls. The main section of the falls is a 72' tall plunging drop. This is followed by a long series of cascades that actually continues downstream from the road as well, but I've elected not to include these sections in the overall height. It's possible to climb right up the creek to reach the main section but it's probably not worth the trouble and it's a little dangerous. The best view of the falls is from atop the canyon. To get there you'll have to walk back down the road a ways and then bushwhack uphill to a view.
The area around the falls has a good variety of wildflowers and on one occasion I even saw a small lizard at the waterfall. It appears as though someone is attempting to dig out the old mine located alongside the falls.