Sunday, May 24, 2015

Easy Hike to Henline Falls near Mehama, Oregon

Henline Falls near Mehama, Oregon

Today we went to a hike that I wanted to do last year, but it was too far of a drive for a short hike. We did it today since we had to go to Albany so it was on the way home if we went the long way. We were pretty dang happy that we did it! I loved this waterfall! 

How to get there

If you're driving on HWY 22 from Salem towards Detroit, turn left at the second blinking yellow like in Mehama. There's a restaurant on the right. I can't remember the name of it, but it used to be the Swiss Chalet. It looks like it changed names though. The road will turn to dirt and then back to pavement. After 15 miles total, the road turns to dirt once more. Just over a mile later, stay straightish/left (basically, don't turn right). Shortly after that, park on the right at the trail head. The trail head only has room for about three cars if people park correctly or two if they park badly. You can park on the side of the road, but it's a bit sketchy. 

The Hike

The hike is just under two miles total. It's an out and back hike. It starts off going uphill. I hate going uphill to start a hike, but this one isn't crazy steep so it wasn't that bad. It was super humid on the day we went, but it wasn't too terribly warm. I wore a light jacket, but would have been fine without it. There was a bit of a breeze at times which was nice. The trail was wide enough for the two of us to walk next to each other for bits of it, but other bits were only enough for one person at a time comfortably with our poles. The terrain was packed dirt at times and looks rocks at times. It was a little slippery in some places due to some mud and also some moss on some rocks. 

After about a half mile I think, there was a fork off to the right. That one goes up to Ogle Mountain Trail. There wasn't a sign indicating which way to go for Henline Falls. We had to refer to our hiking guide book. I'm glad we had it with us! Be sure to stay to the left if you want to visit the falls! 

Shortly after you take that left fork, you'll come to a sign indicting that you are half a mile from the falls. At this point, you start going downhill. It starts off a bit gentle, but then there were some parts that were a bit steeper. The closer to the falls, the steeper it got. 

Just before the falls, there were some concrete blocks. They were part of the foundation for some mining stuff. The stuff is gone, but the concrete blocks are still there. You have to climb up onto them which can be challenging. They were slippery since they were wet. It was also a pretty big step up. Stepping down from them was actually worse than stepping up though. It's a pretty narrow space between them. After the concrete blocks, it gets a little steep and you're walking on wet rocks. I'm glad that I had my hiking poles because they help with balance. The waterfall was gorgeous! It's one of my favorite waterfalls! 

If you're okay with climbing on more wet rocks, you can climb up to the mining cave. It's not very far up to get to it, but it was too steep for me to feel comfortable climbing up on the wet rocks. It wasn't the up I was worried about though. I was more concerned about coming down! Another couple went up there and came out screaming because of the spiders. You can only go in about 25 feet before you reach a gate blocking the path. We managed to get out fairly easily. The steepish parts of the trail out were pretty short so we didn't need any breaks. 

There were no restrooms at this trail head. 


I ran the Runtastic App while doing the hike. I couldn't get MapMyHike or Walkmeter to load so I just had the one app. It showed that we walked 3.55 miles and had 439 feet of elevation gain. This doesn't jive with the book or our feelings on the hike. It was far too easy for it to have been 439 feet. We were only out there for an hour and 12 minutes and we normally walk about 2 miles per hour. We stopped for a break or two and we stayed at the waterfall for about 10 minutes, so I'm pretty sure we didn't walk 3.55 miles. I'm so frustrated with these tracking apps. I'm seriously considering buying a GPS unit, but I don't want to spend the money on one. I have an iPhone 6 Plus. It should have a good GPS device in it. I've done research that says it does, so I have to blame the apps. I'm willing to pay for an app as long as it works! I refuse to go pro on Runtastic or any of the other apps I'm trying as long as they keep showing crazy info like 3.55 miles on a 2 mile hike! I didn't bother with a screen shot since the app was so wacky. 

BodyMedia Screen Shot

Here's the BodyMedia screen shot for the hike. It looks lower than I thought it would. My run yesterday seemed pretty low too though so I'm not really sure what's going on. When I checked the mobile app after the hike, but before I uploaded the info, I had over an hour of moderate activity for the day, but after I uploaded, my moderate activity went down to 45 minutes. I'm getting really frustrated with this stuff!

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