Rogue Umpqua Scenic Byway: Mill Creek Falls


Day 8 began a lot like Day 7 ended, with clouds and rain.  But it wasn’t enough to discourage me from visiting one place that had been on my list for years: Crater Lake.  On the way there, I found another place to stop, Mill Creek Falls.

From Medford, take OR Rte. 62 north (most of which is part of the Rogue-Umpqua Byway).  You’ll see a sign for the turnoff to Mill Creek Falls as you approach the town of Prospect.  The parking area is about 1 1/2 miles off the main road, but easy to find.

Once again, I was almost in the right place, but I didn’t actually end up seeing Mill Creek Falls, and here’s why.  In the parking area, there’s a map of the area, that shows the trails and the viewpoints.  But, once you start down the trail, there are no more signs to help.  Had I taken a right when I reached an intersection in the trail, I would have ended up at the viewpoint.  Instead, I took a left, and wandered into another area, known as the Giant Boulders.

The boulders here are definitely giant!  This is the point where Rogue River goes crashing downhill, splashing over some enormous rocks in the process.  Kids would have a great (and dangerous) time here, and even I was tempted to do a little amateur rock climbing.  But, everything was wet, from the rain and from the spray coming from the cascade, making the whole area treacherous.

On the walk back, the drizzle stopped, and as I passed between some remarkably huge boulders, I enjoyed a few minutes of sunshine.

Because of my bad sense of direction, I can’t share any personal photos of Mill Creek Falls.  If you want to see a picture, check out Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest.

Note: This trip was first published in 2007.

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