Although it requires a drive inland, it’s worth heading about 10 miles east to hike Drift Creek Falls (503/392-3161, $5 parking or NW Forest Pass). The relatively easy but steadily downhill 1.5-mile trail passes through a forest with mostly second growth, a little old growth, lots of big stumps, and an understory of lovely native plants, and it leads to a dramatic 240-foot-high suspension bridge overlooking the 75-foot falls.
The bridge, built in 1998, is as much an attraction as the falls—it sways a little bit as you walk out to view the falls. From the bridge, the trail continues another 0.25 miles to the base of the falls.
From Oregon State Road 18, turn south at Rose Lodge onto Bear Creek Road (which becomes Forest Road 17) and follow it for about nine miles. At the fork with Schooner Creek Road, be sure to go left (uphill); a rustic sign notes that it’s the way to “Drift Creek Camp.”
From U.S. 101, turn east onto Drift Creek Road (at the south end of Lincoln City), then south onto South Drift Creek Road and east onto Forest Road 17. Follow Road 17 for about 10 miles.