Monday, July 17, 2006

Munson Creek Falls

LinkMy V-Strom 650 is billed as an "adventure touring" motorcycle, so yesterday I decided to try a little adventure tour. From Portland I rode to Tillamook, Oregon, then south on Highway 101 to the turnoff to Munson Creek Falls, the highest waterfall in the Coast Range. The road to the trailhead is a narrow, bumpy, rocky unpaved road. The V-Strom handled the terrain just fine. A quarter-mile hike in from the trailhead is the view of the falls.

The waterfall is impressive, and it seems very weird because you just don't expect to see such a big waterfall in that area. And without the signs pointing the way, you would never think to go there because the road seems more like a private driveway than the route to a scenic attraction. It was fun, but I liked Falls Creek Falls better, because it is more spectacular, you can get closer to it, and you can see more of it from the trail.

From there, I rode north along 101 to Garibaldi, Wheeler, and then Cannon Beach.

Since it was a summer weekend, Cannon Beach was extremely crowded -- it feels like a packed outdoor shopping mall. I was glad to be on the motorcycle because I was able to find a small parking spot right on the main street. I wandered around and stopped for coffee.

(As you can see from these pictures, I put the Suzuki hard luggage top case on the bike. This is great. It locks, it's waterproof, and it can fit my helmet with room to spare. I was able to take along my camera and other goodies without even using a tank bag.)

Then I headed back to Portland. By that time it was very hot and I was really feeling the heat in full motorcycle leathers. I had my Camelbak on, so I could sip water while I rode. It turned out to be an over 200-mile day, but today I feel great -- the V-Strom is so comfortable, it did not strain my back at all.


Peter said...

We did our first hike in the Smokies a few weeks ago -- 5.4-mile round trip to see some falls that didn't look this good. But the hike was fun.

David ( said...

I saw your posting about Munson Creek Falls. I LOVE THAT PLACE! Great place to find Banana Slugs. Anyway, do you know any other Falls along or near Hwy 101 between Cannon Beach and Florence?

Tom said...

I haven't been there yet, but there is a "Niagra Falls" SE of Blaine that is supposed to be 130 feet high.

Scoot Noodles said...

I think your blog is cool. I used to ride with some cool guys when I lived in Portland. You can check out my site at and now that I live down in Mesa, AZ, I ride with some guys I met at and I have a few shots of a desert ride on my blog at

Have a great day and nice photos that make me miss Oregon...