Name of Waterfall

Coquille River Falls


Coquille River Falls is found just off the Rogue-Coquille Scenic Byway south of the town of Powers. Starting in the city of Coos Bay, follow Highway 101 south to Highway 42 and head east for 21 miles through the town of Myrtle Point, then turn south onto the Powers Highway (route 542) after crossing the Middle Fork Coquille River (the sign points to Powers); the Powers highway becomes the Rogue-Coquille Scenic Byway (NFR 33) after passing through the town. Continue for another 38 miles from the turn off at Highway 42, and then bear right onto National Forest Road 3348 where a sign points toward Eden Valley and Sru Lake. Continue along Road 3348 for another 1.5 miles to the trailhead on the left side of the road, just past the bridge over Sru Creek. The trail descends moderately down to the falls in a half-mile, becoming somewhat steep near its end.Coquille River Falls is one of the more consistent waterfalls found in Oregon's Coast Range. Though the volume of water in the South Fork Coquille River can vary immensely through the year, the falls are constructed such that it remains both attractive and worthy of attention at low flow or high; both incredibly impressive in the winter months, and photogenic in the spring and summer.
The falls consist of two distinct steps which drop a total of 115 feet. The upper falls drops a nearly sheer 50 feet over a broad cliff with a subtle horseshoe shape. In the winter nearly the entire 150-foot wide cliff is covered by the thundering river, but come the spring and summer months the river is reduced to several segments falling in parallel. The lower falls, found 180 feet downstream, drops 65 feet over a cliff with two distinct notches that produce two parallel horsetail-type falls dropping in tandem. Like the upper tier, in the winter months the river overwhelms the cliff and bursts over the entire breadth rather than dividing evenly between the segments.
While the lower and upper falls can be seen in tandem from certain vantages, the best views offer primarily vistas of the lower tier itself. It is possible to get closer to the upper tier of the falls, however this requires crossing Drowned Out Creek near the end of the trail (which can be potentially quite hazardous) and then scrambling part way up the cliff next to Coquille River Falls. In the winter months this is not recommended (we wanted to do this to obtain a good up-close photograph or two of the upper tier, but we did not have time on our most recent visit).The falls were named after it's river, that much is fairly certain. The most puzzling question about placenames related to this waterfall is how exactly Coquille is properly pronounced, and this is where it gets confusing: apparently both "ko-KEEL" and "ko-KWEL" are accepted as correct pronunciations, but based on certain context. Both the town of Coquille and the river is colloquially pronounced "Ko-KEEL". The name of the Coquille tribe stems from the Chinook Wawa word "Scoquel", which means Lamprey (common in the river and estuaries in the area). When Anglos settled the Coos Bay area in the mid 1800s, the name Coquille was given to the native tribes of the area because it sounded similar enough, and the French connotation was meant to attempt to appeal to members of higher society in some sort of misguided attempt at romanticism, but it was initially pronounced "Ko-kwel" in following the Chinookian work. Over the years its pronunciation slowly evolved to become "Ko-keel".

Other Names




IWC Rating (International Waterfall Classification)


Total Height (ft)


Tallest Drop


Number of Drops


Average Width


Average High Volume (Cubic ft per second)

330 cfs (7 months)

Average Low Volume (Cubic ft per second)

20 cfs (5 months)


70 degrees

Run (ft)


Watershed or Feeder Stream

Coquille River South Fork Coquille River