It’s no secret that Oregon is full of gorgeous waterfalls – even in unexpected locations near the coast. Youngs River Falls is an impressive 50 foot waterfall near Astoria, Oregon, just 8 miles south of town. A scenic drive along Youngs River will bring you right to the waterfall, which only requires a (very) short trek downhill to access.
Locals visit Youngs River Falls in the summer to cool off in the pool of water at its base, but you can visit the falls any time of year to admire its force and beauty! I visited this winter and was awestruck at how quickly the water rages down the cliffside, and how light mist fills the air nearby. It’s one of the most beautiful places to visit near Astoria, and I’m so grateful to live close by!
If you want to come experience Youngs River Falls for yourself, here’s the lowdown on how to get there, what to expect, things to do, and some safety precautions.
Youngs River Falls at a glance:
- Address: Youngs River Falls Park, Astoria, Oregon 97103
- Height: 50 feet
- Hike distance: 0.3 miles, out and back
- Elevation gain: 49 feet
- Time of year to visit: Year-round; summer for swimming
- Featured in: Free Willy 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3
How to get to Youngs River Falls
From Astoria, take 101 South and turn left onto Youngs River Road. Cruise along the river for about 7 miles, then make a right as you follow signs for the falls. Keep an eye out for the brown signs – they’re very clear and well maintained. You’ll pull into a dirt parking lot with no marked spaces. Claim your spot in the lot, and walk in the opposite direction of the road you came from to find the short trail down to the falls.
Note: if you type the name of the falls into Google Maps, it won’t take you to the right spot. Put in “Youngs River Falls State Park” instead, which will take you to the parking area next to the falls.
Things to do at Youngs River Falls
The Youngs River Falls “hike” is short, sweet, and steep. So the hiking portion of your visit won’t keep you busy for long (if you’re looking for more of a day hike, check out the Indian Beach Trail at Ecola State Park). Once you do make it down the 0.15 mile trail to the falls (be careful on your way down – it can get pretty muddy), the fun begins!
You can visit Youngs River Falls any time of year, but if you visit during the summer, wear your swimsuit – you can hop right into the water at the base of the falls. It’s a popular local swimming hole where people come to cool off when temperatures rise. Bring a floatie and relax – nothing says summer in Oregon like a refreshing dip beneath a majestic waterfall!
Having a picnic at the falls is fun for a family day out, and can be a cute date idea, too. Pack some snacks, lunch, and drinks, and pick out a spot with a view of the waterfall where you can enjoy a meal together. Just make sure to check the weather before you go – as you already know, Astoria gets a lot of rain during winter and spring.
Youngs River is also a reasonably well known fishing spot. If you’ve got a rod and reel or fly fishing gear, take it with you, walk up the river a bit and see if you get any bites! Just make sure what you’re fishing for is in season and you’ve got your ODFW fishing permit on you.
➤ Looking for more fun on the Oregon Coast? Head over to my list of 33 fun things to do in Astoria for fresh ideas!
Know before you go
Before you head over, remember that there are no facilities at the falls – no restrooms, trash cans, water fountains, picnic tables, etc. Youngs River Falls is a “pack in, pack out” kind of place! So make sure you BYO picnic blanket, and be prepared to take any trash back home with you to keep the park looking good as new.
While swimming at the base of a waterfall is an awesome experience, jumping off of rocks or cliffs into the pool below is not. Over the years, a number of people have been seriously injured from jumping into what looks like a deep pool. The rocky cliff that the waterfall tumbles over gradually slopes out into the water, so it’s really not as deep as it looks. Jumping in from up high is a surefire recipe for broken bones. So please! Wade, don’t jump, and enjoy the pool safely.
Youngs River Falls Map
I hope you’re excited to visit this stunning waterfall near Astoria, Oregon. I personally can’t wait to come back this summer and cool off in the water!
Youngs River Falls FAQs:
Youngs River Falls is a popular summer swimming destination near Astoria, Oregon. Locals visit each summer to swim in the cool water beneath the falls.
Youngs River Falls is located in Youngs River State Park, Astoria, Oregon 97103. It does not have an exact address, but can be found by following directions and posted signage to Youngs River Falls.
You do not need to pay for a parking pass at Young’s River Falls. There is a dirt parking lot where you can leave your car for free while you visit the falls.
There are more than 238 waterfalls in Oregon.
Scenes from Free Willy 2 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 were filmed at Youngs River Falls near Astoria, Oregon.