When you think of waterfalls in southern Oregon, Mill Creek Falls comes to mind almost immediately. Thousands of visitors have viewed this Prospect icon and many local residents make yearly trips to the area, often at different times of the year to take advantage of the different foliage throughout the year. But did you know that there is another falls on Mill Creek that is even easier to get to and is quite spectacular in its own right?
Pearsony Falls is relatively short, but can carry a lot of water, depending on the time of year. It is located on an old logging road which is accessed just across Mill Creek Drive from the Prospect Store. There is a convenient parking area with enough spaces to handle several cars and the trail begins there. After reaching the falls, the trail continues on to the gorge overlooking the boulders at Avenue of the Boulders. When reaching this area, be especially careful, there is no hand rail and the gorge is deep. A misstep in this area can lead to a long hospital stay—if you’re lucky.
But the destination is Pearsony Falls, and it is well worth the trip. The path is a gentle downhill slope to the falls, and also gentle on the return trip. As mentioned, it is an old logging road, wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side. The trail is under a canopy of fir and a few assorted broadleaf trees as well. In the fall, the leaves of some of the vine maple turn brilliant red and yellow, lending to the experience. Also along the path are interesting rock formations. The entirety of Prospect rests on a plateau of lava rock, hence the formation of the falls.
Nearing the falls, you will hear the sounds of falling water. Within a few yards you will be at the falls, something of a cascade type of falls. The height is approximately 15-feet, not large by most standards, but certainly worth the trip. The flow can be heavy at times; expect more during the rainy months and during spring run-off.
Winter months require more caution. Ice can develop during especially cold times, and that can make stepping on rocks dangerous. Mist from the falls can also accumulate and cause treacherous footing. Stay back from the edge of the creek to make certain of your safety.
Making the trip during winter months, means you will be cold on the return trip. Fortunately there are several places in Prospect to get a cup of hot liquid to warm the bones.
Pearsony Falls is close enough to the local area to make the trip in a short time and have time enough left for dinner in one of the area’s fine dining establishments.