Oregon’s Best Waterfall for Spring

Posted by West Columbia Gorge Chamber on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Terry Richard, of The Oregonian has provided an extraordinary list of Oregon’s Best Waterfalls. The Columbia River Gorge holds an entire section in the list of the Best Waterfalls for Spring in Oregon. The Columbia River Gorge has a high concentration of waterfalls surround by natural beauty providing a surreal environment to those who visit. Read about each of the Best Waterfalls for Spring in The Columbia River Gorge below.

Latourell Falls: The first show stopper east of Portland is in Guy Talbot State Park at the west end of the gorge. Take exit No. 28 eastbound from Interstate 84 at Bridal Veil and drive three miles east on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Westbound traffic should use exit No. 35 and follow the scenic highway west. The lower falls, 249 feet of mist, can be viewed from the parking area, with a short paved trail leading up to the spray. An 80-foot upper falls can be viewed by following the trail 0.8 miles.

Multnomah Falls: Is there anyone in Oregon who hasn’t heard of this one in the  heart of the Columbia Gorge. Multnomah Falls can actually bring traffic to a standstill on I-84, during peak viewing days/times while drivers maneuver to negotiate the left lane exit. The upper falls drops 542 feet and the lower 69 feet. Exit No. 31 from I-84 has a parking area between eastbound and westbound lanes. The falls can also be reached from historic Route 30. Or you can view the falls at 65 mph from the freeway, but the better plan is to join the crowds, bite the bullet and hike the paved trail for one mile to an overlook platform at the top of the falls.

Elowah Falls: The second highest named falls in the gorge is in John B. Yeon State Park, two miles east of the campground at Ainsworth State Park. Elowah Falls plunges 289 feet on lower McCord Creek. Take eastbound exit No. 35 from I-84 and drive two miles east on the frontage road. Westbound traffic should use exit No. 37, then cross south under the freeway and drive a short way east on the frontage road. Also known as McCord Creek Falls, the spectacular lower falls is connected with a 100-foot cascades higher up. The trail is well marked, though noisy from freeway traffic. Plan to hike 1.6 miles round trip to the lower falls and three miles for both falls. The parking lot also gives access to a new state bicycle trail that reaches nine miles east to Cascade Locks. 

Wahclella Falls: This gorgeous falls blasts out of a slot canyon in two sections, more than 100 feet high for both. Access is across I-84 from Bonneville Dam. Use exit No. 40 from I-84, then drive a few hundred yards to the parking lot on the southwest side of the freeway exit. The small parking lot can be jammed, so you may need to park in the first lot at Bonneville Dam or at Tooth Rock trailhead on the southeast side of the freeway. To reach the falls, hike upstream along Tanner Creek for one mile to the end of the trail. There is a high and low loop option along the way, but both end at the same place.

Tunnel Falls: Now we get serious. To see this waterfall, you need to hike up the Eagle Creek Trail near Bonneville. Use eastbound exit No. 41 (signed Eagle Creek), drive one mile to the end of the road and park. Westbound traffic should use Exit No. 40, then get on the freeway going east for a mile. The 100-foot Tunnel Falls is just one of many spectacular sights along the Eagle Creek Trail, one of the most popular hiking routes in the gorge, 5.9 miles from the trailhead. The trail is blasted through basalt behind the falls, thus giving the falls its name. You’ll see Punchbowl Falls about two miles in on the trail, which is a turn-around destination for many hikers.

SRC: See all of Terry Richard’s Oregon’s best waterfalls for spring splashes, Columbia gorge to North Umpqua at: www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2015/04/oregons_best_waterfalls_for_sp.html

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Categories: Oregons Best Waterfalls, The Columbia River Gorge, Uncategorized