Columbia River Gorge Day Hikes
Cascade Locks, Oregon
If you LOVE the color green, Oregon is the place for you! Right outside of Portland, the Columbia River Gorge is home to a huge amount of waterfalls, all within a short distance from each other and all located within what feels like one huge, lush green jungle.
The most accessible waterfalls to visit will be located along the Historic Columbia River Highway. If you have time to see it all, knock yourself out and stop, park and hike to every waterfall you can along the route. Most are either right off the road or only involve a short hike. If time is more limited, I’d recommend seeing the following waterfalls along the highway: Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls, Oneonta Falls (you’ll have to enter waist deep water along this hike) and Elowah Falls. Click HERE for a great map of the waterfalls along the highway.
Looking for a few additional rewarding day hikes? We have just what the hiking doc ordered.
- The Eagle Creek Trail will take you on a 12 mile roundtrip hike that will lead you to several spectacular, rewarding waterfalls – Punchbowl Falls and Tunnel Falls. Tunnel Falls will be your 6 mile mark and is a good turning point to head back before it gets dark (bring a headlamp just in case). Hike a bit further and you’ll arrive at Twister Falls which is equally rewarding. Be warned, if you’re afraid of heights, this hike may not be for you. The trail becomes very narrow in some spots, right along very steep drop offs – not a place you’d want to trip. Click HERE for a good map and description to help you prepare.
- Unlike almost all other hikes in Oregon that have multiple waterfalls, Ramona Falls is the only waterfall you’ll reach on this 7 mile roundtrip loop hike. You’ll cross the Sandy River, and even get a quick view of Mt. Hood along the way to the falls. The trail is essentially flat and even though there’s only one waterfall on this hike, it’s one of the most beautiful falls I’ve seen in Oregon - just as good as Punchbowl, Tunnel and Latourell Falls. Click HERE for a map of the trail and HERE for some additional information on the trailhead.
- It’s Oregon, the rain capital - bring a rain jacket and a rain cover for your backpack.
- If you’re hiking to Oneonta Falls, Bring a waterproof bag for your electronics/valuables just in case you slip in the water.