Saturday, April 4, 2015

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Found in the Pacific Northwest of the US is a canyon of Columbia River known as the Columbia River Gorge.  The canyon has a dept of up to 1200 meters and streches for more than 130km.  It offers quite a stunning landscape with lots of beautiful waterfalls and breathtaking vistas.  

Charming vineyards and orchards are spread throughout to complement the serene environment, with surf town vibe adding in a vibrancy that makes it feell like a totally different world.  Hikers are usually spoilt for choices when it comes to picking trails for their hiking adventures. Most of the trails are, however, recommended for only summer and spring seasons. Some of the best include Catherine Creek, which has a landscape that is 3 miles wide with ponderosa pines and flowery and grassy meadows. Bike tire tracks and boot prints are most common during the spring season.

Multnomah waterfall is one of the main attractions in Portland. It is the second tallest fall in the country that runs all year round. Just a short distance from Portland are the narrow high falls, with the first set of falls dropping more than 500 feet. The fall drops to a quiet pool from which a second set of falls drops. It flows underneath a stone footbridge which was constructed in the early 1900s.

Multnomah Falls

Horsetail Falls, also known as the Ponytail falls, was named based on its characteristic form. It has a height of 176 feet. Towards the end of the spring season and early summer are probably the perfect times to visit the falls, but hikers can have a good time all year round.

Horsetail Falls

Upper McCord Creek Falls is often considered as an upper tier of the Elowah Falls due to their close proximity. The waterfall is however, very scenic and can be accesses via a unique trail that circumvents the walls of Elowah Falls amphitheater.

Upper Falls

Wahkeena Falls, unlike many other falls, does not plunge directly into the ground. Instead, it has a cascading flow which is more subtle and plunges into the Columbia River. It is considered one of the most scenic waterfalls on the Columbia Gorge.

Wahkeena Falls

There are many other falls along Columbia River Gorge that were on my list but I didn't get enough time to see them.  

Latourell Falls is another major attraction. It is the first fall that you will come across after leaving Portland. It has a unique pattern of joints which formed when larva cooled to create columns and prisms over which the falls drop. The upper falls have a height of about 100 feet while the lower falls drop to to about 240 feet. One has to take a short walk in order to view the lower falls from a viewpoint located at a picnic area.

Shepperd’s Dell has a view from a pathway that leads to the falls, which is quite stunning and breath-taking. The falls are a mile away from the Latourell Falls. Another great part is the fact that you don’t have to hike in order to get a nice view of the fall. There is a bridge leading to Shepperd’s Dell along the Interstate 84 historical highway, which offers quite a good view.

Elowah Falls flow all year round but showcases its beauty at peak during the late winter period and spring season. Its aesthetics is enhanced by the yellow-green lichen found on the cliffs on both sides of the falls. It has a height of about 289 feet.

Hole-in-the-Wall Falls came about after its course was diverted due to flooding of a nearby road. A tunnel was made through an adjacent cliff and the creek diverted through it, giving birth to the Hole-in-the-Wall Falls.
Triple Falls begin from the Oneonta Trailhead and parallels the Old Highway. A hundred feet further the trail flattens out and comes to a junction with the Horsetail Falls Trail. It is the 3rd of the Little River Falls and has a height of about 120 feet.

Bridal Veil Falls. Cascading below rugged walls of Mount Index at the west side end of a trail on the Bridal Veil Creek, are the Bridal Veil Falls. A flight of steps besides and parallel to the falls offers an astonishing view of the falls. Standing right next to the water streams pouring from the 100 feet rock face above and watching it disappear below views of the Skykomish Valley and Index wall is guaranteed to fascinate.

Lancaster Falls is found along Mount Defiance Trail in the central CRG. The trail allows for a spectacular close-up view of the falls as it passes just below the falls. The falls form part of a trio of waterfalls and is only a fraction of a waterfall which is much taller. The upper fall is visible from across the Columbia River and can be accessed on foot via a steep and extremely crumbly up-climb of the adjacent slope.

Mosier Creek Falls is found towards the east of the CRG, past the Hood River. Mosier’s Park Trail will lead you to above the Creek Gorge rim where you will see a small cemetery. Next is a viewing area which peers into the canyon to give an up river view of the falls. A nice spot for picnic can be found at the top of the falls with diving spots into the warm and sparkling pool below.
Wahclella Falls when compared to others, has a seemingly anti-climatic characteristic but is quite beautiful and extremely powerful. It is actually the most powerful of all the waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge. It has 2 tiers, one dropping 79 feet and the other 48 feet from a narrow gorge both plunging into a massive pool below.

Dry Creek Falls begin at the Trailhead on the Bridge of the Gods. It was named after its use in the past as the Cascade Locks water source, and can be accessed through the Pacific Crest Trail.


  1. Verell4/06/2015

    The woods scenes are so amazing! Did you get a chance to walk through all those nature trails? How tranquil that must have been!

    1. Yes, we hiked through the trails to see the waterfalls. That was amazing!

  2. Thanks for the lengthy expose on Columbia River Gorge. I was researching on Google for some pictures of mountainous terrain and came upon your log. The writing is very descriptive, to the point and excellent quality. Really enjoyed this post.

    1. Thanks so much for your compliment Abby.

  3. Good Collection Of Pics... Thank You for sharing with us...

    1. Glad to hear that you enjoyed them. (:

  4. I have visited 2 times wahkeena Falls... It's really superb to spend there....

  5. Anonymous5/10/2015

    Gorgeous. I love how each of the waterfalls seems to be so different in character.

    1. Yes, they all look different and unique. (:

  6. Best Place to visit and enjoy....

  7. Anonymous5/23/2015

    I am regularly following this. Keep up the good work, man.