Guidebook

7 Superb Waterfall Hikes Near Portland, OR

The Portland area is filthy rich with thundering waterfalls, and this guidebook rounds up 7 of the best waterfall hikes near the city.

Greg Heil

Description

The Pacific Northwest is unlike any place in the world. Towering trees dominate the landscape, and above their vaulted canopy rise glaciated volcanoes visible from hundreds of miles around. The understory of the rainforest is covered in brilliant-green ferns, moss-covered logs, and singletrack trails soggy from the constant rain. Drizzle and mist filter down through the forest canopy, and walking through the fog, ferns, and trees can feel like a trip back in time to a prehistoric era.

The city of Portland is renowned as the gloomiest city in the Lower 48, with 222 gloomy days, according to Move.Org. It's second only to Anchorage, with 239 gloomy days per year. While the amount of rain and cloud cover may seem to be a deterrent from heading outside, the city of Portland serves as a gateway to an absolutely world-class outdoor mecca in the greater Mount Hood region. Local residents aren't content to stay indoors, and the population is fit, active, and adventurous. The region offers world-class opportunities for downhill skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing, mountain biking, kiteboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, trail running, and of course, hiking.

This wet climate creates a unique opportunity for local adventures: water features, and hundreds of them! The Portland area is filthy rich with thundering waterfalls, and this guidebook rounds up 7 of the best waterfall hikes near the city.

The Trail of Ten Falls passes 10 stunning waterfalls in less than 8 miles of hiking, making it quite possibly the best bang-for-your-buck waterfall hike on this list. Multnomah Falls is renowned as the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon, measuring an impressive 620 feet tall. Tamanawas Falls might be a bit of a drive from downtown Portland, but this idyllic spot is well-worth the effort required to reach it.

And those are just the highlights! Wahclella Falls, Elowah, Upper Mccord, Latourell Falls, and Ramona Falls also have their fair share of fans. If anything, the wide array of options to choose from helps spread out the crowds, helping foster a wilderness experience that you won't soon forget!

Tamanawas Falls
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Tamanawas Falls

1 - 2 hrs
5.2 km
159 m
159 m
A beautiful hike through a narrow stream valley leads to a picture-perfect waterfall.
Moderate
Private
Trail of Ten Falls
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Trail of Ten Falls

3 - 4 hrs
11.9 km
508 m
508 m
One of the top hikes in the Pacific Northwest!
Moderate
Private
Multnomah Falls
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Multnomah Falls

1 - 2 hrs
3.8 km
292 m
292 m
The tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon is a truly spectacular sight to behold!
Moderate
Private
Wahclella Falls
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Wahclella Falls

0 - 1 hrs
2.8 km
149 m
149 m
Hike up a steep-walled gorge to find two unique waterfalls, and witness the resilience of this forest following a wildfire.
Moderate
Private
Elowah Falls and Upper McCord Creek Falls
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Elowah Falls and Upper McCord Creek Falls

1 - 2 hrs
4.1 km
220 m
220 m
A combo of two waterfalls on one short but steep hike in the Columbia River Gorge.
Moderate
Private
Ramona Falls Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Ramona Falls Loop

3 - 4 hrs
11.6 km
320 m
320 m
Hike through dense forest and ford a glacial stream, to find a waterfall within the Mount Hood Wilderness.
Moderate
Private
Latourell Falls Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Latourell Falls Loop

1 - 2 hrs
3.2 km
204 m
197 m
Two majestic waterfalls in basalt amphitheaters, both along the same hiking loop and within an easy drive from Portland.
Moderate
Private