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Waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge

Vertical basalt walls along the Columbia River Gorge are graced with the greatest concentration of waterfalls in North America, particularly along the Oregon side of the western Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge is host to a handful of stunning waterfalls, all of which will be sure to relax your mind and deepen your appreciation for just how beautiful our world can be. Whether you choose to stop at one or many of these beautiful landmarks, you’ll find it easy to melt into nature and the effortless serenity of the Columbia River Gorge.

Waterfall Types

Drops vertically and away from the cliffside, losing contact with bedrock. Multnomah Falls is a classic example and so is Latourell Falls.

Falls, then falls, then falls again. It has sereral “tiers”- separate falls that can all be viewed all at once. Wahkeena is tiered as well as Bridal Veil.

Pours over a wide section of a stream. Dutchman Falls along upper Multnomah Creek is a block shape and can be seen at the 1.7 mile point on Larch Mountain Trail #441.

Tumbles along a series of rock steps. You’ll find a fine model by following the directions to Dutchman Falls, then hiking 0.2 of a mile (a total of 1.9 miles from the trailhead) to Upper Multnomah Falls, near the junction with Wahkeena Trail #420.

Pours out of a narrow opening in the stream and into a pool. Punchbowl Falls, a 2.1 mile hike on Eagle Creek Trail, features a viewpoint and bench- the perfect combination for a rest stop.

Descends from a stream above and is similar to a horsetail but it gets broader or “fans out” at the bottom. See fan-shaped falls by hiking the Wahkeena Trail #420 a little over a mile from the trailhead to Fairy Falls.

Looks just like a horsetail. Dropping vertically, it maintains contact with bedrock. Oneonta and Horsetail Falls are good examples.

Separate into several parts. Examples include Triple Falls on Oneonta Trail #424, and upper McCord Creek Falls on the Elowah Falls Trail out of John B. Yeon State Park.


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