Spring Waterfall Chasing: Local’s Guide to the Best 10 Waterfalls in Oregon
1. Multnomah Falls
To the locals, this may be cliché, but for those visiting from out of town you can’t visit Oregon and not see this waterfall! It’s the tallest in the State and that dreamy bridge just begs you to take a photograph. If you’re visiting Portland, it’s just a quick drive east to see this accessable waterfall. There is a trail up to the bridge, which continues on past – few people go past the bridge so this makes it easy to leave the crowds behind. Multnomah Falls is also just one of an entire waterfall alley – check out Latourell, Horsetail, Bridal Veil, and others.
2. Punch Bowl Falls
Another classic waterfall, this remains one of my favorites because it’s so fun to swim in the cool waters below. It’s a little more of a trek but it’s a fairly easy hike. It is very popular in summertime, so go early!
*UPDATE* This waterfall trail as of 2020 is still closed due to the need for trail repairs after the Eagle Creek fire. Please respect all trail closures for yours and others safety.
3. Fairy Falls
One of my favorite falls in the Columbia River Gorge up north – I can’t get over those gorgeous delicate tiers, and it’s a nice and quick hike. This is another one you can visit after seeing Multnomah, I definitely recommend seeing a few in a day and making a whole day out of waterfall chasing.
4. Latourell Falls
Tall and dreamy, this Columbia Gorge falls is a favorite because of its easy accessibility, striking height, and splash factor. If you don’t have much time, hit this one up because it’s just a short walk down a pathway. The closer you get to the base the more you’re likely to get wet so be prepared for that! If you’ve got more time, there are plenty of gorgeous hikes nearby.
5. Drift Creek Falls
A waterfall under a suspension bridge?! The uniqueness of this hike makes it one of my favorites to explore in the west along the coast. It’s not as well known as some of these other waterfalls so if you go in the middle of the week you’re likely to have very few others with you! Cross the bridge and continue down the trail to reach the base of the waterfall.
6. Salt Creek Falls
Northern Oregon is not the only amazing place to see waterfalls – head down to west-central Oregon to see this beauty. It’s less visited than some of the other waterfalls on this list and the scale of it is just incredible!
7. Sahalie & Koosah Falls
Technically two waterfalls for the price of one, but you can see both of these on one of the most lovely riverside hikes around. In winter, these blue waters absolutely glow against the snow.
8. Abiqua Falls
A gem in the middle of the state, I recommend parking up top and hiking all the way down, as the road isn’t suited to anything less than a high clearance 4×4 vehicle – I’m serious, don’t try this in your sedan. Getting to the base is a short and steep trek – there is a rope to help you get down so bring some gloves if you don’t want dirty hands. When you get to the base you’ll be greeted by some incredible columnar basalt formations on either side of the waterfall.
9. White River Falls
Head out east and you’ll find this incredible waterfall erupting out of the desert – well worth the drive! The first time I saw an image of this place I knew I had to go. Since it’s so far away from the main cities, I often have this waterfall to myself.
10. BONUS 10! – Trail of Ten Waterfalls
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Hey I’m Rebecca!
I’m a freelance travel & outdoors photographer and blogger living in the US but you can find me adventuring around the globe! On this blog I share tips to help you improve your photography, inspiration to explore the outdoors, destination guides, and travel tips, and more to plan your own adventures!
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