A Little Time and a Keyboard: Waterfall Hunting Near Portland, Oregon

Waterfall Hunting Near Portland, Oregon

Friday, August 31, 2018

Enjoying waterfalls and Columbia River views near Portland, Oregon.

The Columbia River Gorge near Portland, Oregon provides for many opportunities to view magnificent scenery and even enjoy waterfall hunting. We delighted in exploring three waterfalls on our trip and there are many more in the area. The Columbia River Gorge is a stunning canyon carved by the magnificent Columbia River. The area is marked with mountains, overlooks, waterfalls, rivers and more. The scenery is powerful in the entire area treating visitors with a plethora of nature experiences.

Savoring the moment viewing the Columbia River near Bridal Veil Falls in Oregon.
Savoring the moment viewing the Columbia River.

Bridal Veil Falls

Our first exploration took us to Bridal Veil Falls. The loop to Bridal Veil Falls is a relatively short hike. Several overlooks in the area provide  breathtaking views of the Columbia River like the one above. The hike to the falls does include stairs but overall the waterfall was easy to get to.

Taking the stairs at Bridal Veil Falls to enjoy amazing views!
Taking the stairs at Bridal Veil Falls to enjoy amazing views!

Soaking up views of Bridal Veil Falls -- what a splendid way to spend a morning!

Shimmering and beautiful Bridal Veil Falls in Oregon
Shimmering and beautiful Bridal Veil Falls.

Multnomah Falls

Next, we visited the popular Multnomah Falls. I recommend visiting Multnomah Falls earlier in the day because the parking tends to get full. You can also ride a shuttle from nearby Rooster Rock State Park. Multnomah Falls is the most visited natural treasure in the Pacific Northwest with over 2 million visitors per year. The 620 foot double cascade is quite a sight to behold!

The bridge was crafted by Italian stone masons in 1914. The scene is both historic and picturesque. You can easily see why Multnomah Falls is a favorite and millions of tourists has visited for decades. Overall, the walking to see the falls and up to the bridge is not too difficult and you find many picture taking moments. There are other trails that are unfortunately closed currently due to a fire, so check before you go.

Latourell Falls

Next, we went to Latourell Falls which is another incredible two tier falls. There are vantage points that are easily walkable from the parking lot. To get the better views, you will need to hike which will include hiking up higher in elevation.

Latourell Falls' lovely cascade with the forest around.
Latourell Falls' lovely cascade.
The loop to get up close to the upper falls is 2.4 miles. We did like use our walking sticks on the trail, so I am glad that we brought them. Most of the trail was pretty shaded which was nice.

Shaded hiking path with luscious vegetation at Latourell Falls in Oregon.
Shaded hiking path with luscious vegetation at Latourell Falls in Oregon.
Getting up close to the falls is magical. Very much worth the hike!

Latourell Falls glides like a silver thread!

Here we are at the base of the top tier. Look how close you can get!

Up close at Latourell Falls in Oregon.
Up close at Latourell Falls.

Vista House

After visiting Latourell Falls, we discovered Vista House perched up atop Crown Point. Constructed in 1918, Vista House provides amazing views of the Columbia River from 733 feet above.

Panoramic views of the Columbia River can be viewed from all around and on the observation deck of the Vista House.

View of the Columbia River from the Vista House in Oregon.
View of the Columbia River from the Vista House.

Inside the Vista House, you will enjoy a slice of the history of the region through exhibits, the sunlight beckoning through the glass windows and even a nice espresso to warm you up. Volunteers are available to provide insight into the history of Vista House and the treasures of the Columbia River Gorge.

Glorious windows and dome.

Our day of exploring the Columbia River Gorge and waterfalls was truly memorable. The views and hiking are just spectacular and provide an amazing way to escape from it all. There is much more to discover in the Columbia River Gorge both in Oregon and Washington. We are looking forward to returning and discovering more!


  • I recommend verifying that trails are open ahead of time. A number were closed during our visit due to landslides because of forest fires. If you have an idea ahead of time, you can plan your strategy better.
  • Wear hiking boots. Some areas are rugged. Plus, there are wet areas and shoes without proper grip may have you flying.
  • There is a lodge that now houses a gift shop, travel info center and restaurant at Multnomah Falls for some relaxation and travel planning. The lodge was originally built in 1925. There is also travel info and a light snack/espresso shop at Vista House.
  • There are restrooms near each of the falls that we visited. So, if you are planning on more hiking these are great places to go before venturing further out.
  • You will find locally made gifts and other souvenirs at Mulnomah Falls Lodge and Vista House.
  • Bring your lunch, snacks, adequate water, sunscreen and bug spray.
  • I recommend bringing hiking maps if you plan to hike in case your phone does not work.
Waterfall Hunting Near Portland, Oregon

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