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Langfield Falls Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Langfield Falls in summer (bobcat)
Trail sign, Langfield Falls (bobcat)
A peeled cedar, Peeled Cedar Trail (bobcat)
Trails at Langfield Falls and the Peeled Cedar Interpretive Site (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Langfield Falls Trailhead
  • Ending Point: Langfield Falls
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 80 feet
  • High Point: 3,490 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Late spring into fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

Sixty-foot Langfield Falls is one of the prettiest plunges in the Mount Adams area and is well-worth a side trip if you are hiking nearby. In summer, you will see a single plume of water splashing down a breccia face, while at wetter times (through the first part of July) the falls become a twin plunge or even a roaring 70-foot wide panorama. Also near the falls is the Peeled Cedar Historic Site, which is well worth a stopover.

The Langfield Falls Trail #8 descends past a kiosk into shady Douglas-fir/western hemlock forest. You’ll notice a couple of spur trials that lead right down to quiet Mosquito Creek above the falls. Keeping on the main trail, you’ll descend above the amphitheater created by Langfield Falls, which are clearly visible from this part of the trail. At a switchback, there’s a bench and a memorial sign honoring K.C. Langfield, a District Ranger in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest from 1933 – 1956.

The trail drops to a good view of the falls. To reach the lush creek bottom itself, you’ll have to negotiate a very steep descent (A knotted rope is supplied for your stability). A closer approach to the falls means balancing along the stacked timber below the shallow plunge pool. Note the texture of the fall face, which is composed of glacial breccia eroded by the creek down to a much harder layer of basalt at the base of the falls.

Near Langfield Falls is the very short Peeled Cedar Trail #15 (formerly known as the Basket Tree Interpretive Site), which you can do on your way in or on the return (For directions, see the Peeled Cedars Trailhead). The loop trail here leads through old growth to a couple of cedars from which slabs of bark were peeled by indigenous peoples. Cedar bark was used by Native Americans to make baskets, cribs, rope, and mats, among other household items.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • $1 toll on Hood River Bridge

Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Mt Adams West, WA #366
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Adams Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • Best Hikes With Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades by Joan Burton
  • Washington’s South Cascades Volcanic Landscapes by Marge & Ted Mueller
  • Day Hiking Mount Adams and Goat Rocks by Tami Asars
  • 95 Virtual Hikes of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument by Northwest Hiker
  • Best Short Hikes in Washington’s South Cascades & Olympics by E.M. Sterling & Ira Spring
  • Curious Gorge by Scott Cook

More Links


Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.