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Wahkeena Falls (Top)

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

This page is marked as a Lost Hike. The "trail" may be dangerous and hard to follow and is not recommended for beginning hikers without an experienced leader. Beginning hikers should check out our Basic Hiking Information page.
Upper area of Wahkeena Falls (Steve Hart)
Waterslide in the middle of Wahkeena Falls (Steve Hart)
Trail sign near the hidden junction (Steve Hart)

Contents

Description

Here's a quick "lost" trail and it's easy to get to too. It leads to the upper part of Wahkeena Falls. It's a bit reminiscent of Eagle Creek, with some definite cliffside sections, safe enough for the careful hiker, but keep the pets and little children away. Remember that this is an unmaintained trail. No one is testing the ground for slip hazards or regrading the trail when washouts occur. The trail is overgrown and difficult in places. There are broken handrails paralleling irregular stone steps covered with accumulated loose gravel. A bit of carelessness could turn you into part of the waterfall. The entire thing is only maybe 1/3 mile long, but it takes an hour or so to discover. If you're like me, you might find that the rare solitude next to a large fall extends your time by a bit.

Hike up the Wahkeena Trail #420 about 0.7 miles, just passed Lemmon's Viewpoint, until you see an old "Wahkeena Trail" sign on a tree. Off to your right, you can find a really overgrown little trail. To start, it heads southward, paralleling the Wahkeena Trail, but dropping down the slope. There's a single switchback in a bit. Though the trail is overgrown, it's still fairly easy walking. The biggest obstacles are spider webs and a couple of low hanging vine maples that you can lift to get by. A little ways down you'll find a view of Little Necktie Falls. Then the trail steepens a bit and we come to an old handrail. The first piece seems fairly solid, but other parts are rusted and broken. Please don't trust any of it. The steepest part of the trail has steps cut from the rock. Soon you'll be in the narrow canyon with the waterfall itself. This upper portion of the falls is pretty much hidden from the highway and trail overlooks. With the ruins of handrails and ledges cut from the rock, the entire place seems like a ruin from an earlier civilization. It's a beautiful place, but be careful!

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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.