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Lancaster Falls

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Lancaster Falls from the weigh station on I-84 (bobcat)
Lower tier of Lancaster Falls from the Mt. Defiance Trail (Steve Hart)


Lancaster Falls is the third of three waterfalls located on the lower portion of the Mount Defiance Trail. The trail passes the lower tier of the falls, which is a modest, 20 foot drop almost directly on to the trail. The most impressive part of the waterfall however is the upper area, which is nearly invisible from the trail. Intrepid, poison-oak fearless people can scramble up the steep slope on the west side of the waterfall around a large basalt point to a better view of the upper portion. Even here a good photo is virtually impossible.

The very top of the waterfall can be viewed from the first clearing on the Starvation Ridge Trail, where it appears the water cascades directly into the top of the trees.

The best view may be from the truck weigh station off the westbound lanes of I-84. From late fall to early spring, when the leaves are off the maples, almost the entire upper drop of Lancaster Falls can be seen. The falls are named after Samuel C. Lancaster (1864-1941), the engineer who began supervising construction of the Columbia River Highway in 1913.

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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.