GoalTechHikes Latourell Falls - Nobody there...almost

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mjirving
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GoalTechHikes Latourell Falls - Nobody there...almost

Post by mjirving » March 25th, 2018, 4:56 pm

Latourell Falls
“Finishing up my entire hike of the open trails in the Oregon Gorge” 

3/24/18
Rating: 3 Stars

Miles: 3.5
Time: 1 hrs, 20 min
Avg MPH: 2.6
Elev Min: 140’
Elev Max: 835’
Total Ascent: 925’
Start Time: 7:55 am
Temp Low: 35
Temp High: 40
Other hikers: 4 (at the base of the falls)
Female hikers: 50%
Longest time without seeing a hiker: 1:15
Wildlife: Robin birds
Parking Permit Required: No
Parking Lot: Paved with space for about 15 cars
Bathrooms: Pit toilets

Eagle Creek burn * Latourell Falls * Snow * Upper Latourell Falls

Opening Shot: Latourell Falls
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After finishing my warm-up hike at Bridal Veil Falls, I drove the short distance to the trailhead of Latourell Falls, just west, down the Historic Columbia Highway a few miles. Along the way, I caught my first glimpses of the edges of the Eagle Creek fire from last summer. It appeared that the highway was a nice, natural fire break.
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It further looked like the “edge” due to the trees only being burned on the fire-side of the fire, and not on the highway side.
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I arrived at Guy W. Talbot State Park for my hike. This is the name of the man/family that originally donated this land back to the State to be used for recreational purposes. Latourell falls is a 249’ waterfall that is just off the main road, so even if not doing the hike, it’s an impressive falls to visit only 100 yards from the parking lot.
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Last time I was here I went counter-clockwise, so I mixed it up and went clockwise this time. I was fortunate that I had pretty decent weather on this day that had a fair bit of rain. Up the side trail to the left, I got a side angle view of these pretty falls.
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The trail curled around to the top of the falls, but as is typical, the views from the top aren’t terribly impressive, just a nice view of the parking lot. Continuing up the trail, it runs close and parallel to Latourell Creek. The elevation increases from the top of the falls, but at a very gradual rate. Just before reaching the Upper Latourell Falls, I saw a dusting of snow,
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juxtaposed with the fresh blooms of Western Trillium.
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Upper Latourell Falls is no slouch either. It has a similar look to it as Bridal Veil Falls.
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From here I crossed the creek to head back. There were a few muddy sections on the way back, not terribly bad, but if you want to avoid it all-together, then go back on the east side or wait for the trail to dry up a bit.
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My flower for the trip down was the early buds from what I believe are Salmonberry bushes.
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About 1/2-way down there is a short side-trail loop that drops down to a natural, rocky platform that overlooks the top of the falls and down to the base. Not a terribly good view, but better than from the top on the other side.
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The trail then loops wide to the west in a big switchback, away from the creek. I caught a view of the snow on the other side of the Gorge.
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The trail drops down to the highway and crosses it to resume on the other side, where it drops down to a picnic area, and then back around to wind under the beautiful arching highway bridge.
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After passing under the bridge, I arrived at the base of the falls and another bridge to get back over the creek. There were 4 people here which summed up the grand total of all the hikers I saw on this hike. So much for the trail being overcrowded (granted it was early still on a cold day with chance of rain).
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On a warmer day, it would be fun to venture closer to the pool where the falls come crashing down.
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A quick walk up brought me back to the parking area with the nice interpretive signs that explain all the history of the area, with the falls perfectly framed.
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There you have it…I successfully hiked every mile of open trail on the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge. I’m exhausted! (well…not really)

Summary:
This is another easily accessible hike, that is very straight-forward with a big bang for the buck with 2 impressive waterfalls.

Favorite experience of the day:
Being out by the upper falls with no one else around.

Least favorite experience of the day:
The mud required a little careful footing, but it wasn’t too bad.

Today's elevation:
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Google Earth with Track:
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Video Clip:
2018-03-24 Latourell Falls from Michael Irving on Vimeo.

-GoalTech
www.GoalTechHikes.com
@goaltechhikes (Instagram)

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Chip Down
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Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: GoalTechHikes Latourell Falls - Nobody there...almost

Post by Chip Down » March 27th, 2018, 4:29 am

On a warmer day, it would be fun to venture closer to the pool where the falls come crashing down.
Or on a much much colder day ;)

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mjirving
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Joined: July 5th, 2011, 10:40 am

Re: GoalTechHikes Latourell Falls - Nobody there...almost

Post by mjirving » March 27th, 2018, 4:33 am

Yes, that too. ;-)

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Bosterson
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Joined: May 18th, 2009, 3:17 pm
Location: Portland

Re: GoalTechHikes Latourell Falls - Nobody there...almost

Post by Bosterson » March 27th, 2018, 8:22 am

Hey Mike, judging by your GPS track, it looks like you took a kayak off the top of the falls. How was it? :)
Will hike off trail for fun.

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mjirving
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Joined: July 5th, 2011, 10:40 am

Re: GoalTechHikes Latourell Falls - Nobody there...almost

Post by mjirving » March 27th, 2018, 11:06 am

It was a real thrill going down...the hard part was getting back up. ;-)

I guess that’s an indication of how close I was to the edge.

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Don Nelsen
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Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: GoalTechHikes Latourell Falls - Nobody there...almost

Post by Don Nelsen » March 27th, 2018, 6:18 pm

Thanks for this TR. It's good to know there are at least a few OR hikes out there.

DN
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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mjirving
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Joined: July 5th, 2011, 10:40 am

Re: GoalTechHikes Latourell Falls - Nobody there...almost

Post by mjirving » March 27th, 2018, 6:47 pm

You bet! It'll be interesting to see where people venture out this year. I've got a couple more "Oregon Hikes" up my sleeve for hopefully this weekend. Two new ones for me.

Mike

Thuja
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Joined: February 10th, 2018, 8:19 pm

Re: GoalTechHikes Latourell Falls - Nobody there...almost

Post by Thuja » April 5th, 2018, 6:03 pm

mjirving wrote:Latourell Falls
My flower for the trip down was the early buds from what I believe are Salmonberry bushes.
Image
You are correct, Rubus spectabilis.

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mjirving
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Joined: July 5th, 2011, 10:40 am

Re: GoalTechHikes Latourell Falls - Nobody there...almost

Post by mjirving » April 5th, 2018, 7:13 pm

Awesome...thanks for the confirmation!

Mike

squidvicious
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Re: GoalTechHikes Latourell Falls - Nobody there...almost

Post by squidvicious » April 6th, 2018, 5:30 pm

mjirving wrote:Least favorite experience of the day:
The mud required a little careful footing, but it wasn’t too bad.
Definitely worth noting. I had a small, slo-mo slip in the mud there at the beginning of February--not even enough to justify calling it a "fall"--that managed to tear up my shoulder. It's still messed up.

Those overly-familiar, easy trails where you don't really think about needing to be careful can get you.

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