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Cedar Falls

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Revision as of 20:20, 4 May 2016 by Retiredjerry (Talk | contribs)

Cedar Falls from the bushwhack trail (Jeff Statt)
The falls are visible from the Cedar Falls Trail (Jeff Statt)
Not much of a marker! This rotted stump marks the beginning of the spur trail across to see the falls (Jeff Statt)
Cedar Falls (Jeff Statt)
Cedar Falls-Cedar Mountain Trail junction (Jeff Statt)

Description

Cedar Falls is a little known cascade on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. It is in the area between Hamilton and Table mountains. More specifically, Cedar Creek forms the drainage between Aldrich Butte and Cedar Mountain.

There is no established trail to see the falls. Locals have worked to establish and maintain trails to see them, but word has been slow to get out, so it remains one of least-visited falls in the Gorge.

Cedar Falls suffers from a bit of an identity crisis as well. While the USGS has officially named Cedar Creek, the name of the falls is not yet permanently established. In fact, there is a faction of locals that refer to it as Aldrich Falls.

The flow over the falls varies greatly by season. Some summers it has been known to dry up completely, so plan your visit accordingly. An early spring visit may be the best.

There are two ways to get to the falls, neither of which are great. The first is described on this hike page: Cedar Falls Trail. After passing the junction with Cedar Mountain, you'll hike down to a flat area that must have been the location of an old lake. You'll continue to follow the Cedar Falls Trail as it heads due north from the clearing and heads down a gully toward the Cedar Creek valley. Estimate when you've descended about a 1/3 of the way down and begin watching for a large stump (pictured to the right). A faint trail heads off to the left toward the falls. If you can't find this spur trail, no worries; you can pretty safely bushwhack back in there because there is only one way back out.

The other way to get to the falls is by parking near the trailer park in North Bonneville or at the Aldrich Butte Trailhead and follow the dirt roads as they head back along Hamilton Creek just to the west (left) of Aldrich Butte. The dirt road intersects the powerline access road and eventually becomes an old railbed. Follow this along Hamilton Creek until you get to the spot where Cedar Creek flows in. Now you have to bushwhack your way up either side of the creek. Depending on the season, it may be easier to ford the creek itself.

Incidentally, you can see this waterfall from the top of nearby Hamilton Mountain, though it takes a pretty keen eye to spot it! For most hikers this will be the only view they will ever have.

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Contributors

With a keen eye you can spot Cedar Falls from the top of Hamilton Mountain (Jeff Statt)
In late summer it is merely a trickle (Jeff Statt)
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.

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