Home  •   Field Guide  •   Forums  •    Unread Posts  •   Maps  •   Find a Hike!
| Page | Discussion | View source | History | Print Friendly and PDF

Difference between revisions of "Wahkeena Falls Hike"

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

m (Difficulty)
m (Robot: Automated text replacement (-\*[ ]*Starting [Pp]oint: \[\[(.*)\]\] +{{Start point|\1}}))
Line 7: Line 7:
[[Image:WahkeenaFalls1.jpg|thumb|300px|Wahkeena Falls]]
[[Image:WahkeenaFalls1.jpg|thumb|300px|Wahkeena Falls]]
* Starting Point: [[Wahkeena Trailhead]]
{{Start point|Wahkeena Trailhead}}
* Ending Point: [[Lemmon's Viewpoint]]
* Ending Point: [[Lemmon's Viewpoint]]
* Trail Log: [[Wahkeena Falls Hike/Log|Trail Log]]
* Trail Log: [[Wahkeena Falls Hike/Log|Trail Log]]

Revision as of 22:49, 23 March 2007

Wahkeena Falls
  • Start point: Wahkeena TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • Ending Point: Lemmon's Viewpoint
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 0.4 round trip to bridge, 2.0 round trip to top
  • Elevation gain: 850 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes


Trip Reports

(Click here to add your own)

Hike Description

Happy hiker

Wahkeena Falls is one of the more popular destinations in the gorge and there's a reason for that. Wahkeena Falls has a beauty all it's own. It's not a huge, single fall like Multnomah or Latourell and there's no lodge or fancy freeway exit to draw people. Wahkeena Creek falls this way and that, now a plunge, now a horsetail, now a cascade. It's just beautiful.

Wahkeena Trail (#420) is also my favorite beginner trail. Even though there's a lot of climbing here, the surface is good, a lot of it recently paved. One of neat things about the Wahkeena Trail is that there's something cool every few hundred feet. It might be a Columbia River view, or it might be a cascading stream. Lots of rewards make it easier for people to challenge themselves. Every time I'm there, I talk to a new hiker and they tell me how tired they are. I encourage them to climb a bit further. Later in the day, I'm likely to find them 500-1000' higher, still tired, but happy and proud.

The trail starts with some beautiful stonework and a wooden bridge over Wahkeena Creek. Make sure you're headed right here. The trail to the left leads to Multnomah Falls. The trail climbs in one long switchback to a stone bridge at the base of Wahkeena Falls. Expect a bit of spray on the trail here year-round. In winter, things can get really icy. A large log here was cut away to clear the trail after it fell down the falls. After the falls, look across the valley at the trail you just traveled and you'll see old stonework that's slid from the trail. A bench makes a good resting spot, or a turnaround if you're pressed for time.

From here, the trail starts up a pretty steep section, climbing about 400' in about half a mile. I have several guidebooks that reference 10 switchbacks, but I counted 12. There are beautiful rock walls, another bench cemented into a wall and better views the higher you climb. The most alert hikers will find a Lego cemented into one of the walls. At the top of this first climb, you'll crest a ridge. Follow the pavement out to the point, called Lemmon's Viewpoint. A plaque here commemorates a firefighter who gave his life fighting forest fires near here. The views from the point are really good up and down the river. This is the end of the hike presented here and this spot makes a pretty good turnaround. On the other hand, better stuff awaits. There's an abandoned trail to the Top of Wahkeena Falls that's not really for the faint of heart. On the other hand, the hike to Fairy Falls and beyond is on a very well maintained safe trail.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • None

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Day Hike! Columbia Gorge, by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • Afoot and Afield Portland/Vancouver, by Douglas Lorain
  • 35 Hiking Trails, Columbia River Gorge, by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Columbia River Gorge, 42 Scenic Hikes, by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Hiking the Columbia River Gorge - 1st and 2nd Editions, by Russ Schneider
  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon - 3rd Edition, by William L Sullivan

More Links


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.