Through the waves of evergreen vines, treading lightly on uneven mossy rocks, hearing the soft roar of falling water ahead — waterfalls are a fantastic occurrence. From staying at all-inclusive rainforest resorts to roughing it in the woods, a waterfall hike is an exciting adventure to add to any type of vacation itinerary.
Unsure where these flowing water wonders reside in the Beaver State? We’ll take you on a tour of the must-do hikes in Oregon with waterfalls and how to flow your way through these rapid waters with ease.
Best Waterfall Hikes in Oregon
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Much like the hiking trails in Austin, Oregon provides a wide array of nature walks that features waterfalls and spots to dip your toes.
Whether you prefer a great trek through the shrubbery or if you enjoy scenic waterworks without the heavy lifting, this US state will have you spoilt for choice. Take a look at the best waterfalls in Oregon to hike your way to the ultimate cascading treasures.
Tumalo Falls Trail
Situated near the city of Bend in Oregon within the Deschutes National Forest, the Tumalo falls trail is an amazing trail for hiking and biking. This forest is a national monument and hosts a wide selection of terrains to explore. The entrance fee is $5 per vehicle, and overnight camping is not permitted within the premises.
From its sparkling lake to its babbling brooks, Deschutes National Forest provides various dreamscapes for every type of nature lover. This hike will begin at a parking lot and consists of a 10.5 km (6.5 miles) trail to get to the spectacular site of one of the best waterfalls Oregon has to offer.
To capture this Oregon waterfall in all its glory, we recommend travelling to the lower viewpoint to encounter one of the most exceptional views in Oregon. This view showcases the 90-metre falling waters of Tumalo Falls surrounded by a lush network of trees.
Travel to the upper viewpoint to encounter the ultimate ‘top of the world’ feeling while looking down the waterfall and absorbing its mountainous scenery. Whether you prefer paddling along the brook with your furry companion (permitted if on a leash) or enjoying the rhythmic hum of the waterfall solo, you’re in for a treat.
Toketee Falls Trail
This hidden awe-inspiring waterfall from the North Umpqua River consists of two-tiered falls framed by volcanic basalt structures. Its name originates from the Chinook Jargon word that essentially means “graceful,” and it is a fine-fitting name for these elegant cascading falls.
The trail to this waterfall is near Idleyld Park in Douglas County and is a relatively easy hike, which is less than 1.7 km (1 mile) long. The winding cleared walk is peppered with magnificent trees, including Douglas-firs and gigantic Oregon maples.
The top tier of the falls is around 8.5 metres (27.9 feet) in height, and the lower waterfall comes in at approximately 26 metres (85.3 feet). These falls have various viewing points, including the main viewing platform for an easy access experience. A carved slice of harmonious heaven, this top contender for the best Oregon waterfall will sure be worth the short trek.
Tip: If you’re looking to add another magnificent nature adventure to your itinerary, the nearby Crater Lake will keep you satisfied. A mere 33-minute drive from Toketee Falls, this swimming hole arguably has some of the bluest waters in the world.
Tamanawas Falls Trail
A riverside trail situated in a sea of forest-covered rolling hills, the Tamanawas Falls Trail is the epitome of natural beauty.
Located within the Mount Hood National Forest, you’ll find the entrance to this trail at the parking area of East Fork-Tamanawas Trailhead. From meadows sprinkled with wildflowers in the summer to the warm hues of leaves in the Fall, the Tamanawas Falls provides a kaleidoscope of colours in every season.
Depart on your journey by taking the East Fork Trail, which will lead you to the Tamanawas Falls Trail. Ranging from flowing creeks and stoic giant trees, this moderately rated hike is filled with enchanting surroundings.
However, the real prize is the 36-metre (2034-foot) waterfall that spurts over a basalt cliff powered by the rushing streams of Cold Spring Creek. A fine mist sprays from the falls, and its moss-covered surroundings will present gorgeous sceneries of unhindered nature at its finest.
Multnomah Falls Trail
If you’re looking for a waterfall hike near Portland, this top trail adventure is the one for you. Known as this states’ tallest waterfall, coming in at a whopping 620 metres (2034 feet), Multnomah Falls is a staple on any Oregon bucket list. The hike is around 3.5 km (385 miles) and is well worth the effort once you feast your eyes on the grandeur of this streaming glory.
The waterfall is a double-tiered wonder created through the natural underground springs of Larch Mountain. The most famous viewpoint of the Multnomah Falls is from the iconic Benson Bridge, which was constructed in 1914.
This arch bridge is centred between the upper and lower tiers of the waterfall and will have your eyes bouncing back and forth to capture its bountiful beauty fully. The visitor centre offers a free map of the vicinity to make your journey to the waterfall a hassle-free experience.
Hiking to Waterfalls in Oregon – Things to Know
Navigating the ebbs and flows of the best waterfalls is a memorable experience, but certain precautions should be considered. Take a look at the list below to ensure your visit to these falling water angels of nature is a safe one:
- Some parks may experience temporary closures due to an increase in wildfire risks. Be sure to check beforehand on your day of departure.
- While it might be an obvious one, you should stay on the designated trail carved out for the very purpose of visitors looking to enjoy the hike.
- Be aware of slippery rocks when you tread closer to the mouth of the waterfall. Wear grip-friendly sneakers or shoes to ensure you avoid any nasty falls.
Final Thoughts on the Ultimate Waterfall Hikes in Oregon
Image by Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash
Whether you embark on the Toketee Falls Trail or the Multnomah Falls Trail, you’ll have a captivating experience walking through its picturesque plains.
Hiking trails in Oregon with waterfalls provide a fantastic way to enjoy a crowning jewel of nature’s mystifying manifestations. From the burst of an energetic rush of its waters which leaps into an elegant plunge through the sky, waterfalls boast one of nature’s most wonderful performances.