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Oregon's Waterfalls: Top 5 to Visit


trail ten falls oregon silver falls state park lower south falls
Lower South Falls

Oregon has easily become one of my favorite repeat destinations- it’s ample in microbreweries, unspoiled state parks, foodie restaurants, hiking trails, scenic landscapes, friendly locals, charming beach towns, and waterfalls. Stating that Oregon is abundant in waterfalls is an understatement; after three visits to the state, the amount of waterfalls still baffles me. There are over 230 falls that exist- crazy, right? Consequently, choosing which waterfalls to visit during your next trip may be a difficult task. To help you narrow down your choices, here are a few of my favorites:


multnomah falls waterfall oregon portland columbia river gorge
Multnomah Falls


Multnomah Falls


Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s most visited waterfall and with good reason- it boasts a 620-foot, two-tiered waterfall (the tallest in the state). While this popular attraction does amass large crowds of tourists, it's still undoubtedly worth a visit. Getting to the bottom of the falls only requires a short walk from the parking lot, making it accessible to everyone. Visitors can also hike to Benson Bridge through a few easy switchbacks, or take a more strenuous trail to the top of the falls.


Tip: Arrive early in the morning to avoid crowds- spring and summer attracts the most visitors.


wahclella falls oregon portland columbia river gorge
Wahclella Falls


Wahclella Falls


Wahclella Falls is a relatively easy, 2.4 mile round-trip hike with an incredible payoff. This scenic trail takes hikers along Tanner Creek, and is ample in fern and moss-covered trees. At the end of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with a roaring, 80-foot waterfall plunging into a dark pool of water.


Tip: Bring cash as there’s a $5 parking fee.


Toketee Falls


Located 4 hours from Portland and 2 hours from Bend, Toketee Falls is perfect for travelers seeking a day trip. The trail itself is an easy, 0.8 mile round-trip hike that ends in a viewing platform for the falls. Toketee Falls is famous for its basalt columns which serve as a backdrop for the waterfall.


Tip: Visit Umpqua Hot Springs after your hike- it’s one of the most popular hot springs in the state.


horsetail falls portland oregon columbia river gorge
Horsetail Falls


Horsetail Falls


There is a plethora of waterfalls to visit along the Columbia River Gorge- one of my personal favorites is Horsetail Falls. This waterfall does not require a hike- you can reach the bottom of the falls by taking a short walk from the parking lot. The falls itself is long and narrow, and strongly resembles a horse’s tail (hence its name).


Tip: If the weather permits, pack some flip flops so you can get up close to the waterfall in the ankle-deep water.


bridal veil falls portland oregon columbia river gorge
Bridal Veil Falls


Bridal Veil Falls


Bridal Veil Falls is an easy, 0.6 mile round-trip hike that is completely doable for people of all ages. After a short stroll along a path of greenery, visitors will reach a wooden deck lookout where they can view the falls. Similar to Multnomah Falls, Bridal Veil Falls is a two-tiered waterfall- however, it stands at 120 feet.


Tip: Climb the giant rock at the bottom of the waterfall for a unique photo op.


Other notable falls to visit:


Trail of Ten Falls


Silver Falls State Park offers hikers the opportunity to view ten waterfalls on a single, 8.7-mile trail. The Trail of Ten Falls provides incredible nature scenery, and you can even walk behind a few of the waterfalls. Two must-visit falls on this trail are South Falls and Upper North Falls.


upper north falls silver falls state park oregon trail of ten falls
Upper North Falls

lower south falls trail of ten falls silver falls state park oregon
Lower South Falls

Wahkeena Falls


While it’s not a huge waterfall like its neighbors along the Columbia River Gorge, Wahkeena Falls is still worth a visit as you can stand within inches of the falls. After an uphill, 0.2-mile walk, visitors can cool off from the waterfall’s spraying mist.


wahkeena falls columbia river gorge portland oregon
Wahkeena Falls

For more places to check out in Oregon, read this blog post.