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5 Mount Hood Waterfalls to Visit

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If you’re on the hunt for some breathtaking escapes in Oregon, you’ve got to check out the stunning waterfalls near Mount Hood.

These natural wonders range from easy, breezy walks to more challenging hikes, each leading to a cool cascade. I’ve been chasing these falls since I was a teen and they never get old.

These are the five best waterfalls near Mount Hood!

1. Tamanawas Falls (Our Fav Mount Hood Waterfall)

Distance: 3.4 miles
Type of Trail: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 580 feet

Other important notes:

Tamanawas Falls is a stunning, curtain-like waterfall that drops about 150 feet, creating a fascinating sight, especially during the peak flow in spring and early summer.

A long exposure of a river in the forest with a wooden bridge crossing over it on Tamanawas Falls trail.
River along the Tamanawas Falls trail.

The trail to the falls takes you through a beautiful forest setting and then a bit of a rocky scramble, offering a mix of adventure and nature vibes.

The path is well-marked and generally easy to navigate, though the final stretch to get a closer view of the falls can be a bit rocky and slippery.

Nina in jeans and a black top sitting on a log admiring Tamanawas Falls with yellow wildflowers around.
Nina enjoying Tamanawas Falls.

If you’re visiting during winter, the waterfall turns into a frozen wonderland, offering a completely different experience, though extra caution is needed due to ice and snow on the trail.

TIP: You can walk behind the falls! BUT watch your step as you get closer and closer, as the mist can make rocks slick, and it would be a nasty fall.

READ MORE: Hiking The Gorgeous Tamanawas Falls Trail

2 & 3. Sahalie Falls & Umbrella Falls

Distance: 3.4 miles round trip
Type of Trail: Out and Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 700 feet

Other important notes:

Want two for the price of one? You’re in luck!

Sahalie Falls and Umbrella Falls can be visited together on a loop trail that offers diverse scenery, including meadows, forested areas, and, of course, two of the most beautiful Mount Hood waterfalls.

The huge Sahalie Falls flowing from a rock surrounded by the forests of Mt. Hood.
Sahalie Falls.

Sahalie Falls plunges about 64 feet, and a bit further along the trail, Umbrella Falls gracefully cascades over a rocky ledge. The hike is moderately challenging due to the elevation gain and distance but is well worth the effort for the views alone.

The best time to visit is mid to late summer when the snow has melted, and the trails are more accessible. This period also allows you to enjoy the wildflowers in the meadows near Umbrella Falls.

Umbrella Falls cascading down a hill in the middle of the forest.
Umbrella Falls in the middle of the forest.

Be mindful of weather conditions, especially in late fall and winter, as snow can make the trail hard to follow.

TIP: Don’t have a lot of time? You can reach Umbrella Falls in just a few minutes from the main parking lot and Sahalie Falls can be easily reached from the Elk Meadows Parking lot – just one mile round trip.

Alternatively, if you want, you could add on a mile and get a bit more of a work out by making it a loop trail!

4. Ramona Falls

Distance: 7 miles round trip
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet

Other important notes:

Ramona Falls is famous for its unique, fan-shaped cascade over basalt columns, creating a dazzling spectacle.

The hike to the falls is a bit longer and involves crossing the Sandy River, which can be tricky, especially in early summer when the water is high.

Always check trail conditions before you go and be prepared for a river crossing by bringing appropriate footwear. Also be prepared to turn around if the river is flowing too fast—don’t cross during heavy flow!

The very wide Ramona Falls cascading down different levels of moss-covered rocks in the middle of the forests of Mt Hood.
How glorious is Ramona Falls!

The waterfall stands at about 120 feet tall and is most powerful in the late spring and early summer. This hike offers a beautiful mix of forest, river, and mountain views, making it a rewarding trek for those looking for a bit more adventure.

Given the trail’s popularity, arriving early to avoid crowds is a good idea, especially on weekends.

5. Little Zigzag Falls

Distance: 0.6 miles round trip
Type of Trail: Out and back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: Minimal

Other important notes:

Little Zigzag Falls is the perfect quick escape into nature, ideal for families or anyone looking for a less strenuous trek.

The waterfall is about 50 feet high and provides a peaceful setting for relaxation—IF you get here early. This is a pretty popular trail since it’s so close to the main road around Mount Hood.

A long exposure of Little Zigzag Falls cascading down over rocks in the middle of a vibrant green jungle in Mt. Hood.
Lush jungle surrounding Little Zigzag Falls.

The short and easy trail makes it accessible for all ages and fitness levels. The best time to visit is from late spring through fall, as the surrounding greenery and wildflowers add to the site’s beauty.

While this might be the smallest and a tad less impressive waterfall near Mount Hood, it’s the easiest to get to and is still worth the stop!

Final Thoughts on Chasing Mount Hood’s Waterfalls

Don’t think that’s it just yet! We gave you the top five waterfalls at Mount Hood that are actually AT Mount Hood. But there are TONS more waterfalls and hikes around Mount Hood!

Check out our guide to the best waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, just “behind” Mount Hood. These are our favorite hikes around Mount Hood. And Trillium Lake nearby is one of the best areas to chill and camp at.

We hope you enjoy exploring Mount Hood’s waterfalls!

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