Waterfalls near Portland
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Waterfalls Near Portland: 17 Gorgeous Waterfall Hikes

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Do you know that feeling when you just need a waterfall in your life?

We know it! Essentially, waterfalls are the ultimate reward for a hike, and luckily, you don’t have to travel too far to get your fix. There are a bunch of waterfalls near Portland, thanks to the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood.

We have you covered on the best…

Hikes to Waterfalls Near Portland

We have some great waterfalls near Portland that will get you out of the city and into the outdoors. The first set are all the ones in the Columbia River Gorge, but I’ll show you more if you’re willing to drive just a bit further.

Waterfalls near Portland map.
Click the image to view the clickable map for waterfalls near Portland, Oregon.

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Waterfalls Near Portland in the Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge has a high concentration of epic waterfalls, and they will be the closest hikes and waterfalls near Portland for you to explore. The furthest one on this list is Umbrella and Sahalie Falls, and they’re only an hour and 50 minutes from the center of Portland.


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35 minutes from Portland

Distance: 0-2 miles
Type of hike: Out & back
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Elevation Gain: 813.7 ft.

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way, right? Not to knock Multnomah Falls or anything, she’s a beaut! But this will be the busiest Portland waterfall you’ll find on the list.

Its popularity is no doubt because of its proximity to the road and being a waterfall near Portland—It’s visited by Portland visitors and locals alike.

While the actual hike is 2 miles long, should you not want to hike up and over the bridge, you could just see it from the base below, a mere few feet from the parking lot.

Bridge over Multnomah Falls near Portland
Walk to the bridge over Multnomah Falls

Those who are in a rush can still get a glimpse with a simple “hike” from the parking lot and not much more.

It’s majestic, no doubt gorgeous, and certainly worth the visit but there are plenty more waterfalls near Portland that aren’t so swamped with people to see.

TIP: Keep hiking over the bridge and you’ll catch three other waterfalls behind Multnomah. If you go even further, you’ll run into Wahkeena Falls!

There are a lot of fun waterfall tours from Portland to the Columbia River Gorge you can take, like this half-day waterfall hiking tour, or this Hike and Bike Waterfall tour.

2. Dry Creek Falls

55 minutes from Portland

Distance: 4.4 miles
Type of hike: Out and back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 885.8 ft.

Plunging over 70 feet off a basalt cliffside in a secluded amphitheater is a secret waterfall that is so easily skipped. Consider yourself in the know because not too many people make it out to this waterfall despite it being along the Columbia River Gorge.

The parking area is a bit more like you’re parking in someone’s backyard off their gravel trail but soon after, you’re trekking up gradually to the ambient sounds of Dry Creek Falls in the distance.

Dry Creek Falls in it's entire splendor
Dry Creek Falls is one of our favorite waterfalls near Portland because it’s not that busy!

Along your way, you’ll likely see plenty of remnants of the 2017 fire that ripped through here, but luckily the trail is now open and safe for trekkers wanting to visit waterfalls near Portland.

The waterfall is a single drop fall that flows down a creek and eventually into the Columbia River Gorge. Don’t let the name fool you! It’s not dry, but it may not be gushing during the dry season, so try to hit this one after a bit of rain.

BONUS: Just down the road is another waterfall near Portland, Starvation Creek Falls. It’s not a hike and just a quicky you can see a few steps from the parking lot.

3. Latourell Falls (Lower & Upper)

40 minutes from Portland

Distance: 2 miles
Type of hike: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 639.8 ft

Plunging to the basalt rocks below is quite a waterfall. Latourell Falls freefalls over 200ft from Latourell Creek creating an impressive single-dive waterfall. Being that it’s the closest of the waterfalls near Portland in the Columbia River Gorge, it’s a popular one to visit.

The best part of the falls? There’s more than one. There’s a two-tier waterfall, aptly named, Upper Latourell Falls that’s on your loop that greets you with more lichen-ridden volcanic rock and lush greenery.

If you’re low on time or only up for a quick walk, Latourell Falls is just a few minutes off the trailhead. Upper Latourell Falls requires you to hike further in and takes you through a loop back around.

4. Bridal Veil Falls (An Easy Hike to a Waterfall Near Portland)

35 minutes from Portland

Distance: .5 miles
Type of hike: Out and back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 78.4 ft.

Bridal Veil Falls is hardly a hike at all but nonetheless, still worth visiting. After a short, downhill walk through some plants you DON’T want to touch (poison oak!) you’ll come to the 120-foot-tall Bridal Veil Falls.

There’s a viewing deck here for convenience but the better views are getting down to the base of the water or better yet, on the massive boulder with the best view in the area.

The falls plunge from the nearby Larch Mountain and meander through cliffs and just over the edge into the pool below before leading to the Columbia River.

Bridal Veil Falls- Waterfall near Portland
Bridal Veil Falls is an easy waterfall near Portland to get to.

To make your walk a bit longer if you’re trying to stretch those legs, there’s an interpretive forest trail option you can continue walking down from the initial trailhead.

Note: You should NOT try to see the falls from the Historic Highway which runs just above the waterfalls. There isn’t a pedestrian pathway, and the road is very narrow as it is. The only way to see the falls is by following this trail.

5. Wahkeena Falls & Fairy Falls

35 minutes from Portland

Distance: 3.4 miles
Type of hike: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 915.4 ft

Twisting and turning through a narrow gorge, Wahkeena Falls doesn’t make you wait too long to enjoy its beauty. Just a bit over a mile in and you’ll be right in front of it.

However, for those who want a bit more, keep on hiking up a few switchbacks for a fantastic view of the Columbia River Gorge. From up here, you can scramble around a bit at the upper parts of the waterfall and even head a little further to see Fairy Falls. I highly recommend the extra stretch.

Fairy Falls is not as big as the rest on this list but its unique features make it a must-see amongst the other waterfalls near Portland.

TIP: You can keep going and loop this in with Multnomah Falls for an epic FIVE waterfalls in one hike!

RELATED: Wahkeena Falls: 2 Trails to Choose From!

6. Horsetail Falls & Ponytail Falls (Best Portland Waterfall You Can Walk Behind!)

45 minutes from Portland

Distance: 2.4 miles
Type of hike: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 331.4 ft.

There is no excuse not to see Horsetail Falls as it lives adjacent to Multnomah Falls. It even has its own car park and being right next to the road makes it an easy stop.

Surrounded by beautiful green foliage and shoreline rocks to admire, this waterfall had me staying longer than anticipated.

Oh but wait… there’s more.

Continuing on the path a short walk of 1.2 miles awaits perhaps the most majestic falls of them all, Ponytail Falls. After seeing all these other Portland waterfalls, you may be secretly hoping to find one you could walk under and Ponytail Falls makes that happen!

Ponytail Falls - Waterfall near Portland
You’re going to get wet

7. Wahkeena-Multnomah Loop

35 minutes from Portland

Distance: 8 miles
Type of hike: Loop
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation Gain: 870 ft.

The Wahkeena-Multnomah Loop is a hike of verdant forest flanked with basalt cliffsides and the sounds of waterfalls in every direction, and it’s potentially the most epic hike with waterfalls near Portland.

If you only have a day in the area, are up for a challenge, and want nothing more than to chase waterfalls all day, THIS is your hike.

This hike has a lot of potential for customization. Many want to pass the crowds from Multnomah first, so they’ll start there. After a few minutes of hiking, the crowds lessen significantly, and it’s just you and the forest.

There is also another detour along the trail, and at points, it may get a bit confusing! I’d recommend using Maps.Me or Alltrails to keep to the trail or at the least can check where you’re headed.

Fairy Falls with foot bridge - Waterfall near Portland
Fairy Falls

The hike not only features an incredible adventure through thick ferns, mossy volcanic cliffs, and vegetation but you’ll also get served with numerous gorgeous waterfalls along the way.

On this hike you’ll come across: Ecola, Weisendanger, Dutchman, Fairy, and Wahkeena Falls.

In addition to these lesser-known falls, you’ll also hike past the main features, Wahkeena, and the most famous waterfall near Portland, Multnomah Falls.

This is a long one, the elevation gain is around 870 feet, and there will be some muddy spots, switchbacks, and mist from the waterfall. Wear the right clothing and shoes for this one!

8. Punch Bowl Falls

1 hour 40 minutes from Portland

Distance: 4.8 miles
Type of hike: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 1,020 ft.

Although the final destination is the magnificent Punchbowl Falls, you will pass more than one waterfall near Portland as you go along this trail.

The Punch Bowl Falls Trail is arguably one of the most scenic hikes in the Columbia River Gorge and seeing as there are some pretty spectacular hikes, that is saying something.

The trail primarily takes place in the gorge created by Eagle Creek, eroding the basalt cliffs created between 10 and 15 million years ago by lava flows.

You should get a lot of bang for your buck with this hike, as despite the fact it is relatively short, you’ll be able to take in three of the ten major waterfalls along the creek.

punchbowl falls oregon for best waterfalls near portland
A glassy stream to Punch Bowl Falls

It also features lush green temperate rainforests and towering cliffs, everything you want from an Oregon hike. First, you will follow a well-marked trail above the creek, and at several points along the trail, you will have to be prepared to take the high cliffs with the help of cable handrails.

Once you reach the falls, you’ll see an impressive 100-foot waterfall. There are two ways to view these incredible falls, from the ground and an overlook, and we recommend both.

9. Oneonta Gorge Hike

UPDATE: This hike is still open but you can’t get to this waterfall any longer. You will come across Triple Falls though which is beautiful! You can follow this trail map.

50 minutes from Portland

Distance: 5.6 miles
Type of hike: Out & Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,633.9 ft.

Hidden in its rocky depths is the awe-inspiring Oneonta Falls, known to leave hikers in wonder. The gorge is a slot canyon with a difference, a far cry from the red rocks over in the slot canyons of Utah. Instead, the walls of this canyon you will be hiking through are slick with bright green moss.

lower falls oneotaga gorge at portland waterfalls
These mossy walls make Oneonta Falls feel dreamy

Around the corners and bends of these towering cliffs, Oneonta Falls will appear, a single cascade of water plunging into the gorge. Depending on the time of day you visit and the weather, you may be lucky enough to witness the magic of when sun rays make their way through the thickly forested canopy above.

Be aware that to start the hike, you must descend steep stairs into the gorge before delving into the narrows.

RELATED: 28 Stunning Oregon Waterfall Hikes

Where to Stay Near the Columbia River Gorge

Ainsworth State Park: Ainsworth Campground is located right in Ainsworth State Park, and it’s pretty central to any spot in the western Gorge area. There are about 40 full-hookup spots you can reserve along with six walk-in tent sites.

Deschutes River State Recreation Area: Located where the Deschutes River flows into the Columbia, this campground is a great spot to access the east end of the gorge. It has 34 electrical sites and 25 primitive sites.

Viento State Park: Viento State Park is a peaceful spot in a great area, though it’s a bit less popular than other campsites. That means there’s almost always a spot to camp when other sites are full.

Conductor’s Cottage: This cozy cottage is located right across from the river on the Washington side of the gorge. It has two bedrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, and mountain views.

Dragonfly Creek Retreat Cabin: Located in Mosier, this artsy cabin sits on 24 wooded acres with a seasonal creek. It’s only two miles from town but it feels secluded and wildlife abounds. 

Cottage in the Heart of the Gorge: This beautifully remodeled cottage in Mosier has river views, which are best enjoyed from the deck. It has everything you need for a relaxing and comfortable vacation.

More Waterfalls Near Portland in Mount Hood

Mount Hood is in Portland’s backyard so there are plenty more waterfall hikes near Portland if you’re willing to travel just a bit further outside of the Columbia River Gorge. All of these falls are within two hours from Portland.

10. Tamanawas Falls (Our Fav Waterfall Near Portland)

1 hour 40 minutes from Portland

Distance: 3.4 miles
Type of hike: Out and Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 580.7 ft.

The hike to Tamanawas Falls leads you through Douglas Firs for the first half of the hike and then you get to a rock scramble which is quite the spectacle itself.

As you emerge from behind a boulder the dirt trail continues on the path to this impressive waterfall near Portland that you now have in view!

You can continue to clamber along the rocks on the right side of the falls to get behind it.

READ MORE: Hiking the Gorgeous Tamanawas Falls Trail

11. Ramona Falls

1 hour 20 minutes from Portland

Distance: 8 miles
Type of hike: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,112 ft.

This is probably one of the most famous waterfalls near Portland, and no wonder– it’s beautiful, of course! The north part of the loop is a bit more scenic than the southern route.

Ramona Falls best things to do in Portland
Ramona Falls near Portland

Be aware, at the time of writing, the bridge is still washed out and you’ll have to traverse across broken branches to get to the other side of the stream.

RELATED: 9 Things To Do at Mount Hood For Adventurers!

12. Umbrella and Sahalie Falls

1 hour 50 minutes from Portland

Distance: 3.4 miles
Type of hike: Out and Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 666 ft.

Umbrella Falls - Waterfall near Portland
Hiking Umbrella Falls near Portland

While Mount Hood is no stranger to visitors, these falls are rarely busy making them a great spot to visit while in the area. You can easily reach Umbrella Falls from the Mount Hood Meadows parking lot, Sahalie Falls is a bit further down.

There are a few steep areas on the hike but otherwise, it’s pretty easy.

READ MORE: The Tamolitch Blue Pool Hike + Sahalie and Koosah Falls

Where to Stay Near Mount Hood

Nottingham Campground: Located off Highway 35, this campground is centrally located and is next to Tamanawas Falls and Hood River, and you’ll have a peaceful experience here.

Sherwood Campground: Sherwood Campground is further down the road from Nottingham Campground, and is located on the East Fork Hood River. The campsites here are quite close together and had little privacy so it wouldn’t be my first choice to stay here. 

Trillium Lake Campground: Sitting next to beautiful Trillium Lake, Trillium Lake Campground is at an elevation of 3,600 feet, and offers dozens of single and double sites for tents and RVs. 

Little House on the Mountain: Relax and unwind in this custom-built, one-of-a-kind cabin that is furnished with art and furniture from local artisans. The cabin sits on four acres of private wooded land, bordering Mt. Hood National Forest Land.

Private Cabin With Hot Tub: This dog-friendly cabin at the base of Mount Hood has a wood-burning stove to keep the inside cozy, and a hot tub to relax in after a day of adventure. 

Romantic Mount Hood Cabin: A cozy cabin with touches of home that is nestled in the Mt. Hood National Forest and is the perfect backdrop for any romantic getaway. Relax in the hot tub under a canopy of trees.

Other Waterfalls Near Portland

Here are even more options for waterfalls near Portland—Yes, there are more! There are even a few waterfalls just over the Washington boarder, which are still close to Portland. Happy further waterfall chasing…

13. Silver Falls State Park

1 hour 20 minutes from Portland

Distance: 7.4 miles
Type of hike: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,151.6 ft.

The hike at Silver Falls State Park gives you ten waterfalls in one epic hike, so it is hardly surprising that the hike is called The Trail of 10 Falls. You can walk right up to these gorgeous waterfalls and even walk behind a few of them, an opportunity not many waterfall hikes near Portland offer.

North, Middle North, South, and Lower South Falls are some of the most impressive, and they are not little either, with south falls boasting a remarkable 177-foot drop.

The hike is also beautiful, as a lush forest will surround you as you traverse the small park. It is hard to believe this incredible hike is just an hour from Portland. There are a few variations on how you can complete the loop.

View to waterfall in Silver Falls State Park, one of the most beautiful waterfalls near Portland
One of many beautiful waterfalls to see in Silver Falls State Park

The whole trail is worth doing at 7.6 miles, and we recommend doing it clockwise so you get some good waterfall action nearer the start of the hike.

For a shorter version, you can miss out on North and Upper Falls and cut the hike down to 5 miles, or if you are short on time, take the mile-and-a-half hike to the impressive North and South Falls. These waterfalls are the stars of the show, both very impressive and with the option to walk right behind them.

READ MORE: Your Guide to Silver Falls State Park—The Trail of 10 Falls & More

14. Abiqua Falls

1 hour 25 minutes from Portland

Distance: 0.7 miles
Type of hike: Out & Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 249 ft.

Nestled deep in the Santiam State Forest, Abiqua Falls lies ready to be discovered. This incredible hike takes you into the undergrowth, along an adventurous trail to a unique waterfall surrounded by towering basalt columns.

Where to start the hike depends on how long you want to hike and what sort of car you have. If you reach the official trailhead with your vehicle, you’ll need a 4×4, but there are plenty of other places to park a little further out, and you can be in the great outdoors for a while longer.

Abiqua Falls is a stunning waterfall near Portland
Abiqua Falls is breathtaking!

The trail from the last parking lot is relatively short and downhill; the problem is that it is very steep and often muddy, which is not a great combination. You will be pleased to know that in some places, there are ropes for you to hold on to and help you down the steep path into the canyon.

Take the roped path that leads you down to the river, and hooray, you have made it to a relatively flat path that leads you beside the river.

At this point, you are basically there! Abiqua Falls, is one of the most beautiful waterfalls near Portland, with 92 feet of powerful water falling into a mossy amphitheater surrounded by tall basalt cliffs.

READ MORE: Your Guide to The Abiqua Falls Hike Near Portland

15. Moulton Falls

1 hour from Portland

Distance: 5.3 miles
Type of hike: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 292 ft.

Tucked away in Moulton Falls Regional Park sits Moulton Falls, a picturesque spot that screams Pacific Northwest. The park has so much to offer, from hikes to swimming spots, mountain biking, and plenty of waterfalls near Portland.

Moulton Falls Washington best waterfalls near Portland
A mist-covered creek at Moulton Falls

The gem of the park has to be the hike to Moulton Falls, which takes you through a thickly forested area next to the river via the Lewis River Trail. Head along a mossy cliff, frequently stopping to take in the views.

While in the area, you should also check out Yacolt Falls, Lucia Falls, and Sunset Falls. These three beautiful waterfalls are all within close proximity to Moulton, so you can quickly tick them off your Washington waterfalls bucket list on the same day.

READ MORE: Exploring Moulton Falls & Yacolt Falls + Lucia and Sunset Falls!

16. Lucia Falls Hike

50 minutes from Portland

Distance: 0.62 miles
Type of hike: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 26.3 ft.

Lucia Falls is located to the west of Moulton Falls and is a perfect area for getting some truly serene peace and quiet amongst nature.

lucia falls in Washington for waterfalls near Portland
A rocky adventure at Lucia Falls

Only a little over half a mile, this hike is super cruisy, and you’ll most likely find yourself alone on the trail! The path is well-shaded by the abundance of trees, and you’ll feel like a little kid climbing all over the rocks. A word of caution: the rocks can be slippery, so just move slowly and enjoy the ambiance!

Unfortunately, you cannot swim at this waterfall since it is protected, but this doesn’t make the view any less worth it.

17. Sunset Falls Hike

1 hour 5 minutes from Portland

Distance: 0.12 miles
Type of hike: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 3.3 ft.

Hidden along the southeastern edge of Gifford Pinchot National Forest, this hiking path is a quick stroll along a scenic path.

If you’re wanting somewhere to simply take in the views rather than a strenuous hike (or if you have children joining you!), this hike will suit your need.

Sunset Falls in Washington for best waterfalls near Portland
A hidden gem, well worth the quick walk!

Take a dip in the warmer months, and bask in the beauty of the waterfall.

RELATED: 21 Epic Waterfalls in Washington

Prepping to Hike The Waterfalls Near Portland

Hey, we like being detailed over here, so while some things on this list seem obvious, it’s a good reminder. Especially for those who may be visiting from out of the country and aren’t sure about the crazy weather we get here in Oregon.

Here are some things you may want to bring on these hikes with you. It will definitely depend on the hike itself and when you’re actually going, so use your best judgment.

  • Raincoat – Regardless if it’s raining or not, you may need one due to misting from the falls. If it’s cold out, the last thing you want is to be a soggy mess.
  • Sunscreen – Parts of these hikes may be exposed and just because it may be a bit cloudy out, doesn’t mean you won’t get a bit crispy!
  • Hat – Protect that beautiful face… Or not.
  • Hiking shoes – Not all of the hikes are intense but if it’s been a bit rainy (totally typical for this area in case you’re not familiar!) then hiking shoes will come in handy for some slippery and muddy situations. You definitely don’t want to use open-toed shoes for these hikes.
  • Daypack – You’re hiking, and you don’t want a purse or an uncomfortable and floppy bag, get a bag that will be comfortable to carry your extra items.
  • Water bottle – Get a reusable one for your trip! Less plastic equals a happier Earth.
  • Other reminders: A GoPro for any shots where you may get misted, sunglasses, and proper clothes for the weather—quick-dry items are probably a good winner

 Which of these waterfalls near Portland are you most excited to see!? Here are more exciting things to do around Portland and more hikes in Oregon to tackle.

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