When people think of waterfalls to visit in Oregon, Multnomah Falls is usually the first one that comes to mind. Multnomah Falls is Oregon's tallest waterfall and is also the most visited natural attraction in Oregon, and with good reason! Multnomah Falls is stunning and an amazing waterfall to photograph, but did you know there are over a dozen other amazing waterfalls you can visit all on the same stretch of scenic road that is the Scenic Columbia River Highway?
where to see the best waterfalls in oregon
There are dozens of beautiful waterfalls you can visit along the scenic Columbia River Highway. Some of them require a short hike, some that require a little more effort to get to, and some that only need you to hop out of your car. Either way, they are all gorgeous and you will want to have your camera with you! You can reach the waterfalls as mentioned on the Columbia River Highway which is the I-84 heading east from Portland. The drive is only a short 45 minutes from Portland and makes a great day trip!
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Multnomah Falls is the most visited and most photographed of the waterfalls along the scenic Columbia River Highway. Multnomah Falls is a roaring, 611-foot cascading waterfall that is easily accessed via the parking lot. For a closer view, walk several hundred feet along the paved trail to the bridge which spans the falls first tier's misty base. From here you will have the perfect view of the top tier's full 542-foot height.
Triple Falls is not one, but three parallel waterfalls around 135-feet tall. The falls are accessed via hiking with the trail beginning at the Oneonta Trailhead. Big-leaf maples and vine maples make this a beautiful hike in Autumn.
Ponytail Falls is a favorite among photographers because you can get some unique shots from behind the falls. To reach Ponytail Falls you need to hike a steep trail about 0.3 miles.
Latourell Falls is a 249-foot plunge waterfall and is usually the first waterfall seen along the Columbia River Highway. This waterfall is most recognized for the large patch of bright yellow lichen adorning the cliff face to the right of the falls which makes for some visually pleasing photographs. Latourell Falls is a short hike from the parking lot to the bottom of the falls.
Wahkeena Falls is a 242 foot waterfall which has a subtle cascading flow. To reach this waterfall, park at the Wahkeena Falls parking lot and hike an easy 0.5 miles out to the falls. You can also continue this loop trail to reach the top of Multnomah Falls.
Punchbowl Falls is accessed via the Eagle Creek trail and is a popular waterfall to hike out to on a hot summers day. The hike itself is pretty spectacular with cliffs on both sides. To see the classic view of this waterfall head to the far end of the rocky beach and wade out into the pool in front of the falls.
Tunnel Falls is quite a hike at 12 miles round trip to get to, but well worth it! It is on the Eagle Creek trail which is the same as Punchbowl Falls (see above). This waterfall plunges 160 feet from the towering basalt cliffs to the creek below. The most impressive thing about Tunnel Falls is obviously the tunnel carved behind it which allows you to get some spectacular (and wet) photographs.
Horsetail Falls is located right beside the Historic Columbia River Highway and requires no hiking! This waterfall is much less crowded than nearby Multnomah Falls and is great for getting photographs of yourself in front of the waterfall.
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