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March 14, 2017

Chasing Waterfalls in Oregon

At the end of January, Dan and I took a trip up to Portland for a weekend getaway with two of our good friends from Seattle. The first half of our trip was spent in the city, brewery hopping and donut eating. For the second half of the trip, we wanted to enjoy some of the famous scenery that Oregon has to offer. We decided to drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway and stop along the way for some light hiking and waterfall sightings.

Bridal Veil Falls

The Historic Columbia River Highway is a scenic highway that stretches for 75 miles between Troutdale and The Dalles and is often referred to as "America's greatest scenic drive." We stayed within the 24 westernmost miles of the highway, closest to Portland since we had a flight to catch later that day. This portion offers access to dozens of hiking trails and numerous waterfalls, one being the famous Multnomah Falls.

This map shows the section between Corbett and Dodson, which is the area we ventured through.



We made 4 stops along the Columbia River:

  • Vista House - A beautiful scenic overlook called the Crown Jewel of the Columbia River Gorge. It offers amazing views of the river and surrounding landmarks. Be warned it's extremely windy up there, resulting in us not staying too long because we couldn't feel our faces. It does make a great first stop to kick off your scenic drive, though.
  • Latourell Falls - This was our first waterfall sighting from the road so we had to stop from excitement of spotting one. There is a parking lot right off the road and a short pathway to the base of the falls. It was extra icy when we went so we had to tread carefully. There is also a 2 mile loop trail to view the top of the falls.
  • Bridal Veil Falls - Our second waterfall sighting was Bridal Veil Falls. You can't see it from the road since it's tucked away so we hiked the 0.6 mile to get to the base of the falls. Again, it was icy and a fairly thin, winding trail with slight drops so be careful if there's ice! Once the trail evens out, you cross a bridge and follow the creek up to the waterfall. It's a very beautiful and quiet area, surrounded by moss covered trees. There is also another short trail off the parking lot which takes you on scenic walk along the highway overlooking the river.
  • Multnomah Falls - One of the more famous waterfalls on the highway, which we all jokingly referred to as the Disney of waterfalls because it felt very touristy compared to the other more peaceful falls. It's famous for a reason though. It's 611 ft tall and it's right off the highway so you can't miss it. No need to hike either, since it's a short 5 minute walk from the road. There is also a trail to take you to the bridge over the smaller of the falls but the trail was closed due to hazardous conditions. Multnomah also had a lodge, restaurant and gift shop, unlike the others. See, touristy, but ultimately worth a short stop to see the wonder!


Photo Album


Vista House

Vista House

Vista House

Vista House


Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls


Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls


Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls


Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls


All in all, the HCRH is a beautiful stretch of highway and the drive alone is worth it. As you look out across the river you can spot several waterfalls cascading into the river. Also, there's nothing quite like the moss covered trees in the PNW. It really was a magical day.


Happy Travels,

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