Sunday, June 16, 2024

8 Famous Waterfalls in Oregon You Have to Visit in 2023

If you love chasing waterfalls, Oregon is the perfect destination for you. This beautiful state in the Pacific Northwest has over 238 stunning waterfalls just waiting to be explored.

To help you plan your trip to famous waterfalls in Oregon, we’ve put together this guide to the 12 best waterfalls in Oregon that should be on your itinerary. Read on for all the details you need to visit these incredible natural wonders!

1. Multnomah Falls

multnomah falls

No list of Oregon waterfalls would be complete without the iconic Multnomah Falls. Plunging 620 feet in two tiers, it’s the tallest waterfall in the state and one of the most impressive. The lower falls drop 542 feet and the cascading upper tier adds another 69 feet.

Located just 30 minutes from Portland, Multnomah Falls is extremely popular and the parking area fills up fast. Go early in the morning or late afternoon/evening for smaller crowds.

You can take in the falls from three viewpoints – the base, bridge, and top. The views from the bridge and base are best, while the top is disappointing.

The 0.8-mile hike to the top isn’t worth it unless you want the exercise, as you can barely see the falls.

But walking to the bridge only takes 10 minutes roundtrip and puts you right next to the thundering falls. Definitely include this one of the popular Multnomah Oregon waterfalls on your list for its iconic beauty!

2. Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls

It is one of the famous waterfalls in Oregon and it is just 10 miles east of Multnomah is the gorgeous Latourell Falls. This two-tiered cascade drops 249 feet into the forested Guy Canyon.

The lower falls are the most impressive at 224 feet wide and one of the most voluminous in the Columbia River Gorge.

Take the short, graded trail to view areas at the base of the lower falls for stunning views of the sheer drop.

For a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop hike, continue to the upper falls which are narrower but surrounded by mossy cliffs in an intimate setting.

The Latourell Falls loop takes around 1.5 hours and gains 610 feet in elevation. With two very different but beautiful Oregon waterfalls, Latourell is a must-see.

3. Silver Falls State Park – South Falls

Silver Falls State Park

At the popular Silver Falls State Park, the star attraction is 177-foot South Falls. Trails circle behind the falls, bringing you within feet of the churning cascade as it roars over the cliff.

The easy 0.8-mile out-and-back trail leads down to the base of South Falls, where platforms let you enjoy jaw-dropping views looking up at the towering natural wonder.

Continue looping around the back for the unique perspective of looking out from behind the falling water.

South Falls alone is worth a visit to Silver Falls, but the additional nine waterfalls in Oregon make it an even better choice. Plan to spend at least half a day exploring the spectacular Trail of Ten Falls.

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4. Ramona Falls

Ramona Falls

One of the most picturesque waterfalls you’ll find is 120-foot Ramona Falls, nestled in the Mt. Hood Wilderness of the Mt. Hood National Forest.

A 1.5-mile hiking trail through the mossy, fern-filled forest leads to the petite mountain cascade that gracefully spills over a horseshoe-shaped volcanic rock wall into a boulder-strewn pool.

Photographers flock to capture the postcard-perfect Ramona Falls, which is especially stunning when the fall colors are blazing.

The moderately difficult hike gains 800 feet, but the views are worth it. Due to the high elevation, Ramona Falls has a shorter season, so plan to visit July through October.

5. Proxy Falls

Proxy Falls

The 1.6-mile hike to Proxy Falls near McKenzie Pass is well worth the effort. This trail takes you past two of the most scenic waterfalls in Oregon.

Lower Proxy Falls looks like a classic movie scene, with water crashing down a mossy cliff into a boulder and log-strewn pools.

For the full experience, carefully scramble down the bank for an up-close view.

Further upstream, Upper Proxy Falls gently slides down a fern-draped rock wall. Though not as powerful, the tranquil Upper Falls are striking amid the old-growth forest backdrop.

Photographing Proxy Falls takes patience to get good lighting, but the rewards are unmatched.

6. Punch Bowl Falls

Punch Bowl Falls

Tucked into the Mount Hood National Forest about 50 miles east of Portland, Punch Bowl Falls is one of Oregon’s most unique waterfalls.

As the name suggests, this 35-foot waterfall forms a perfect natural punch bowl as it drops into a round, closed-in grotto.

A short 0.6-mile forest hike brings you to a footbridge with views looking down on Punch Bowl Falls in all its glory.

Scramble down the rocky bank to get right next to the ‘bowl’ for a cool perspective from below. Definitely put Punch Bowl Falls on your list of Oregon waterfalls for its distinctive shape and beauty.

7. Tamolitch Falls (Blue Pool)

Tamolitch Falls

One sight that will take your breath away is the surreal blue water of Tamolitch Falls, better known as Tamolitch Blue Pool. This small waterfall spills into a gorgeous pool bounded by cliffs in the McKenzie River valley. When the light is right, the pool glows a brilliant sapphire blue that looks too vivid to be real.

A 2-mile trail along the tumbling McKenzie River leads to the overlook above Tamolitch Falls.

For the best views, continue another 0.25 miles to the pool’s edge. Gaze down at the improbable colors from above or scramble down to sit alongside the mesmerizing blue waters. But tread carefully and avoid swimming, as the pool has strong undercurrents.

8. Fall Creek Falls

Fall Creek Falls

Nestled in the mountains near the town of Oakridge, Fall Creek Falls is among the most scenic waterfalls in central Oregon. Water cascades 289 feet over a horseshoe-shaped cliff into a misty pool surrounded by old-growth forest. For the best views, take the short hike down to the base of the falls via a switchback trail.

There are a few great angles to photograph Fall Creek Falls, especially from below when you can capture its full height. Or walk behind the waterfall and enjoy the thundering water from inside its veil. Fall Creek Falls is easily one of the famous waterfalls in Oregon and is worth a visit.

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