I've blogged about many waterfall hikes here at Pacific Northwest Seasons over the last 7+ years but never a compilation, so this is a quick run-down with links to more detailed descriptions.
Despite living here my whole life (except a few years in my early 20s), I've not hiked or seen it all by a long shot. Consider this a peek at what the region has to offer.
How lucky was I to grow up less than a 30-minute drive west from the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area? It's waterfall grand central in the region.
|Lower Multnomah Fall|
In this 60-mile stretch of spectacular cliffs and plunging waterfalls, the Columbia River slices east-west across the Cascades. The river's cut through the mountains was aided by the massive megafloods from glacial Lake Missoula that scoured the Columbia basin multiple times during the last ice age.
There are many relatively short and easy hikes to gorgeous Gorge waterfalls. On the historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway, some of my favorites are Latourell Falls (pictured above), Wahkeena Falls-Multnomah Falls, Angel's Rest (pass a waterfall along the way up), Wahclella Falls (short and sweet), and the classic Eagle Creek to the Punchbowl (go farther upstream if you've got time).
|Hiking the Gorge waterfalls always makes me feel serene and refreshed.|
Dropping down into central Oregon near Bend, try to catch the Green Lakes Trail early in the season while the snowmelt down Fall Creek is peaking (fairly soon).
|Fall Creek, Green Lakes Trail|
Maybe you pause to admire a small waterfall on the road up to Silver Star Mountain trailhead in southern Washington or hike past waterfalls on the Denny Creek-Lake Melakwa trail just below Snoqualmie Pass.
|Trail to Lake Melakwa|
|Bridal Veil Falls|
|Photo by Steve Nelson|
These waterfalls are all easily accessible, well known, and mostly on the west side of the Cascades. Farther off the beaten path are countless more.
What are you favorite waterfall hikes? I'd love to hear below!