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19 of the Best Waterfalls in Oregon (Including the Hidden Ones)

By | Last Updated : 6th July 2020

The state of Oregon has over 230 waterfalls in total, each standing out from the other because of its spectacular appeal and picturesque beauty. The white splashes of water plunging in a single, double or even four drops is an ultimate treat for the beholder. Whichever direction you go in, except maybe the eastern regions, there are marvelous falls waiting for you, with most of the famous ones located in the north along the Columbia River Gorge.

Waterfalls in Oregon

Best Time to Visit: Though most of the waterfalls are accessible all-year-round, the ideal time to visit them is the mid-autumn or late spring.

Waterfalls in Northern Oregon

1.  Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Waterfall in Oregon Multnomah
Multnomah Falls Oregon, Frozen in Winter

It is situated on the Columbia River Gorge’s Multnomah Creek, to the eastern part of the Troutdale cities in between the Corbett and Dodson communities. This two-tiered waterfall is Oregon’s tallest, with a height of 620 ft. American businessman Simon Benson is credited for developing the land around the falls, which also includes viewing bridge, lodge, and a pathway. The place has more than 2 million visitors yearly, making it the Pacific Northwest’s most visited site for natural recreation.  The Elowah falls is located at a close distance from the Multnomah Falls.

Distance from the Nearest City:  7 to 8 miles from Cascade Locks and 30 miles from Portland

Hiking and Other Activities:  The 2.2-mile hiking trail is a little steep and complicated; there are facilities for lodges and restrooms.

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2. Ramona Falls, Upper Sandy River

Ramona Waterfall in Oregon

The 120 ft Ramona waterfalls lie on the Sandy River’s upper region, to the west of Mount Hood in Clackamas County. The falls comprise a wall of cascades that present a great appeal as they descend on the mossy stones. The rocks situated at the waterfall’s base are slippery. One should avoid climbing them, to capture a clear view of this natural landscape. The 8.2 mile Ramona Falls Trail is one of the easiest ways to access the waterfalls.

Distance from the Nearest City: The Ramona Trail is close to Rhododendron. However, the exact distance in miles is not available.

Hiking and Other Activities:  Besides the Ramona Falls Trail (April – October), the Yocum Ridge Hike, and the Muddy Fork Loop Hike (May – November) are two other longer hiking trails; facilities for skiing and snowshoeing in winters are available.

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3. Bridal Veil Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Bridal Veil Waterfalls in Northern Oregon

This fantastic waterfall gets its name because the bright, sparkling water comprising two cascades replicates a bride’s veil, especially when the flow is steady. Situated in Columbia River Gorge’s Bridal Veil Creek in the Multnomah County of northwestern Oregon, this 118 ft fall is bound to leave one in awe. Couples often post their wedding cards to the post office near the Bridal Veil community so that their invitations may bear the town’s postmark. A visit to this place would allow viewers to view other marvelous waterfalls located within 5 miles of it. Some of them include the Middle Bridal Falls, Dalton Falls, Belle Center Falls, and the Cape Horn Falls. Two trails the upper and the lower, lead to the falls, having a charm of their own.

Distance from the Nearest City:  About 2 to 3 miles from the Bridal Veil community

Hiking and Other Activities:  Hiking is available along the lower trail, comprising of a steep path and wild plants; the upper trail which is fenced to give protection to the visitors is ideal for walking; swimming is also permissible.

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4. Punch Bowl Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Punch Bowl Falls in Northern Oregon

The Punch Bowl Falls lies in the Columbia River Gorge’s Eagle Creek in the Multnomah county with a height and width of 35 ft and 10 ft, respectively. It gets its name since it resembles a punch bowl, especially when the water from the Eagle Creek gushes out powerfully and drops into a bowl. The Metlako Falls also on the Eagle Creek dropping as a punch bowl is situated near this one,

Distance from the Nearest City:  3 miles from Cascade Locks; even close to Portland

Hiking and Other Activities:  Hiking is available, but the Eagle Creek Trail leading to the falls remain shut since 2017.

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5. Latourell Falls, Historic Columbia River Highway

Latourell Waterfalls in Northern Oregon

The Latourell Falls within the bounds of the Guy W. Talbot State Park surrounds the Columbia River Gorge. A single drop waterfall, it plunges straight from the basalt cliff overhanging it, which indeed makes it one of the best and most unique waterfalls of Columbia Gorge. It attained its name after Joseph Latourell, who settled in the nearby waterfall area in the 19th century.

Distance from the Nearest City:  About 4 to 5 miles from Troutdale

Hiking and Other Activities:  A 2.3-mile loop trail takes the hikers to the upper part of the falls and then to the state park’s picnic area, with permission granted for dogs on leash.

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6. Wahkeena Falls, Columbia River Highway

Northern Oregon Wahkeena Waterfall

Another Columbia River Gorge waterfall of Oregon, it is near to the Multnomah Waterfalls. It does not follow the general trend of plunging directly, but possesses a subtle cascading flow. This gives it a picturesque appeal, making it a prominent feature in many photography books and travel guides. The meaning of its name in the Native American Yakama dialect is “most beautiful,” which is how it is.

Distance from the Nearest City:  13 miles to the eastern part of Troutdale

Hiking and Other Activities:  Hiking can be done on the Wahkeena Trail, Return Trail, and Gorge Trail; a picnic area with amenities lies to the northern part of the Historic Columbia River Highway (from where this waterfall is directly visible).

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7. Hug Point State Recreation Site, Arch Cape

Hug Point Watefall in Nothern Oregon

It is a state park in north Oregon Coast situated about 5 miles to the southern part of the Cannon Beach along U.S. 101 highway. In between the Austin Point and Hug Point to the south and north respectively lies a seasonal waterfall alongside sandstone cliffs as well as tide pools accessible in times of the low tide.

Distance from the Nearest City:  5 miles to the southern part of Cannon Beach

Hiking and Other Activities:  When hiking, taking to the north of the parking lot would help reach the waterfalls; fishing and picnicking facilities available within the recreation park.

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8. Horsetail Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Horsetail Waterfall in Northern Oregon

This Columbia River Gorge waterfall, gets it name due to its resemblance to the tail of a horse. It is located near the Oneonta Waterfalls but is more easily accessible than the latter since the Historic Columbia River Highway lies close to it. Of the two waterfalls present along the creek area, the upper falls, also known as the Ponytail Falls or Upper Horsetail Falls, can be reached via a footpath.

Distance from the Nearest City: 7 to 8 miles from Portland

Hiking and Other Activities:  One could hike along the Horse Tail Falls Trail, and then entering into the Oneonta Trail, hikers should cross the cliffs with caution; a picnic spot is found to the eastern side of the falls for one could enjoy with their family.

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Western Oregon Waterfalls (Along the Coast)

9. Sweet Creek Falls, Mapleton

Sweet Creek Western Oregon Waterfalls

The Sweet Creek is a cluster of small waterfalls situated close to Lane County’s Mapleton community on Highway 126.  The four-tiered plunges of the waterfall range between 10 and 30 ft, creating a spectacular effect as they drop on the rocks. The paths leading to the waterfall surround a lush green landscape, wooden bridges, and small rivulets. A catwalk bridge and a series of stairs help one get to the falls. Hikers traveling to this place would come across a total of 11 waterfalls engulfed in mossy rocks, and surrounded by a plethora of shady greens like big leaf maple, alder, and douglas fir.

Distance from the Nearest City: 15 miles from Mapleton

Hiking and Other Activities: The four hiking trails include the Homestead Trailhead, Wagon Road Trailhead, Beaver Creek Falls Trailhead, and the Sweet Creek Trailhead, all of which permit dogs; provisions are there for swimming in the pools created by the water of the multiple falls.

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10. Proxy Falls, Willamette National Forest

Proxy Waterfalls in Western Oregon

The most striking drop is made at a height of 226 ft, making it one of Oregon’s highest plunge falls. Alternately called Lower Proxy Waterfall, this is created from a cluster of springs rising from the North Sister volcano. They plunge into the canyon adjacent to the McKenzie Pass in the Willamette National Forest’s premises, close to the Belknap Springs in Lane County. The most striking drop is made at the height of 226 ft, making it one of Oregon’s highest plunge falls.

Hiking and Other Activities: Hiking starts at the Proxy Falls Trailhead, covering the Three Sisters Wilderness on its way to the fall.

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Waterfalls in Southern Oregon

11. South Falls, Silver Falls State Park

South Falls in Southern Oregon

Situated in the Marion County’s Salem city, the 177 ft South Falls is within the premises of the Silver Falls State Park. As this water body lies amidst the confluence of the Mount Hood National Forest and Middle Santiam Wilderness, the surrounding scenic beauty would be scintillating. This is the first of the park’s Trail of Ten Falls, present in its western section along the Canyon Trail. Besides the South Falls, the trail passes behind three more of them, including the North Falls, Lower South Falls, and the Middle North Falls. Though the Canyon Trail is the main route to the falls, there are other connecting trails making the way shorter. Dogs, if leashed, are allowed on all trails but the Canton trail.

A visit to the Silver Falls State Park would indeed be a memorable one, as you would also have the pleasure of seeing other falls. Some of the significant ones, even a part of the Trail of Ten Falls, include the Lower South Falls, Drake Falls, Twin Falls, Double Falls, Winter Falls, Lower North Falls, Middle North Falls, Upper North Falls, and the North Falls.

Distance from the Nearest City: 20 miles from the east-southeastern parts of Salem

Hiking and Other Activities: A 7.2-mile loop trail passing through the dense forests and breathtaking waterfalls facilitate hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding; swimming is allowed in the designated area situated upstream of the South Falls; one can even camp within the premises of the state park.

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12. Toketee Falls, Crater Lake National Park

Toketee Falls in Southern Oregon

Toketee, translates to graceful or pretty, as per the Chinook jargon, and this waterfall lives up to its name. It is situated in Douglas County, where the North Umpqua River and Clearwater River meet. The United States Board Geographic Names, unanimously decided Toketee as the final name for the fall over Toketie Falls and Ireland Falls, as alternately called.  The captivating view of this double-tiered fall dropping on a  massive volcanic basalt is sure to take your breath away. There is a flight of steps along the Toketee Falls trail, with a bench at one end to rest.

Distance from the Nearest City: 53 miles to the eastern side of Roseburg close to Oregon Route 138

Hiking and Other Activities: One can hike along a 0.8-mile long trail that is also used for walking and bird watching; swimming is permissible too (though the path to it is slippery and the water is a little chilly).

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13. Clearwater Falls, Umpqua National Forest

Clearwater Waterfalls in Southern Oregon

This is a small spring-fed waterfall lying in Douglas County in the vicinity of the Umpqua National Forest. The 30 ft waterfall passes through lush green rocks and a host of fallen logs, creating a visual delight. You could easily reach the falls by parking your vehicle at the Highway 138 parking lot, as it is just a short distance from there.

Distance from the Nearest City: 67 miles to the eastern part of Roseburg

Hiking and Other Activities:  A 0.5-mile easy hiking trail is available to help one reach the site; provisions are there for camping at the campgrounds of Clearwater Falls; details about whether swimming is permissible or not remain unknown.

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Central Oregon Waterfalls

14. Tumalo Falls, Deschutes National Forest

Tumalo Waterfall in Central Oregon

This 97 ft waterfall is located on the Tumalo Creek in the western part of the Bend city of the Deschutes County. There are additional waterfalls too in the creek, all of which are a part of the Deschutes National Forest. The Tumalo Falls Day Use Area is managed by the USFS (United States Forest Service).

Distance from the Nearest City:  14 miles from Bend city

Hiking and Other Activities:  The Tumalo Falls Trail facilitates hiking and mountain biking; a picnic area and restroom is also present in the day-use area.

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5 Secret or Hidden Waterfalls in Oregon

Besides the prominent and stunning waterfalls mentioned above, a few others in the list may not be hyped but is sure to leave one in awe with their majestic charm.

Upper Butte Creek Falls

Secret Upper Butte Creek Falls

Situated adjacent to the Scott Mills in Marion county, this 26-foot waterfall is an ultimate pleasure to visit. A one-mile hiking trail would take one to this fascinating location, with spring and winter being the ideal seasons. The big, deep cave, located behind the Upper Butte Creek Falls that one can access after crossing a muddy path, should not be missed.

Abiqua Falls

Abiqua Hidden Waterfalls

This 92-feet beauteous waterfall is situated near Scott Mills. Its trail is a rough complicated path, mostly accessed between March and October for bird watching and hiking. The difficult journey would be worth it the moment you catch a glimpse of the magnificent falls plunging into a massive splash pool at the end of the trail.

Sahalie & Koosah Falls

Sahalie & Koosah Secret Waterfall

The two falls are located at a distance of 0.25 miles from each other on Mackenzie River. One could connect to the landmark through a 2.6 mile long family-friendly trail.  A natural lava dam lies below the Sahalie falls, to hold the white foamy waters that plunge over it at the height of 100 ft. The Koosah falls, on the other hand, drops at a 70 ft height into a pool.

Diamond Creek Falls

Diamond Creek Hidden Waterfall

Willamette National Forest, situated close to Oregon’s Oakridge city, houses this unique asset, at its northern end. The 3.4 mile path to the waterfalls begins from the trailhead of the Diamond Creek falls, situated in the parking lot of the Salt Creek Falls. The base of the water falls can be reached through boulders, basalt steps, and fissures.

Watson Falls

Secret Watson Waterfall

Another fantastic site of Oregon often concealed from public view, this 272 ft waterfall is situated at a 3353 ft height on the Watson Creek in Douglas county. The trail leading to the waterfall is best to use between April and November. Dogs too, can walk through this trail that is majorly used for strolling, hiking, and bird watching. On your next visit to Oregon, in spring or fall, do make it a point to visit a few of these waterfalls and cherish their natural beauty to the fullest.

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