Waterfall hikes are what we live for up here in the PNWonderland. Rain or shine, we slip on our hiking boots and head out to explore all that nature has to offer. Portland has no shortage of beautiful waterfall trails, so here is a roundup of the 5 best waterfall hikes near the city of roses:
Easily one of the most iconic waterfalls in Oregon, Multnomah Falls is just about 30 minutes outside of the city (making it also one of the most trafficked waterfalls — for good reason). These falls are surrounded by a few different hiking trails, but our favorite is the Multnomah-Wahkeena loop which is just under 5 miles total. We highly recommend parking near the Multnomah Falls Lodge so that you can stop in for some coffee or hot chocolate before heading back into town.
The moss that lays across the rocks where the waterfall drops is so neon green in color that you think it might be glowing! Rain or shine, the view from the bottom of this waterfall is breathtaking. The trail one direction is about 1.2 miles and the trail from the other direction is .8 miles creating the perfect trail loop for your afternoon hike. The main perk of walking the full loop… you see not one, but two waterfalls!
Trail of Ten Falls
Yep, you read that right. Ten Falls! This nearly nine-mile loop in Silver Falls State Park (an hour south of Portland) passes ten stunning falls, including three you can walk behind. We definitely recommend packing some lunch and a few snacks as this is an all day trip, but it is so worth it. If you can, plan your visit in the winter or spring because that is when the waterfalls are in full force.
Bridal Veil Falls
This is the perfect waterfall hike for the whole family, including the small kiddos. The full loop is less than a mile and is fully paved, making it doable for less-mobile hikers. Although it may be an easy trip, it should not be overlooked. The landscape surrounding the waterfall is full of fluffy, green foliage that just makes your eyes pop! This waterfall is the perfect place to cool off during the hot summer months. But I will warn you, the water is still pretty cold!
Another quick 30 minutes or so outside of town is a spot composed of actually two waterfalls: Horsetail Falls (lower falls) and Ponytail falls (upper falls). Named due to their resemblance of a Horses tail, the falls are one of the most serene in the Columbia River Gorge. There is a large area around the base of the waterfall which might be the most picturesque spot of them all!
Courtney Kamm graduated from the University of Mississippi, Ole Miss, with a degree in broadcast journalism. While pursuing a career in broadcast media in Nashville, she completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training and fell in love with the practice and the people. She realized her true passion was connecting with people whether that be during one of her classes, afterwards in the lobby, or while out for coffee. She moved to Portland in the middle of the pandemic and new she wanted to bring the SweatNET community to her new city. Courtney is the owner of SweatNET Portland, but still continues to teach yoga both online and in studio. When she is not working, you can find her at one of Portland’s many coffee shops, cuddling her dog Sonny, or exploring Oregon’s beautiful landscape.