These 5 Waterfalls Near Portland, OR, Are Majestic

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From behind, a woman with her hair in a bun and a hiking pack views a tall waterfall crashing over rocks in the forest.

If you’ve never been to Portland, OR, you need to put it on your list of Pacific Coast destinations. Although there are many reasons to visit, one of the best reasons is the beautiful landscape.

From the rocky shoreline, Crater Lake National Park to the John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon offers so much. It’s home to more waterfalls than any other state in America.

Today we’re sharing five waterfalls near Portland that are particularly worth visiting — let’s dive in!

About Portland, OR

Portland, OR, is a place you might visit and decide to call “home.” The beautiful scenery, green spaces, micro-breweries and distilleries, and nightlife make Portland a top destination on the West Coast.

It’s also the most populous city in Oregon and 25th most populous city in the country, with over 2.5 million residents in the metro area.

Portland lies on top of a dormant volcanic field called the Boring Lava Field. Mount St. Helens is about 50 miles northeast of Washington state, and you can see it on clear days. From the unique landscapes to the fun and friendly people, Portland, OR, is a great place to visit.

How Many Waterfalls Are Near Portland?

Not only does the Boring Lava Field create a unique landscape, but there are also over 230 waterfalls near Portland. Many of them have beautiful hiking trails and picnic areas.

With so many to choose from, there are easy hikes for families with young children and more strenuous hikes for the avid outdoorsman.

Traveler’s Tip: This Pacific Northwest waterfall has a spooky name, but its beauty is what will give you the chills.

What Is the Tallest Waterfall Near Portland?

The stunning Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Portland, OR. The two-drop cascade falls 620 total feet.

Multnomah Falls

There are wheelchair-accessible viewing platforms and steep hiking trails so that everyone can enjoy the falls. Although most water flows during the winter and spring, Multnomah Falls is a year-round natural wonder.

5 Majestic Waterfalls Near Portland, OR

Multnomah Falls isn’t the only waterfall near Portland. There are four other majestic falls worth seeing during your visit. Some are smaller in size but still offer grandeur.

These are also along trails that provide views of different waterfalls. You can spend a whole day exploring the beautiful waterfalls near Portland!

#1. Triple Falls

Triple Falls breaks into three streams before it heads over a rocky edge in the lush forest of the Pacific Northwest.
Triple Falls

About: Only five feet from the Oneonta Trail, Triple Falls is only visible in this one location. Unlike other waterfalls that offer several viewpoints, you can only see Triple Falls on the trail.

You’ll encounter many photographers trying to grab that perfect picture. It’s well worth fighting the crowd and climbing the steep incline to get your breathtaking view.

On your way to Triple Falls, you’ll have the opportunity to also see Horsetail Falls.

Cross over Triple Falls Bridge to see the three falls cascading over the rocks. The Oneonta Trail will also take you to other waterfalls in the Oneonta Gorge if you’re interested in a day-long hike. Unfortunately, this area was severely burned in the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire.

How to Get There: From Portland, drive east on Interstate 84 to the Bridal Veil Exit (exit 28). Drive east on the Historic Columbia River Scenic Highway about five miles to a small parking lot on the left, just before the Oneonta Gorge.

#2. Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

About: Bridal Veil Falls is in the Columbia River Gorge about 27 miles east of Portland. There is a steep 0.3-mile decline to the viewing deck at the waterfall’s base.

The two tiers of the waterfall cascade under the Old Columbia River Gorge Highway’s 1914 bridge. Bridal Veil Falls plunges about 120 feet. There’s also an upper trail that features stunning views of the gorge.

How to Get There: Bridal Veil Falls State Park is on the Historic Columbia River Scenic Highway. Take exit 28 off Interstate 84 and travel west about three-quarters of a mile to the park entrance.

#3. Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls is just a 30-minute drive outside the city of Portland.

About: The tallest of the waterfalls near Portland, Multnomah Falls, is stunning. With three drops, this waterfall is 620’ of cascading beauty. Along various trails, some viewpoints capture the power and majesty of Multnomah Falls.

One is at the top at the Multnomah Fall Upper Viewpoint, looking down to the Lodge, where you can view the falls below. Another is along the Benson Bridge that cuts across the falls. Multnomah Falls is easily the most visited waterfall in Oregon.

How to Get There: Parking at the Multnomah Falls Lodge between May 24 and September 5, 2022, will require a timed entry ticket. The Interstate 84 parking lot will also require reserved tickets.

You can get to Multnomah Falls by the Historic Columbia River Highway or Interstate 84. Take exit 31 for Multnomah Falls Car Park.

#4. Fairy Falls

The water splits at multiple points over rocks in the forest at Fairy Falls outside of Portland.
Fairy Falls

About: At only 20’ tall, Fairy Falls may seem insignificant compared to other waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. However, when the summer sun hits Fairy Falls at just the right angle, the waterfall appears to glow.

It’s a beautiful veil-type waterfall in Wahkeena Canyon. A makeshift plank bridge crosses in front of the falls in an intimate setting, a stark contrast to the majesty and power of Bridal Veil Falls or Multnomah Falls.

How to Get There: During your visit, you can see Wahkeena Falls, Fairy Falls, Ecola Falls, Weisendanger Falls, Dutchman Falls, and Multnomah Falls for a full day of hiking along the Wahkeena-Multnomah Loop Trail.

For a shorter hike, take the 3.4-mile loop from Wahkeena Trailhead to Fairy Falls and back. Take Interstate 84 to exit 28. Then take the Historic Columbia River Highway for about five miles to the Wahkeena Falls Day Use parking lot.

#5. Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls features a tall waterfall dropping straight down off a cliff in the woods in Portland.
Latourell Falls

About: This 224’ waterfall drops straight down the side of the mountain. It sits along a 2.1-mile trail in the Columbia River Gorge and is the third tallest waterfall in the area.

The lower falls are easy to access, but to view the upper falls requires a steeper climb. In the summer, the flow isn’t as high, so try to visit Latourell Falls in the winter or spring when the water is roaring.

The Latourell Falls Trail provides several viewpoints. Take a photo on the bridge over Latourell Creek with the cascading falls behind you.

How to Get There: Find Latourell Falls by traveling Interstate 84 to exit 22. From here, take the Historic Columbia River Highway to Latourell Falls. It’s only about a 30-minute drive from Portland.

Don’t Miss These Waterfalls Near Portland On Your Next Trip

These waterfalls near Portland will take your breath away. Whether it’s the powerful surge of the Multnomah Falls or the sprawling beauty of Fairy Falls, you don’t want to miss hiking to each of these waterfalls.

Although the crowds are heaviest in the spring and summer, it’s the prime time to view these stunning examples of natural beauty. Which one will you visit first?

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