Waterfalls - 19 min read

15 Best Waterfalls in Oregon (Highest & Most Beautiful)

Nancy Schaefer

Nancy Schaefer, Updated October 22, 2022

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Oregon is home to many spectacular natural sights and waterfalls, some of the most stunning. One of Oregon’s most popular and highly recognized waterfalls is the Multnomah Falls.

Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the Columbia River Gorge, where most Oregon waterfalls are located. Beyond that, National Forests and State Parks offer glimpses of powerful waterfalls.

There are many ways to see these waterfalls in Oregon, with traveling by car the most popular. However, this is not always the best mode of transportation. Alternatives include the Waterfall Trolley, hop on, and hop off, which makes the experience less stressful and more enjoyable!

1. Trail of Ten Falls and South Falls


Located in the Silver Falls State Park, this trail is a gem for exploring the beauty of waterfalls. While not as popular or noticeable as some other waterfalls in Oregon, hikers will be surprised when they visit.

The nationally recognized hiking trail winds hikers through forest glens and past 10 stunning waterfalls. One waterfall, the South Falls, offers hikers a chance to walk behind and take a different vantage point with a 170-foot cascade of water.

The trail descends through a canyon to a creek at the bottom of a natural forest. The hike is over 7 miles and is moderate in difficulty. Hikers should have a bit of experience when trekking through this area. If they are new to hiking, proper gear and physical capabilities are necessary.

Pets are only allowed on some trails, and children should be supervised at all times. Respect should be given to nature and surrounding wildlife, so staying on the trail is essential.

The beauty of these waterfalls and the nature and wildlife surrounding them is a perfect first stop for anyone visiting Oregon.

The South Falls Day use area has picnicking, a dog park, a playground, and a horseshoe pit for hikers to enjoy. Durable shoes are a must, and knowledge of outdoor hiking safety is suggested since bears and cougars frequent these parts.

Address: Sublimity, Oregon 97385
Website: Trail of Ten Falls and South Falls
Cost of Admission: $5.00 Per Car
Hours of Operation: Daily, 7 AM – 9 PM

2. Toketee Falls


Located in Umpqua National Forest near Crater Lake National Park, this waterfall is beautiful, with a stunning pool beneath for enjoyment. The waterfall is easy to locate, off Highway 138 across a bridge and a small parking lot.

The hike is short at less than a mile, but for those with moderate to the extensive hiking experience. The hike requires a bit of endurance as it’s a continual incline through diverse terrain.

Craggy rocks, climbing stairs, and other terrain greet hikers as they walk across wooden planks. Benches are situated at convenient spots for rest. The path has some trees lining it offering shade and comfort.

The reward brings hikers to an observation deck that offers stunning views of the waterfall. The waterfall has two tiers of crystalline water that cascade down to a pool of water below.

The platform is higher than expected and doesn’t offer the most spectacular view one would imagine, but it is still beautiful. For those hikers who are into backpacking off the trail, there is a small path further down that would be a hike at your own risk.

This trail is rough and not for inexperienced hikers. It will take a hiker further down for a more spectacular, up close, and personal view of the falls.

It can be slippery, so wearing comfortable but good, reliable shoes is a must. This area is popular, so it’s a good idea to arrive early or later in the day to avoid crowds.

Address: Idleyld Park, Oregon 97447
Website: Toketee Falls
Cost of Admission: Free
Hours of Operation: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

Related Read: 29 Top Treehouse Rentals in Oregon

3. Tunnel and Punchbowl Falls


The Columbia River Gorge Area has over 90 waterfalls total at various times. Some waterfalls are small and adorable; others are massive and awe-inspiring.

The Gorge is diverse in terrain and offers varied hiking trails for viewing the falls and other nature. These falls, located along the Eagle Creek Trail in the Mount Hood National Forest, offer breathtaking views for hikers.

Hikers will find the parking area simple and convenient. Hikers need a permit before entering, but this is free and can be acquired at the permit station before the hike.

The hike is for those with a bit of experience as it requires a bit of endurance. Depending on how far a hiker chooses to go, it can be 2 – 7 miles of hiking each way if they decide to see the two waterfalls.

The hike winds through wildflowers and along cliffs and beautiful terrain. The setting is peaceful and dog friendly. The hike takes a gradual incline and narrows at some points but not to the point that a hiker would feel unsafe.

The lower part of the trail takes hikers to the Punchbowl Falls, which are beautiful to see. The upper part of the trail leads to the Tunnel Falls, which is the more stunning of the 2 waterfalls. Hikers will see diverse wildlife along the way.

It’s a good idea to wear comfortable but sturdy shoes to protect and prevent slipping. Those who have trouble with heights might be intimated by the atmosphere, but the views are well worth pushing past difficulties. This area is popular so hiking early or late is best.

Address: Moody Road, Mount Hood National Forest, Cascade Locks, Oregon 97014
Website: Tunnel and Punchbowl Falls
Cost of Admission: $2-5 Per Car
Hours of Operation: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

4. Oneonta Gorge


This beautiful gorge is located along the Columbia River. The parking area is easy and maneuverable. The hike is short but can be a challenge for inexperienced hikers and depends on how far they hike.

There are 4 waterfalls, Lower, Middle, Upper, and Triple Falls. The hike is 1 mile out and back. The area offers beautiful scenery and diverse vegetation. Parts of this gorge are protected botanicals through the US Department of Forestry, so staying on trails is important.

Hikers should also note they may not be able to see all the falls at times. The Lower Falls are in a protected area and rarely seen unless hikers are creative and use different vantage points.

The Middle Falls are an easy hike in and drop in a beautiful cascade over 20 feet. More experienced hikers can see the Upper Falls with creative methods and proper equipment.

Finally, the Triple Falls can be viewed from the Upper Trail in all its stunning beauty. The area is for all hikers of diverse hiking levels. Most average hikers will view the Middle Falls and other areas as the railroad tunnel and nothing more.

The area can be closed at certain times due to mother nature. It can be crowded at certain times of the day so hiking early and late is best.

Preparations include good hiking shoes and water for the hike. The forestry service requires a timed-used permit which must be acquired before visiting for free.

Address: Cascade Locks, Oregon 97014
Website: Oneonta Gorge
Cost of Admission: Free
Hours of Operation: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

Related Read: 15 Camping Spots On The Oregon Coast

5. Fairy Falls


Located in the Wahkeena Canyon, a beautiful hiking trail takes hikers to Fairy Falls. This small but beautiful waterfall is a short distance from the trailhead that starts at a small parking lot.

The hike follows Wahkeena Creek, where hikers can enjoy the diverse woodland setting, wildlife, and nature. Eventually, this creek and trail take hikers to another unnamed creek that leads to this small but beautiful Fairy Falls.

The smaller waterfall is spectacular due to its fan-shaped natural design. Hikers can view the Fairy Falls right from the trail, making it a nice spot to rest before continuing on the trail to the other waterfalls.

The wooden planked footbridge makes a great vantage point for photos and visual appeal. Its size is small at just 20 feet high, but its majesty comes from the shape and the way it’s intimately set beside the trail. This setting is perfect for those hikers who can’t hike too far, and it’s a very popular spot.

Originally it was named the Ghost Falls for the way the sunlight would sometimes hit the glistening water. The trail is of moderate difficulty and covers diverse terrain. Hikers should be prepared with appropriate shoes and water.

Address: Troutdale, Oregon 97060
Website: Fairy Falls
Cost of Admission: Free
Hours of Operation: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

6. Wahkeena Falls


This medium-sized but mighty waterfall is located in the same Wahkeena Canyon area as the above Fairy Falls. Hikers will begin at the Wahkeena Trailhead and continue past the Fairy Falls.

Once they are beyond that, the trail is a moderate challenge for hikers with more experience. There are diverse spots on the roadway, trail, and a platform to get a beautiful view of the Wahkeena Falls.

Hikers of every skill and experience can enjoy this sight from their own special spot. There is a short hike up the waterfall’s base for hikers who want an up close and personal experience.

The path to this and the Fairy Falls is doable for those will slight physical limitations, and kids can hike. The hiking journey can be made in less than an hour. How fast the journey is accomplished depends on skill and ability.

The parking area has a small picnicking spot for hikers to use. Hikers should be prepared with appropriate footwear and water for the journey. Some seasons are more crowded, so early or late arrival is best, as mid-day can be crowded.

For hikers that want to take a longer or more challenging hike, there is a trail that leads to Multnomah Falls. This waterfall is accessible at another location. Those hikers who want a workout can take the Multnomah Wahkeena Loop Hike.

The Wahkeena Waterfall, a twisty series of curves through a narrow path, is stunning in its uniqueness. The hike is just under 2 miles out and back, including a short trek up to The Necktie, the top of the waterfall.

The hike up to The Necktie is a bit more treacherous; therefore, children, pets, and those with physical limitations should not participate.

Address: Troutdale, Oregon 97060
Website: Wahkeena Falls
Cost of Admission: Free
Hours of Operation: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

7. Latourell Falls


The Latourell Falls is located in the Guy W. Talbot State Park, which is accessible on either side from the towns of Bridal Veil and Crown Point.

The 249-foot descent the falls take as they cascade down to the Columbia River below is stunningly impressive. The area is a popular destination with some of the best rock formations in the Northwest.

When hikers arrive, they can park in a large lot that doesn’t usually get overcrowded. From there, it’s a quick and easy walk over a paved path to the bottom falls. The bottom falls are good for families with children or pets and individuals physically limited in their hiking abilities.

On either side of the falls at the bottom is a trail to travel to the upper falls. These trails are for more experienced hikers due to the challenging incline. To one side of the bottom falls, there is a bridge and picnicking area.

Hikers will enjoy the various spots for impressive views of the Latourell Falls and the nature around them. Once the upper falls are reached, hikers can enjoy the reward of cooling off under the waterfall.

Hikers who opt to travel to the upper falls need sturdy shoes and perhaps a walking stick for ease. Hikers who only plan to hike to the bottom falls will have no trouble.

T&T Tip: This area can get a little crowded during peak season, so it’s best to arrive and hike earlier in the day.

Address: Historic Columbia River Highway, Corbett, Oregon 97019
Website: Latourell Falls
Cost of Admission: Free
Hours of Operation: Daily, 7:30 AM – 9 PM

Related Read: 13 Best Beaches In Oregon For Families

8. Bridal Veil Falls


Located in Bridal Veil State Park, the Bridal Veil Falls is another beautiful waterfall to behold. Once visitors reach the parking lot, they will find parking is easy as it’s less crowded than other waterfalls in the area.

Hikers of diverse abilities will find the short walk easy with only a few challenges. The less than 1-mile round trip hike will carry hikers through plenty of shade alone on a paved trail.

The hike requires ascending and descending stairs, and there’s no railing for the stairs, so hikers should be cautious. Benches to sit are provided along the short hike, as are picnicking and restrooms near the parking area.

Hikers must transverse a bridge to the observation platform for the best vantage point. Once, their hikers can enjoy a dip in the pool beneath the 120-foot waterfall.

Aside from this hike, other trails lead to the top of the falls and other beautiful sights in this state park. The setting is tranquil and mesmerizing, and many hikers will have difficulty leaving.

Comfortable shoes are a good idea for safety, and arriving early in the day is a good idea. While the hike isn’t far, having some water on hand might be best.

Address: 46701 Historic Columbia River Highway, Corbett, Oregon 97019
Website: Bridal Veil Falls
Cost of Admission: $2-5 Per Car
Hours of Operation: Daily, 7 AM – 9 PM

9. Shepperd Dell Falls


This lovely waterfall is located in the Shepperd Dell State Natural Area. To access this waterfall, there is convenient parking on either side of Highway 30.

The 2-tiered waterfalls slip gently down cliffs to the Young’s Creek and eventually wind up in the Columbia River. The hike from the parking areas to the waterfalls is relatively short at less than a mile round trip.

While this waterfall may not be as impressive as some of this area, it’s still exceptionally beautiful. The upper falls cascade down just over 40 feet while the lower cascades a humble 50 feet.

A bridge not far from the parking area offers beautiful views of the waterfall for those who can’t hike. The stone walking path and wall formation are just as stunning as the waterfalls.

The area is uncrowded and tranquil, providing a great place for peace and reconnection with nature. While the walk is short, wearing comfortable and reliable shoes is still a good idea.

Address: Corbett, Oregon 97019
Website: Shepperd Dell Falls
Cost of Admission: Free
Hours of Operation: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

10. Horsetail Falls


This easily accessible 176-foot waterfall located in the Columbia River Gorge is stunning in size. Convenient for travelers right near the Columbia River Highway, it makes an impressive waterfall to admire.

It gained its namesake from its unique shape and form. The trail leading to the waterfall of the same name is a short but difficult hike. The hike passes behind the upper Horsetail Falls, known as the Ponytail Falls, and a half tunnel.

The trail is for experienced hikers as it has cliffs in some places. The spacious parking area is on one side of the Columbia River Highway. A Time Use Permit is required before visiting this waterfall which can be purchased online.

For individuals who can’t make the hike, there is a viewing area and picnicking spot on the other side of the highway. The area is tranquil with few people, and it’s a quick trip to see a beautiful waterfall whichever way you go.

Comfortable but sturdy shoes are a good idea. If choosing to ascend the upper trail, it is best to have a walking stick and pay close attention as there are no rails to protect hikers from falling.

Address: Moody Road, Mount Hood National Forest, Cascade Locks, Oregon 97014
Website: Horsetail Falls
Cost of Admission: $2-5 Per Car
Hours of Operation: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

11. Multnomah Falls


As the largest waterfall in the State of Oregon and the most popular, Multnomah Falls shouldn’t be missed at a well 600 foot high in cascading waters. Also situated in the Columbia River Gorge, like many other waterfalls on this list, it’s a remarkable sight.

Fed by an underground spring with varying degrees of water at different times of the year, it’s the most visited spot in the Pacific Northwest.

The park has numerous amenities, including a snack bar, gift shop, and restaurant. A visitors’ center, restrooms, and picnicking are also available. It’s recommended to use online reservations for parking.

This powerful and large 3-tiered waterfall is accessible from a paved walkway. It’s a short walk to the lower falls, which are spectacular for photos.

Hiking on the paved path travels up a short distance to the midway bridge that crosses the falls offering another vantage point. To get to the top, it’s a mile and a half hike.

Beyond the bridge, it’s a steep hike on a narrow path with no rails. It’s recommended that experienced hikers trek this terrain. Those hikers with physical limitations, pets, and children should not go beyond the bridge.

Comfortable but sturdy shoes are a good idea for the hike. A Timed Use Permit is required for parking, so arriving early is best as this area gets crowded fast. Other things to do beyond hiking the trails include studying the amazing geology of this area.

Address: Moody Road, Mount Hood National Forest, Cascade Locks, Oregon 97014
Website: Multnomah Falls
Cost of Admission: $2-5 Per Car
Hours of Operation: Daily, 9 AM – 6 PM

Related Read: 20 Best Waterfalls in Washington

12. Salt Creek Falls


This lovely waterfall on Salt Creek in the Willamette National Forest is one of the highest in Oregon at 287 feet. Located 5 miles from Willamette Pass, the parking area is large and easy to use.

Once their hikers can access the waterfall through the observation deck, which is handicapped accessible. There are interpretive exhibits and information at this point. Hikers can choose the short, simple hike on a paved path leading to the amphitheater.

Once their hikers can continue down a steep slope for a perfect frontal view of the falls. Hikers must step up and down numerous stairs to enjoy this view.

A second trail takes hikers above the lip of the falls near the picnic area. There are other varied trails for hiking through beautiful forests and gaining a better view of the falls.

The loop trail offers numerous vantage points against the canyon rim, which is a short hike with diverse sights and clear signs. Besides picnicking, there are restrooms and interpretive information.

Parking is easy, but a Timed Use Permit must be acquired online before visiting. For the more difficult hikes, it’s best to wear durable shoes for safety. Arriving early is best for cooler weather and fewer crowds.

Address: Blue River, Oregon 97413
Website: Salt Creek Falls
Cost of Admission: $2-5 Per Car
Hours of Operation: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

13. Dillion and Benham Falls


These falls are located in the Deschutes National Forest. Located near Bend, Oregon, they run along the Deschutes River. These water rapids’ falls are a bit more primitive.

Hikers who travel these trails need to have prior experience and knowledge. The almost 7 miles out and back hiking adventure is not a difficult trek, but hikers must have some experience.

Along the way, hikers have the chance to admire the falls as well as diverse wildlife. Birding and horseback riding are popular activities in this area.

Dogs are welcome if, on a leash, hikers should have appropriate gear and dress comfortably for the weather. Weather conditions can change rapidly and affect the river and hiking trails.

Near both falls, hikers will find picnicking and restrooms along the river. Boat ramps and horse trailer parking are other trail features that travel from one fall to the next and back.

At Dillon Falls, there is a short handicapped accessible trail and bridge. Parking passes are required for this area and should be purchased online before visiting.

Address: Bend, Oregon 97701
Website: Dillion and Benham Falls
Cost of Admission: $5.00 Per Car
Hours of Operation: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

14. Soda Creek Falls


The Soda Creek Waterfalls are a lovely sight while visiting the Cascadia State Park. The park offers camping and day use facilities for hiking, biking, and other adventures.

The state park is small and peaceful, offering a lovely spot for solitude and reflection while sitting beside this lovely creek-fed waterfall.

The park is rich in history, and the trail leading to Soda Creek Falls is easily accessible. The trail is geared towards all hikers of diverse skill levels and experience. The trail is short and takes hikers through old-growth forest.

The hike is about a mile long and has an incline, so those with physical limitations or health issues should be aware. The waterfall is breathtaking and tranquil, and there are swimming holes in the park for campers and hikers to enjoy.

While the waterfall is not the largest or strongest in Oregon, its location and peaceful setting make up for that.

Proper gear and comfortable shoes should be worn when hiking and camping in this area. It is always a good idea for hikers to carry water with them during warmer weather.

Address: Cascadia, Oregon 97329
Website: Soda Creek Falls
Cost of Admission: $7.00
Hours of Operation: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

15. Watson Falls


This remarkable waterfall is located in the Umpqua National Forest. The waterfall is one of the largest in Oregon, slipping some 300 feet to a pool of water below.

The ample parking area provides restrooms and picnic tables for hikers to use. From the trailhead that starts at the parking area, it’s a short half-mile hike to see Watson Falls.

The hike is moderately difficult, with a continual incline and rocky terrain before the bridge. After the bridge, you can turn to the left and get a closer vantage point for photos.

The hike can be completed in less than an hour round trip. The waterfall tends to dry up slightly, so it’s best during the Spring season.

This area can get crowded during certain seasons and days, so it’s best to hike early. Appropriate shoes and hiking gear are suggested as well as water.

Address: Idleyld Park, Oregon 97447
Website: Watson Falls
Cost of Admission: Free
Hours of Operation: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

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