Latourell Falls Loop Hike — Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Upper and Lower Latourell Falls can be visited by a short 2.4 mile loop hike through a particularly lush area of the Columbia River Gorge. Being the third tallest waterfall in the gorge, these falls make for a great stop when visiting Portland, Oregon. You can escape the crowds of Multnomah and even get up close and personal to the falls. 

 

Hike Info

Date: 6/17/2017
Miles: 2.4 (roundtrip)
Elevation Change: 520 ft
Trail Type: Loop
Trailhead: Google Maps

 

The Hike

From the parking lot, heading on the paved trail to the left to the upper falls brings you to a viewpoint of Lower Latourell Falls. You could also take the trail on the right to hike the loop counterclockwise and hit the base of the lower falls first.

The trail turns left and starts to climb up along the basin of the lower falls with views of the Columbia River Gorge through the trees. You'll hike through a wet and lush forest, passing several small creeks along the way.

After about 1.2 miles, you'll reach Upper Latourell Falls, a two-tiered waterfall with the top section only visible from a distance. The trail crosses a wooden bridge over the river to continue on the loop returning on the opposite side of the creek to head back to the parking lot.

 A charming wooden bridge to enjoy the view from

A charming wooden bridge to enjoy the view from

 
 Tons of ferns overgrowing this part of the trail

Tons of ferns overgrowing this part of the trail

 Moss-covered gangly tree branches

Moss-covered gangly tree branches

Once you're back near the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway, you'll arrive back at the base of Lower Latourell Falls. Falling 249 feet, the water spills over the edge of the cliff, creating the perfect waterfall.

Once you're done attempting to fit the entire waterfall in your photo, it's only a short walk across the bridge back to your car.

Although the lower Latourell Falls might seem to be the star of the hike, the trail up to the upper falls covers some lush forest territory and is worth the short trek. Plus, since the upper falls can be hiked as a loop, there's no need to see the same gorgeous scenery twice!

 

Other useful sites:
Oregon Hikers
Gorge Friends
Outdoor Project
NW Hiker