15 Stunning Oregon Hikes With Waterfalls You Must Do!

Oregon has an abundance of spectacular waterfalls which is a result of its geological diversity, volcanic history and significant amount of rainfall. In fact, Oregon is the second US State with the most waterfalls! In the lush forests of Oregon you can find plenty of rivers and streams that carve their way through the landscape, resulting in the formation of incredible waterfalls. Exploring these stunning waterfalls in Oregon is a must. So in this complete guide you’ll find the best Oregon hikes with waterfalls ranked by area.

Northern Oregon waterfall hikes

There are many waterfall hikes in Northern Oregon with the Columbia River Gorge only at a 30-minute drive from Portland and Mount Hood on an hour’s drive. The dense forests, elevation changes and volcanic history contributes to the creation of waterfalls in the area. Plenty of extensive trails wind through the mountains with numerous waterfalls to see, making the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood Forest one of the best areas for Oregon hikes with waterfalls. 

Latourell Falls

The Latourell Falls is a single-plunge waterfall that drops 249ft down from an overhanging basalt cliff. Flanked by twisted basalt columns and vibrant moss-covered rocks, the Lower Latourell Falls can be reached in about a minute from the Latourell Falls trailhead. If you want to extend the hike, you can walk via an easy 2.4-mile trail (3.9 km) round trip to the Upper Latourell Falls.


The Lower Latourell Falls is the third tallest waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge and walking right up to the base of the waterfall is spectacular! It’s just a short drive from the other waterfalls along the Historic Columbia River Highway such as Multnomah Falls and was our favorite waterfall of the Gorge. 

Distance: 2.4 miles (3.9 km)

Elevation gain: 520 ft (158 m)

Location: Historic Columbia River Highway, Corbett, OR 97019, United States


Multnomah Falls

Without a doubt one of the most popular waterfall hikes in Oregon is to Multnomah Falls. And the great thing is that it’s just a short distance to get to the first viewpoint of the falls. From here you can admire the two tiers waterfall and the old bridge in the best way. 


Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon State with a height of 620 ft (189 m)and drops in two major steps. The upper falls are 542 feet (165 m) and the lower falls 69 feet (21 m). It’s a breathtaking waterfall and no wonder that it’s so popular to visit. 

Continuing the easy hike from the observation deck will get you onto the bridge for a closer view of the upper falls. You can then continue to the top of the falls for an even more impressive view without the crowds.


Keep in mind that Multnomah Falls is the most famous waterfall in Oregon, maybe even in the whole Pacific Northwest, so it can be super busy. Especially during the weekends. Therefore you will need a Timed Use Permit of $2 for each vehicle and motorcycle from the end of May until the beginning of September. You can find more information on the website of Oregon Recreation Government.

Distance: 2.4 miles (3.9 km)

Elevation gain: 810 feet 

Location: Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon 97014, United States

Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls

While Horsetail Falls is easily accessible from the road, you have to hike for about half a mile to get to the other waterfall called Ponytail Falls. The name ‘Horsetail Falls’ comes from its characteristic form that looks like a well-groomed horsetail. With a height of 176 feet (54 m) and flanked by lush greenery and mossy rocks, the Horsetail Falls are worth a visit. 


While the first waterfall is easy to visit from the parking lot, you have to follow a narrow, rocky path for about half a mile to get to the Ponytail Falls. The trail even goes behind this second waterfall which is really cool! If you continue past the Ponytail Falls for another 0.4 miles, you reach a wonderful viewpoint overlooking the gorge. It’s one of the easiest Oregon hikes with waterfalls but with a great reward.

Distance: 0.9 miles (1.3 km)

Elevation gain: 331 feet (92 m)

Location: Historic Columbia River Hwy, Cascade Locks, OR 97014, United States

Bridal Veil Falls

The Bridal Veil Falls trail is conveniently located along the Historic Highway close to other Oregon waterfalls such as Multnomah Falls, Latourell Falls and Wahkeena Falls. You can reach the base of the falls via a short walk down into the gorge where you’ll have stunning views on the two tiers waterfall that drops about 120 feet down. 


You can admire the falls from a viewing platform and from a lower perspective. There is a large boulder near the falls that you can climb, which makes for a perfect photo opportunity. Make sure to complete the loop along the interpretive trail that takes you around the edge of the cliffs for a stunning vantage point of the Columbia River Gorge. Here you will also find a picnic area which is a great place to rest before continuing your road trip in Oregon. 

Distance: 0.9 miles (1.3 km)

Elevation gain: 78 feet (37 m)

Location: Oregon 97010, United States


Tamanawas Falls 

Located on the quieter eastern slope of the iconic Mount Hood volcano, Tamanawas Falls gives a bit more of a back-to-nature experience without the crowds. A moderate hike leading to the 100-foot-tall waterfall of Tamanawas is worth checking out. The classic rectangular shape of Tamanawas Falls plunges down over a basalt cliff before continuing into the creek. It’s a beautiful waterfall to visit and the 3.4 mile hike will take about 2 hours to complete.


If you visit this area in the winter months, then Tamanawas Falls is also worth visiting! The waterfall freezes and icicles occur. Together with the winter landscape, it results in a winter wonderland. 

Distance: 3.4 miles return (5.3 km)

Elevation gain: 597 ft. (182 m)

Location: Highway 35, Oregon 97041, United States

Tamanawas Falls in the winter months

Ramona Falls

Nestled on the western side of Mount Hood, the Ramona Falls Trail leads you through an old-growth forest to the mesmerizing Ramona Falls. The 120ft (37m) tall waterfall seeps over basalt formations creating a picturesque scene. While this is a longer hike to one of the Oregon waterfalls, it is totally worth it because it’s an amazing waterfall with unique formation. 

The Ramona Falls Trail is a 7mile (11km) roundtrip that also features the Sandy River Crossing. Because this is a glacier fed river, the water can be ice cold. Water levels are also highly influenced by rain and snow melt, so be aware of this before you start the hike. Overall the best time of year to hike the Ramona Falls Trail is from May through October. During this period, from May 15th until October 1st, you’ll be required a valid Recreation Pass at Ramona Falls trailhead.

Distance: 7 mile (11km) roundtrip

Elevation gain: 1035 feet (319 m) 

Location: Rhododendron, OR 97049, United States


Central Oregon waterfall hikes

Central Oregon has an abundance of natural beauty. From idyllic lakes to the unique rock formations of Smith Rock State Park, dormant volcanoes, and lush mossy forests. The best cities to explore Central Oregon from are either Bend or Eugene. Both have many outdoor activities at their doorstep, including some of the best Oregon hikes with waterfalls.

Proxy Falls 

The Proxy Falls are a pair of cascades in the Willamette valley, cascading 226 feet (69 m) down a mossy cliff. Via a short 1.6 mile unpaved loop trail through lava fields and dense conifer forests, you can reach the viewpoints of Lower Proxy Falls and the smaller Upper Proxy Falls. Because the road to Proxy Falls Trailhead closes from mid-November to mid-June, you can only visit this Oregon waterfall in the summer months. 

Distance: 1.6 miles

Elevation gain: 147 feet

Location: Blue River, OR 97413, United States


Tumalo Falls 

Located within the Deschutes National Forest 10 miles West of the closest town Bend is the 97-foot-high Tumalo Falls. The first viewpoint is easily accessible from the parking lot with only 50 meters of walking. But if you want to explore more of this stunning forest, then you can go on a longer adventure to reach several other Oregon waterfalls, including the Double Falls.  

Distance: 6.8 miles

Elevation gain: 1217 feet

Location: Deschutes National Forest, Oregon 97703, United States


Marion Falls

Located deep in Willamette National Forest, Marion Falls is one of the more off-the-beaten-path Oregon hikes with waterfalls. The trailhead is at Lake Marion from where you will follow the river downstream passing along several beautiful waterfalls. Marion Falls is one of the highlights, but also make sure to continue just a little further downstream to Gatch Falls which is a beautiful two-tiered waterfall. 

Distance: 4.3 miles

Elevation gain: 921 feet

Location: Marion Lake Trailhead, OR 97342, United States


Silver Falls State Park

One of the best Oregon hikes with waterfalls is in Silver Falls State Park, also known as the Trail of Ten Falls. This beautiful loop trail takes you along a total of 10 waterfalls with some notable falls along the trail including the stunning South Falls, Lower South Falls, North Falls, Middle North Falls, and Double Falls. No doubt that Silver Falls State Park has some of the best waterfalls in Oregon!


Our favorite waterfall was the South Falls which is also the tallest waterfall in Silver Falls State Park. This spectacular waterfall drops 177 feet off a basalt shelf, and the unique part about it is that you can walk behind the waterfall. We also think this is one of the best fall hikes in Oregon with the stunning autumn foliage in October and November.


The trail is approximately 7.2 miles in length, forming a loop that takes you through lush, moss-covered forests and allows for an up-close experience with each waterfall. The trail is generally considered moderate in difficulty, suitable for hikers of various skill levels.


The big parking area at the entrance of Silver Falls State Park offers enough space and also has facilities such as toilets and a cafe. You need a day-use parking permit for Silver Falls which is $5, or have an Oregon State Park annual pass. 

We loved this Oregon waterfall hike as you will see so many different amazing waterfalls along the trail. It’s definitely one of the best waterfall hikes in Oregon and a must-do! 

Distance: 7.2 miles

Elevation gain: 1,151 Feet

Location: 20024 Silver Falls Hwy SE, Sublimity, OR 97385, United States


Abiqua Falls

The Abiqua Falls is a beautiful waterfall hugged by basalt column formations. The 92-foot (28-meter) high waterfall plunges into a large, bowl-shaped amphitheater, surrounded by the moss-covered basalt rocks. 

The trailhead is not as well-marked as some other waterfall hikes in Oregon, and reaching the falls requires navigating some rough terrain. The path is uneven with rocky slopes, muddy and there is even a rope section at one part along the trail. Therefore I only recommend this waterfall hike in Oregon for the more experienced outdoor people. Also, getting to the trailhead requires a 4×4 car with high clearance to navigate the dirt road. Another important note is that the trail is on private property, so respect the rules, stay on the trail and Leave no Trace. 

Distance: 0.9 miles

Elevation gain: 249 feet

Location: Crooked Finger Rd NE, Scotts Mills, OR 97375, United States


Kentucky Falls

The Kentucky Falls trail is located in Siuslaw National Forest close to the Oregon Coast and leads to three waterfalls and a fun swimming hole at the Lower Kentucky Falls. On the way to the falls you will descend down through beautiful old-growth forest, so all the elevation gain is on the way back out along big switchbacks, so the gain is fairly gradual which makes it pretty doable for all. 

The first waterfall you will see is the 88-foot Upper Kentucky Falls. Then after another mile you will get to the viewing platform overlooking the 117-foot Lower Kentucky Falls and 125-foot North Fork Falls.

The road to get to Kentucky Falls trailhead is quite challenging and can be confusing. But on AllTrails other hikers wrote an extensive direction, so definitely copy that so you can read it along the way towards the trailhead.

Distance: 3.7 miles (6km)

Elevation gain: 987 feet (273 m)

Location: Mapleton, OR 97453, United States. Don’t follow Google Maps but check the directions written on AllTrails by other hikers

Salt Creek Falls – Diamond Creek Falls Trail

For a quick visit to Salt Creek Falls, Oregon’s second-highest waterfall at 286 feet (87m), you can just walk for a few hundred meters from the parking lot to the overlook platform. But it is highly recommended to continue along the Diamond Creek trail that passes above a deep gorge, visits a lake, and then encounters another beautiful waterfall called the Diamond Creek Falls.

Distance: 3.9 miles (6.4 km) for the Diamond Creek Falls Loop Trail

Elevation gain: 1,040 feet

Location: Crescent, OR 97733, United States


Waterfall hikes in Southern Oregon

Famous for the so-called “Highway of Waterfalls”, the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway is a 172-mile-long stretch of highway that winds from Roseburg down to Gold Hill. Along the way, you can stop at the many Oregon waterfalls, (more than 15!), lovely picnic spots and sparkling mountain lakes. It’s one of the best areas to find Oregon hikes with waterfalls, and most of them are very easy to find.

Toketee Falls

Located in the Umpqua National Forest, Toketee Falls is a stunning waterfall accessible via a moderate hike. The 113-foot waterfall plunges into a rugged canyon, and the wooden treehouse-like viewing platform offers a great vantage point to admire the cascading water. You can descend down to the base of the waterfall via a rope, however, this is a very steep slope and only recommended for hikers with plenty of experience. 

Distance: 0.8 mile (1.3 km)

Elevation gain: 170 feet (52 m)

Location: 7H7F+J3, Idleyld Park, OR 97447, United States


Watson Falls

Watson Falls is the third-highest waterfall in Oregon at 272 feet (83 m) and is one of the most, if not the most, beautiful waterfall along the North Umpqua River Valley. A short hike of a 0.8-mile loop takes you along the creek to the base of the waterfall. From here you can continue a bit higher to another vantage point. It’s one of the easy waterfall hikes in Oregon but with a huge reward!

Distance: 0.8 mile (1.3km)

Elevation gain: 433 feet (132 m)

Location: NF-37, Idleyld Park, OR 97447, United States


FAQ about hikes in Oregon with waterfalls

When is the best time to do the Oregon hikes with waterfalls?

Generally, the best time to visit the Oregon waterfalls is in spring (May and June) when snowmelt from the winter results in increased water flow. This makes the Oregon waterfalls very powerful and spectacular. However, in spring it can still be chilly, so the warmer months of late June and July are often the best months. These are also the busiest months for the Oregon hikes, so make sure to start early. 

What is the highest waterfall in Oregon?

The highest waterfall in Oregon is the Multnomah Falls with a height of 620 ft (189 m). However, this is a two-tier waterfall. So if you are looking for the highest single-drop waterfall in Oregon, then it is Salt Creek waterfall at 286 feet (87m).

What park in Oregon has 10 waterfalls?

Silver Falls State Park is also known as the Trail of Ten Falls. This beautiful loop trail takes you along a total of 10 spectacular waterfalls. It’s a beautiful hike and we loved this trail the most out of all the Oregon hikes with waterfalls. 

What waterfall in Oregon can you walk behind? 

There are many Oregon waterfalls where you can walk behind! These are the most notable walk behind waterfalls in Oregon:

  • South Falls (Trail of Ten Falls)
  • Lower South Falls (Trail of Ten Falls)
  • Middle North Falls (Trail of Ten Falls)
  • North Falls (Trail of Ten Falls)
  • Ponytail Falls 
  • Tunnel Falls 
  • Grotto Falls 
  • Upper Trestle Creek Falls 

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I hope you enjoyed this complete guide about the best Oregon hikes with waterfalls. For more USA travel inspiration, head over to our other guides. 


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