Every Portlander has heard of Multnomah Falls; it’s the picture-perfect day hike for anyone who is looking to get away from the city and enjoy beautiful views without having to work too hard to climb to the top.
With that in mind, Multnomah Falls is also packed with tons of people on nice days, and is definitely not the only beautiful hike near Portland. One of the cooler aspects of this city is that we don’t have to drive far to see nature. So why limit yourself to one waterfall? Here are some waterfalls that aren’t as well known
Starting it off easy, the Oneonta Gorge hike is less than a two-mile loop and is not a difficult hike. The hike only climbs 400 feet of elevation, and is unique because there really isn’t a trail—instead you walk up the river.
The water is not very deep, but it can be up to three feet deep in places, so this hike is not for very small children. But other than that, Oneonta Gorge is different from a lot of hikes around Portland and it all becomes worth it when you reach the final destination: the falls.
Once again, this hike is not difficult, but it is another scenic hike in the gorge with great views of falls. You don’t need to be an incredibly experienced hiker to enjoy Ponytail Falls. This hike also includes a great transition from the noise of the freeway to silence and then the noise of the waterfall. It’s a quick hike, as the entire route is less than a mile.
Once you get to Ponytail Falls, the trail goes right underneath the water where the rock has been eroded, creating a cavern. This hike is available year round, and it only elevates 360 feet, making it easy and family friendly.
Bridal Veil Falls
This hike includes an absolutely beautiful view of the Bridal Veil Falls, which is among the best falls in the Portland area. This waterfall is over 100 feet in height and 30 feet in width. Viewing these falls is not difficult, and it’s just over a half mile round trip. It’s also supposed to be visible from I-84.
These falls are much thicker than a lot of the waterfalls in the gorge, which makes for a larger volume of water thundering through the air.
These falls are not visible from the freeway, but quickly become so after a short walk up the trail. Hikers can continue on a 2.4 mile round-trip hike that includes views of multiple waterfalls. Unlike all the other hikes I have listed, this hike is a little more difficult, as it gets rocky in places. But it is completely worth it because the trails are loaded with viewpoints of the falls themselves, as well as the full range of Oregon’s natural beauty which is on display on this trek near the Historic Columbia
In the summertime when the trees have their leaves, the hike loses some of its secondary views of the waterfalls. But during the winter and fall the waterfalls can be seen from many different angles during this hike, making the whole trail very scenic.
There are a lot of hikes in the Portland area, and I was only able to list a few of the many beautiful views of falling water we have not too far from our city. Multnomah Falls is spectacular and everyone should go, but there is so much more in this area; to ignore that would be an injustice.