The Pacific Northwest is filled with natural landscapes that are going to leave you in awe. The beauty of the Pacific Northwest is truly unmatched. Did you know that Oregon is home to some of the most beautiful and unique waterfalls in the world? The state boasts over 600 waterfalls, and there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself hiking through one of them at some point during your visit. The waterfall hikes in Oregon will take your breath away and they’re all within an hour drive from Portland! Here are our top 5 waterfall hikes in Oregon:

1. Abiqua Falls

I’m not going to lie: Abiqua Falls is a little confusing. Abiqua Falls is a gorgeous waterfall tucked away in a lush forest, thick with moss-covered trees, near Silver Falls State Park in Sublimity, Oregon. But it’s not part of the state park—it’s located on private property and is open to the public As such, there aren’t any clear signs or information about how to get there; however, if you’re up for an adventure, I’d say go for it!

Nearest Airport: 1-hour drive from Salem Municipal Airport

Distance: 0.8 miles of hiking

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 180 feet

Dog Allowed? Technically yes (on leashes), but not recommended

Parking and Permits: This trail can get bumpy, steep, wet, and treacherous. It’s recommended to have a 4WD vehicle and this hike is not suitable for families, dogs, or children. There are paths and signages that you need to follow for your safety and you should follow the leave no trace principles since this is private property. 

Best time of the year to go: Abiqua Falls is a beautiful year-round destination, but winter and summer are the best times to visit. In the Winter, you’ll have the least amount of crowds and will be able to get the place almost to yourself while in the Summer it’s more crowded with people loving to swim in the falls.

2. Trail of Ten Falls

This is a great hike if you want to see ten waterfalls in one day. The trail is well-maintained, and the views are spectacular. It’s like a lush rainforest. It’s considered the “Crown Jewel” of all the Oregon State Parks and was a shooting location for Twilight! The hike is moderate in difficulty and takes about four hours total. It’s not too difficult to find, but it’s also not well-marked, so make sure you have good directions before starting out!

Nearest Airport: 40 minutes drive from Salem Municipal Airport

Distance: 7.8 miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1300 feet

Dog Allowed? No

Parking and Permits: $5 entrance fee; This is part of the Silver Falls State Park, so you can easily park in the north or south parking lots. The south parking lot is a bigger lot and is near the South Falls Lodge. There will be signage for the Train of Ten Falls. 

Best time of the year to go: It’s a wonderful hiking trail all year round, however October through April is the most recommended time. You’ll get to see the forest be lush and green and the waterfall at its best. This is a popular destination, so the earlier you go in the day, then the less crowded it will be. 

3. Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls is one of the most popular hikes in Oregon because it’s easy to get to and has an amazing payoff. You’ll have to climb up about 450 feet before you reach the falls, but once you do you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the Columbia River Gorge. The views are absolutely epic, with insane greenery and basalt rock surrounding the falls.

If you’re looking for a hike that will challenge you, this isn’t it—but if you want an easy-to-get-to hike that offers incredible views at the end, Latourell Falls is a great option!

Nearest Airport: 35 mins drive from Portland International Airport

Distance: 2.4 miles

Difficulty Level: Easy

Elevation Gain: 625 feet

Dog Allowed? Yes on leashes

Parking and Permits: There is limited parking at Latourell Falls Trailhead with a parking area and street parking. A timed-access permit will be required Between May 24 and September 5 2022 for each personal vehicle accessing the Historic Columbia River Highway from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. between Vista House and Ainsworth State Park.

Best time of the year to go: May through October; Spring and Summer are the most crowded seasons. Fall is perfect with mild weather and not too crowded. Winter is the least crowded but can be very cold. 

Photo Credit: Travel Portland

4. Multnomah Falls

At the top of Multnomah Falls are two viewing platforms where you can sit and enjoy a view of one of Oregon’s most beautiful landmarks. This is a VERY populated hike!

The trail itself is paved and accessible for people with disabilities; however, it does get very crowded during peak seasons (usually summer). This is the tallest waterfall in Oregon and it’s absolutely breathtaking! 

Nearest Airport: 30 mins drive from Portland International Airport

Distance: 2.4 miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 870 feet

Dog Allowed? Yes on leashes

Parking and Permits: Reservations and Timed Use Permits ($2 fee) are required from May 24 through September 5, 2022. The easiest way to get to Multnomah Falls is via Interstate 84. Take exit 31, which is marked clearly for Multnomah Falls and leads right to a large parking area. Walk south toward Multnomah Falls, passing below the freeway.

Alternatively, a smaller parking area is located along Historic Columbia River Highway near Multnomah Lodge.

Best time of the year to go: This trail is fantastic all year round but can be heavily crowded. Recommended to arrive early to avoid as much of the crowd as possible. 

Photo Credit: Snows Out West

 5. Toketee Falls

The waterfall is a two-tiered beauty, and it’s all because of the unique lava flow that makes up its backdrop. This waterfall is one of the most famous in Oregon, and it’s easy to see why. It’s not just the waterfalls themselves that are beautiful, but also their surroundings: the way they frame the basalt cliffs with their dramatic columns.

You’ll be mesmerized by this waterfall as you walk along the North Umpqua River, which carved out this sinuous gorge over thousands of years. The upper-tier cascades down 28 feet into a deep alcove below, then plunges another 85 feet into another large pool for an overall height of 113 feet!

Nearest Airport: 2 hours drive from Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport

Distance: 0.8 miles

Difficulty Level: Easy

Elevation Gain: 120 feet

Dog Allowed? Yes 

Parking and Permits: From Roseburg, take Oregon Highway 138 east to a junction with the paved Toketee-Rigdon Road between mileposts 58 and 59. Go north on this road 0.2 miles, then turn left onto the spur road to the Toketee Falls trailhead. You can park here

Best time of the year to go: The best time to visit Toketee Falls is in the spring when the snow melts and the river flows with a torrent of icy water.

This means that you’ll be able to see the falls at their most impressive, but you’ll also have to deal with crowds of people who want to see them as well.

If you’re hoping for quiet, peaceful solitude and a chance to feel like you’ve stumbled into your own private oasis, then you should wait until late summer when most people have left.

Heading out on any of these incredible waterfall hikes in the Pacific Northwest is guaranteed to be an experience you won’t soon forget. All of the trails offer something unique and spectacular, so feel free to wander the trails and experience it all! No matter which trail you choose, you’re sure to have an incredible time exploring the natural beauty of Oregon. Which waterfall hike in Oregon will you be taking on? 

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