Multnomah and Wahkeena Falls loop hike - Columbia Gorge, Oregon

I had the whole day Wednesday with my Mini-Adventurer, so we took advantage of the weather and headed to the Columbia River Gorge for a waterfall hike. Ever since we moved out to the country with a small creek on our property, he has been enamored with water. I figured a hike full of waterfalls would really impress him. Our plan was to hike the Multnomah and Wahkeena Falls loop. It's just under 5 miles round-trip.

Wahkeena and Multnomah Falls Trail Elevation Profile

This was going to be Julian's longest hike ever, so I was unsure how it would go. We were off to a great start getting out of the house just after 8 AM and on the trail by 9 AM. We decided to do the loop backwards leaving from Multnomah Falls and heading down the return trail to the Wahkeena Falls trailhead. The weather was pleasant with partially sunny skies and temperature in the mid 40's. Our Mini-Adventurer was excited and eager to go when we saw Multnomah Falls from the parking lot.

Start of hike from Multnomah Falls to Wahkeena Falls     The Mini-Adventurer hitching a ride with Dad

We made short work of the return trail #442 over to Wahkeena Falls. But not fast enough for Julian, as he kept saying "more water" as we hiked toward the falls.

Water trickling down the side of the trail     Wahkeena Falls from trailhead

We were the only ones at Wahkeena Falls, leaving ample opportunity for photos.

Still smiling at Wahkeena Falls     Wahkeena Falls - Columbia Gorge, Oregon

We continued on our hike with the Mini-Adventurer eagerly waiting for the next waterfall or creek view.

Columbia River from Oregon side     Wahkeena Canyon

Before hiking to Fairy Falls, we made the short side trip to Lemon's Viewpoint.

White wildflowers     Fairy Falls - Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

We made a quick side trip to see Wahkeena Springs where the creek begins its short journey to the Columbia River. At this point in our hike we had only seen four other people. We then saw Ecola Falls, Weisendanger Falls and "Dutchman Falls.

Ecola Falls - Columbia River Gorge, Oregon     Dutchman Falls - Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

As we began to descend to the Multnomah Falls overlook, we started to see more people. I think Julian was just as excited about people watching as seeing waterfalls.

Upper Multnomah Falls     Top of Multnomah Falls looking down

We stopped on Benson Bridge where someone was kind enough to take a picture of us.

Multnomah Falls - Columbia River Gorge, Oregon     Still going strong after nearly 5 miles of hiking

Back at Multnomah Falls trailhead, we took a break to enjoy some snacks. The Mini-Adventurer was still in good spirits which kept me in great spirits! Maybe he's ready for an even longer hike next time. Since arriving home, every time Julian sees the hiking backpack, he says "uh-moh-mah" (meaning Multnomah Falls). Carrying him on my back is great training for me so it's a win-win.

One last look at Multnomah Falls

Gear List

Deuter Kid Comfort II Backpack
GoLite Kenai Pertex 2.5L Jacket
Petzl TIKKA XP 2 Headlamp
Olympus Tough TG-1 Camera
First Aid Kit
Samsung Galaxy S5 w/BackCountry Navigator
Suunto A-10 Compass


1 comment

Dennis Hildebrand, Sun, 04/19/2015 - 23:43

I love this hike. I'm from Portland, when people visit me and want to go on a hike, I usually do this one because the the variety of waterfalls and just the sheer beauty of the gorge.

You guys did a fabulous job documenting the hike. Great high Rez pics. Thanks

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