Oregon Waterfalls: Road Trip Ideas for Friends and Family
Oregon’s outdoor scene features forests, mountains and a jaw-dropping wine country. However, some claim the waterfalls are the No. 1 attraction. Plus, the state ranks among the best to drive in the U.S. When it’s time to hit the open road, here are some Oregon waterfalls to visit. Why not take the scenic route, too?
Oregon Waterfalls Help Visitors Relax and Reconnect
Millions of people have visited Multnomah Falls making this waterfall one of the most popular sites in the Pacific Northwest and near Portland.
While the fall varies in length, Multnomah is fed by underground springs from Larch Mountain and measures the tallest in the state at 542 feet. Two trails provide access to the falls, both offering moderate hikes at least 2.2 miles one-way.
Munson Creek Falls
Among the most famous waterfalls in Oregon, Munson Creek Falls measures 319 feet and ranks as the tallest in the Coast Range.
The three-tier waterfall is located in Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site, which has 62 acres of scenery and trails. To visit the waterfall, visitors should hike a short half-mile round-trip. In addition, leashed dogs are welcome to join the fun.
Located near Eagle Creek trail near Cascade Locks, Oregon, Tunnel Falls provides a turnaround spot but still measures 12 miles round-trip. The waterfall itself cascades some 160 feet to a creek bed. Hikers should note erosion and blasting have caused spots to become extremely slick. Experts do not recommend descending to the creek bed below, and instead encourage visitors to use handrails and explore the tunnel behind the falls.
To see more Oregon waterfalls from this spot, just hike another half-mile to Twister Falls. Visitors may also see Punchbowl, Metlako and Loowit.
White River Falls
Some say White River Falls is a best-kept secret. This top among the best Oregon waterfalls offers two tiers and plunges 90 feet. The park, located east of Tygh Valley along Highway 216, offers a quarter-mile hike into a canyon for waterfall views.
While hiking, visitors also see a former power plant that powered the area from the 1910s to 1960s. Feel free to bring a picnic and leashed pets for a fun lunch with loved ones.
As the tallest waterfall in Silver Falls State Park, South Falls ranks among the must-see Oregon waterfalls. It measures approximately 177 feet, and guests can view it by itself or as part of the Trail of Ten Falls. To see South Falls, just hike the 1.1-mile loop.
Visitors should also walk behind the falls and enjoy the day-use area. Guests have access to barbecue stands, picnic tables, a playground and horseshoe pits. Other activities in Silver Falls State Park include mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding.
Salt Creek Falls
Willamette National Forest sits in central Oregon. The area not only offers some of the most popular waterfalls in the area, but also welcomes outdoor lovers to explore 1.6 million acres of nature’s landscape.
Salt Creek Falls, which measures 286 feet, ranks among the highest Oregon waterfalls. Start at the observation site. Then stroll only 50 yards to see the waterfall. The platform is wheelchair accessible, and restrooms and a picnic area are available.
Also located in Willamette National Forest, Proxy Falls consists of a collection of springs that create a cascade of two veils dropping 226 feet. Please note: The water does not feed into a stream. It absorbs into porous lava into the ground.
Proxy Falls separates into two distinct falls – an upper and lower. The hike offers an easy, but sometimes slippery, half-mile loop. Dogs are welcome, but this waterfall trail is not ADA accessible.
In Bend, nature lovers should visit Tumalo Falls, which measures 97 feet. To see the falls, stay close to the trail head. Those who keep going will come to Middle Tumalo Falls, a two-tier fall that cascades 65 feet. The entire hike consists of 6.5 miles in Deschutes National Forest.
Other noteworthy waterfalls in Bend include Benham, Dillon and Lava Island Falls. Each feed from Deschutes River and offer a more gradual flow of whitewater.