Elowah and Wahclella Falls

  • Easy (to Elowah Falls)
  • 3 miles round trip
  • 600 feet elevation gain
  • Open all year


  • Easy (to Wahclella Falls)
  • 2 miles round trip
  • 380 feet elevation gain


  • Moderate (both falls, with car shuttle)
  • 7.3 miles
  • 1100 feet elevation gain

Two of the Columbia Gorge’s best waterfalls are hidden in canyons with short trails. A 3-mile hike to airy, 289-foot Elowah Falls includes a detour past a Gorge viewpoint to an additional 100-foot falls. Just down the road, the 1-mile path to thundering Wahclella Falls loops through a charming, canyon-end grotto.

For a quick afternoon stroll, choose just one of these hikes. If you’re doing both you can connect them with a short drive or with a level, 3.1-mile trail. The trail route includes a new paved section of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail that opens in August 2013.

If you’re hiking with children, Wahclella Falls is safest. Otherwise, start with the hike to Elowah Falls. To find the Elowah Falls trailhead from Portland …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington.