Trillium and Waterfalls, the Quintessential Oregon Spring Hike

May 8, 2012

Tom and I and the dogs hiked in to Wahclella Falls the other day. Early spring runoff creates a succession of small waterfalls as you follow the trail along Tanner Creek, leading up to Wahclella Falls itself, a two-tier beauty complete with refreshing mist and lush moss and ferns on the basalt outcroppings. Already trillium and big-leaf maple leaves are emerging, and we saw plenty of native black currents and salmonberries brandishing their vivid fuchsia-pink flowers. One of our Carson Ridge Private Luxury Cabins is named Salmonberry after this lovely and tasty raspberry relative. Wahclella Falls is one of the most memorable Columbia River Gorge waterfall hikes in the Mt. Hood National  Forest. It’s an inspiring experience for the entire family. No hiking boots? No problem, sneakers will do. This one-mile (each way) trail isn’t quite stroller-friendly, but it’s an easy hike even for the little ones. And it’s dog-friendly, but do remember to take along a cleanup bag, just in case. When you get to the falls, you’ll want to sit and rest a spell, basking in the spring sunshine. Or bring a picnic, as we did. You’ll probably want to return, again and again, to see new waves of wildflowers and to splash in the waterfall’s pool when the weather is warmer. Just don’t forget your camera!  You’ll certainly want to have your picture taken standing in the midst of this Columbia River Gorge postcard. The Wahclella Falls trailhead is just off Interstate 84 at exit 40, near Bonneville Dam. Park the car and if you have a Northwest Forest Pass, you’re ready to go. If not, you’ll need to pay a $5 fee to help the Forest Service maintain our beautiful system of parks and trails. Latitude: 45.63099, Longitude: -121.95407 What’s your favorite waterfall hike on theOregonside of the Columbia River Gorge?