Multnomah Falls – Wahkeena Loop Trail

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This Columbia Gorge hike is sometimes called the waterfall hike because there’s so many falls along the trail. Several major creeks travel down through the Gorge to become Multnomah Falls, Wahkeena Falls and inner Fairy Falls. Along these creeks other waterfalls drop at various places and can be seen along the path. Most of these falls have unmarked side-trails for the more adventurous (like my son) and because I tag along, I find myself at the bottom of each of these falls – totally immersed in nature – it’s exhilarating.

After a while we leave Multnomah Creek and travel high above the Gorge over to Wahkeena Springs. This part of the trail cuts across a steep tree-lined slope. It’s a world everyone should enter at some time in their life. For me, it brings a respect for life. Everything around me creates this visible ecosystem that hangs in a balance supporting each living thing. It’s one definition of beauty.

Into the Wilds


We have our picnic lunch near Wahkeena Springs. It bubbles from the ground and soon spreads and picks up speed as it tumbles over rocks down the hill. Before long it’s raging, twisting, turning, falling and the trail follows it down to the scenic highway and the Wahkeena Falls we all know and love.

We hike nearly seven miles today. I can feel it in my joints and in my feet. We end at Multnomah Falls (where we began) and have our favorite ice cream cone.

On a final note, I’m sad that so many people have to litter and pollute our natural environment – water bottles, wrappers, toilet paper in visible areas, the remains of their lunch. Respect for the land and this home of creatures was taught to me somewhere along the way. Or maybe it was common sense. But I wish people would carry out their garbage. I told my son I’m bringing a garbage bag on our next trip so I can leave it cleaner than I found it. Leave no trace.

Top of Multnomah Falls

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