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Latourell Falls is usually the first waterfall seen along the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway. Because of this, it usually leaves quite an impression on first-time visitors. The falls plunge 224 feet over a massive wall of columnar basalt – some of the best formations in the Pacific Northwest – before cascading hastily toward the Columbia River. This waterfall is usually most recognized for the large patch of bright yellow lichen adorning the cliff face to the right of the falls, and this characteristic has led many famous photographers to give this location their treatment. The drainage of Latourell Creek is rather small, so the falls become significantly less impressive later in the year, but are always worth stopping for a quick look.

NatGeo Geotourism Featured Place

NatGeo Geotourism Featured Place

Featured Place - National Geographic Society Oregon/Washington Geotourism MapGuide. Find out more at

What’s around here? Location & Nearby Things to See & Do

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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A related Trip Idea

  1. Exploring Oregon’s Wonders: Portland to the Gorge

    written by Kristen Mohror on April 21st, 2015

    As if it builds anticipation throughout the workweek, the city of Portland lights up a little brighter on Friday evenings. On one recent weekend, that urban energy inspired my exploration of downtown Portland and the Columbia River Gorge.

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