WaterfallSlideshow_HugPoint
Stroll down an Oregon Coast beach and feel the spray of a 15-foot waterfall on an adventure where even the name drips with romance. Hug Point Falls isn’t the tallest cascade in Oregon, but it’s among the only ones where viewing is limited by the incoming tide. Five miles south of Cannon Beach, park at Hug Point Recreation Site and hike the beach to the north — but only at low tide. After walking around Hug Point, you’ll find the pretty little falls dropping 15 feet off a sandstone ledge. (Photo by James Parsons)
WaterfallSlideshow_SweetCreekFalls
There are no boring moments on this sweet and easy trail south of Mapleton, where you’ll pass 11 waterfalls in just 1.1 miles. Sweet Creek Trail is something of an engineering marvel, using catwalk-style bridges to allow hikers up-close views of a stream that drops like a slinky down basalt ledges in this narrow, mossy canyon. From Mapleton — east of Florence — follow Sweet Creek Road for 10 miles to Homestead Trailhead. The hike is 2.2 miles round-trip to Sweet Creek Falls, the largest cascade among the nearly dozen you’ll find here. (Photo by Jeff Curtis)
WaterfallSlideshow_Sahalie_v2
Even in the late summer, when many waterfalls have dried to little more than a trickle, you’ll still want a rain jacket to hike past the McKenzie River’s two most iconic cascades. Sahalie and Koosah falls roar with spectacular fury in all seasons, spitting clouds of mist into the air and saturating anyone visiting these waterfalls south of Santiam Pass on Highway 126. Enjoy these Willamette Valley waterfalls from separate viewpoints or hike a 2.4-mile loop that passes both waterfalls and explores old-growth forest on the McKenzie River Trail. Be wary of snow in spring and early summer. (Photo by Studio 404)
WaterfallSlideshow_Wahclella
In the crowded corridors of the Columbia River Gorge, Wahclella Falls Trail stands out for its solute and sense of adventure. A short hike — just 2.2 miles — takes you into a deep and narrow canyon, where thin waterfalls drop from overhead cliffs and emerald-blue Tanner Creek twists between boulders the size of apartment buildings. Wahclella Falls provides the grand finale, plunging down two 60-foot drops into a cavern bellowing with mist. The trailhead can be found off Interstate 84 near Cascade Locks at exit 40. (Photo by EricVogt / TandemStock.com)
WaterfallSlideshow_WhiteRiverFalls_v2
The roaring tumult of waterfalls feels more than a little out of place amid the dry, rolling foothills of White River Falls State Park near Maupin in Central Oregon. Fed by snow from Mount Hood, the White River arrives in the Tygh Valley with a full head of steam and blasts down three waterfalls — White River Falls (75 feet), Celestial Falls (41 feet) and Lower White River Falls (21 feet). A hike of 1 mile round-trip, beginning at the state park trailhead, will bring you to all three falls, and provide memorable views. (Photo by George Ostertag / Alamy Stock Photo)
WaterfallSlideshow_FallCreek_v2
The North Umpqua River canyon could easily be considered the Columbia River Gorge of Southern Oregon. The Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway has been called the highway of waterfalls, and seventeen different falls dot the landscape around Highway 138 east of Roseburg. Among these, few offer a more enjoyable day-hike than Fall Creek Falls. Following a lush canyon, the cuts through a crevasse in a gigantic boulder before arriving at the misty base of the tiered, 85-foot Fall Creek Falls . The hike is 1.8 miles-round trip and begins at milepost 32.2 on Highway 138. (Photo by Kirkendall-Spring Photographers)

It would be easy to believe that the only place to discover stunning waterfalls in Oregon is the Columbia River Gorge — it’s home to dozens of falls cascading off basalt cliffs.

Two million people visit Multnomah Falls each year — the Gorge’s most-visited attraction — while crowds almost as large swarm nearby cascades such as Horsetail, Wahkeena and Bridal Veil falls.

Yet when it comes to the multitude of waterfalls dotting the Oregon landscape, Multnomah Falls and the Gorge barely scratch the surface.

Spectacular waterfalls can be found in the Central Cascades and Coast Range — in the high desert, Oregon Coast and North Umpqua canyon — on trails and viewpoints where solitude is the norm and crowds are the exception.

Heck, even the Gorge has a few secrets if you know where to look.

Included here are six of Oregon’s most beautiful but lesser-known waterfalls. All six feature easy access from the road, family-friendly trails and a quieter experience.

about author Zach Urness

Zach Urness is the outdoors editor at the Statesman Journal in Salem and the author of the book "Hiking Southern Oregon." His work regularly appears in USA Today, the Seattle Times and many other periodicals.

Flag as Incorrect

Is any of the information on this page incorrect?

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 tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

Share your thoughts Comments

Have something to say? Your Comment

  1. Dave Lines says…

    I love to take waterfall pix. but I had a terrible time finding the instructions on how to get to Fall Creek Fall. I finally happened to see the arrows by the picture and clicked on that. I have taken waterfall pix for the thundering waters brochure and thought I knew where Fall Creek was, but thought this might be a different one. Figured out it is the same one.

    Written on March 9th, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  2. James Long says…

    The Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River has one of the most extravagant waterfalls running right through their property. We stayed their a couple months ago and were mine blown by how close we were to the 250ft? water fall

    Written on March 9th, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  3. Kathleen says…

    Thanks for the info on the waterfalls. Can’t wait to see them.

    Written on March 9th, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  4. Dan Okrasinski says…

    This may be of subject so please excuse me if I’m out of line. On a gravel very un-improved road from the Clackamas river road some mile east of Ripplebrook we discovered a fabulous water falls several years ago. There was a wood step structure that left the road and went down to nearly under the falls. This gravel trail was accessible by a high clearance vehicle, (we had a Jeep) and ended up at Ollallie lake. It’s been a long time since we were on that trail and wonder if anyone else knows about it. There was signage at the location but I don’t recall the name.

    Written on March 9th, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  5. USNBMC says…

    Very good information, a couple of these falls I haven’t seen. There are several other not mentioned this time I’m sure?
    Oregon has some of the best water falls in the west.

    Written on March 9th, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  6. Linda (Reed) Marshall says…

    Thank you for sharing you photos of more of Oregon. :)

    Written on March 9th, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  7. Jean Adams says…

    Love the trip ideas but would appreciate being able to print something out easily with essential details such as short description and location.

    Written on March 12th, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  8. rich cower says…

    Fantastic guide to these waterfalls. I’m an amateur photographer and really found this useful. Thanks!

    Written on March 15th, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  9. Esther says…

    Ever been to Grotto Falls. Take hwy 138 from Roseburg out east toward Glide. Take Little River Road which is right near Colliding Rivers and make a right and follow it . it eventually turns into a dirt road. The sign for the falls will be on the right hand side of the road but you turn left. The road is quite rough but take it to the end no real parking lot park where you can. Its a 2 3/4 i think, or close to it, mile climb a snaked trail when you get to the falls you can go into the cave behind the falls and get some relief on a very hot day.

    Written on March 22nd, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  10. JOHN SAMS says…

    YEAH, I REALLY LOVES THE STATE OF OREGON FROM U.S.A. COMPANY, AND IN THE NEAR FUTURE I WILL TELLING MY AMERICANS GIRLFRIENDS TO JOIN THE STATE OF OREGON FROM U.S.A. COMPANY CLUB ONLINE, AND I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO MAKES AN ESCAPE PLANNED READY FOR MYSELF & MY AMERICANS GIRLFRIENDS TRAVEL JUST VISIT THE STATE OF OREGON, AND I LOVE TO WITNESS THE BEAUTIFUL WATERFALLS STREAMING DOWN THE RIVERS, AND THE WATERFALLS ARE THE DEAL THAT I WILL VISIT THE STATE OF OREGON SOON HERE.
    TKS!…..BYE!…..

    Written on March 31st, 2016 / Flag this Comment
Close
Win a Pendleton Blanket

WIN A PENDLETON
CRATER LAKE
BLANKET

Subscribe to the Travel Oregon email newsletter and be entered to win a commemorative Crater Lake Pendleton Blanket.

Click here for terms and conditions.

You're almost there!
Click the link in the email we just sent you to confirm your subscription.

Hmm, something went wrong, please try later.