I want to share with you 12 of the best Oregon waterfall hikes I’ve personally found across this state. While there are likely dozens more, the truth is that these particular ones get the best ratings and highest recommendations (not just from myself).
Here are the 12 best waterfall hikes in Oregon (it used to be 10):
- Multnomah Falls.
- Toketee Falls.
- Latourell Falls.
- Tunnel Falls.
- Lower Oneonta Falls.
- Shellburg Falls.
- Watson Falls.
- Tumalo Falls.
- White River Falls.
- Abiqua Falls.
- Trail of Ten Falls (literally 10 more to explore).
- Paulina Creek Falls (3 waterfalls, one hike).
Update: This list is now up to 12 waterfall hikes in Oregon (originally it was 10).
I’ve selected these particular ones because they are extremely popular, beautiful and being that I’ve done most of them personally, I can confirm this.
1) Multnomah Falls:
Description: Let me get the most popular one out of the way first and that’s Multnomah Falls. Not only is it the tallest waterfall in the state, but it’s also got several awesome hikes to explore.
Waterfall height: 600+ feet.
Location: Columbia River Gorge.
Just so you know, this whole region of Oregon has tons of waterfalls and you can see more specific ones in my Columbia River Gorge article here.
Length of hike to the waterfall (up to 2.5 miles): There’s several hikes available for this waterfall.
- Firstly, you have a short walking trail from the main parking area to the base of the falls. That’s only about 300 feet.
- Then there’s a longer A-B trail from Wahkeena Falls to Multnomah Falls which is about 4-5 miles long.
- Then there is also a hiking trail to take you to the top of Multnomah Falls which is 1-2 miles long.
2) Toketee Falls:
Description: Of the top waterfalls and subsequent hikes to explore in Oregon, Toketee Falls is easily in the top 3 (for most people).
It’s a 2 layer waterfall, one that’s 40-50 feet high on the upper end and the lower one (the most photogenic one) that’s 80+ feet high.
Getting to Toketee Falls is a little annoying since it’s a bit out of the way for most tourists, but the stop and hike there is totally worth it.
Waterfall height: 40-80+ feet.
Location: Douglas County, Oregon. That’s the nearest region to the actual hike and waterfall.
Length of hike to the waterfall: There is a platform hike that’s only 0.4 miles from the parking lot which gives you a great view of the waterfall, but also a secondary hike that’s about a 1/10 mile hike down from the platform to the base of Toketee Falls.
A lot of people elect to do the latter hike because it offers better views there.
3) Latourell Falls:
Description: Latourell Falls is another highly popular hike and beautiful waterfall to explore in Oregon.
Waterfall height: 200+ feet.
Location: Latourell Falls State Park.
This waterfall is west of Multnomah Falls (also in the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon).
Length of hike to the waterfall (up to 4 miles): There’s actually 2 waterfalls to explore in this region.
First is the main Latourell Falls that is closer to the parking lot (about a 100 foot hike).
Then there is an upper Latourell Falls which is not as high, but is still worth seeing if you’re going to do the full loop hike.
4) Tunnel Falls (Eagle Creek Trail):
Description: Tunnel Falls and the hike (called Eagle Creek Trail) leading to it is one of the most popular trails (and waterfalls) in all of Oregon.
I’ll explain it in a moment, but one of the many things that makes this waterfall so popular is that you go into a funnel underneath a giant waterfall, hence the name.
Waterfall height: 170+ feet.
Location: Columbia River Gorge, at Eagle Creek Trailhead.
Length of hike to the waterfall: There’s a 12 mile loop trail that takes you to it. You can do it several ways, including an in and out trail from Eagle Creek, to Tunnel Falls and back.
Another option (longer) is after you reach Tunnel Falls, circling clockwise (north) around to Wahclella Falls trail, and then taking the road to the Eagle Creek trailhead, which would allow you to see many waterfalls (including Tunnel Falls). Make sure you have a trail map if you do this.
5) Lower Oneonta Falls:
Description: This is the skinniest waterfall on the list, but it’s also in one of the most scenic hikes in the entire state of Oregon (in my personal opinion), which is in a gorge that you walk through in water to reach the waterfall itself.
I’ve personally tried hiking here numerous times, only to be “so fortunate” and seeing that it was closed, but it does open from time to time, so plan ahead, but be prepared to be disappointed.
If you can make this hike, absolutely do it, because it’s stunning and if you can somehow hike here when it’s open (and when there’s no one there), you will find this a breathtaking experience.
Waterfall height: Under 100 feet.
Location: Also Columbia River Gorge, specifically Oneonta Gorge.
Length of hike to the waterfall: The main Oneonta Gorge hike which is about a mile long (in and out).
Difficulty: Easy (and crowded).
6) Shellburg Falls:
Description: This is a beautiful (and tall) waterfall for which you have to hike up to.
It basically goes over a huge rock cliff and you can get to the base of it if it’s not too crazy.
An official trail will lead you there and there’s even a cave that takes you underneath the falls that reminded me of Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskill Mountains (very similar).
Waterfall height: 100+ feet.
Location: Santiam State Forest, south of Portland. The drive from the city here is probably about an hour long.
Hikes available: Only one, and it’s about a 2.5 mile in and out to the waterfall and back.
7) Watson Falls:
Description: In some ways, Watson Falls is like a taller version of Shellburg Falls (tallest in Umpqua National Forest) and the hike to it also presents similar advantages, such as being able to walk up to the base of it.
It’s also a stunningly beautiful falls with a giant rock wall around it.
One thing to note though is that unlike Shellburg Falls, this one does NOT have a cave.
At the same time though, because it is a lot taller, you might find this waterfall more to your liking.
Waterfall height: Nearly 300 feet.
Location: Douglas County in Umpqua National Forest.
Hikes available: Under 1 mile in and out.
8) Tumalo Falls:
Description: Tumalo Falls in my opinion is only worth visiting if you’re driving nearby, like in the town of Bend.
It’s probably the only giant waterfall on this list that’s “out in the open” and that might be scenery you’re looking for.
The other waterfalls on this list are a bit more deep in the woods, which I personally prefer, but this one is still very beautiful and it actually bears a bit of resemblance to 2 other major waterfalls north of it:
- One is in Yellowstone National Park.
- The other is in the Canadian Rockies.
Waterfall height: Almost 100 feet high.
Location: West of the town of Bend, in Deschutes National Forest.
Length of hike to the waterfall: 6-7 miles in and out.
9) White River Falls:
Description: Out of all the waterfall hikes on this list, White River Falls is the easiest and shortest to reach.
At the same time, some might find this particular waterfall to be the most beautiful in all of Oregon and there’s many reasons to assume that.
It’s a cascading 2 layer waterfall, which breaks up in multiple areas vs being 1 stream and is a sight to behold.
Waterfall height: 90+ feet (2 waterfalls).
Location: White River Falls State Park.
Hikes available: It’s literally about a 1/4 mile hike to the falls.
If you’re looking for good hikes here, see my post on how to find easy hikes near me for what else is available.
This waterfall is in a popular park with many trails to explore.
Difficulty: Very easy.
10) Abiqua Falls:
Description: Abiqua Falls in many ways looks like a copy of Toketee Falls, but it’s actually not the same thing, and the region, hike as well as the waterfall are very different.
At the same time, this is one of the beautiful, yet least hiked and photogenic waterfalls (and hikes) you’ll find in the state.
So if you can get here, odds are that you’ll likely be hiking here alone or see very few people (this can be both good and bad).
Waterfall height: 100+ feet.
Location: Close to the town of Scott Mills, south of Portland too.
Length of hike to the waterfall: Less than a mile, but requires you park on a dirt road and depending on your vehicle, you can get closer to the trail head or further. From the area you park in, the hike itself is under 1 mile (but is strenuous and slippery).
Read my post on how to not get lost in the woods just in case.
11) Trail of Ten Falls:
Description: Nothing encompasses waterfall hiking trails in Oregon State like the Trail of Ten Falls.
It is a literal trail with 10 waterfalls on it that is fairly easy to navigate (but long in distance).
Each waterfall on this trail is pretty major in size/height and things you can see. Some of these waterfalls (like the one in the picture) has a cave underneath it. Others have the ability to walk down to the base of it, while others can be seen from the top.
Waterfall heights: 100+ feet for most of them.
Location: Silver Falls State Park (south of Portland).
Length of the hike: It’s 9 miles (out and back trail) and all throughout, you will visit one waterfall after another (10 in total).
There is a longer option to do a loop hike, but half of it won’t involve you seeing the falls, so most people (including me) just do the 4 mile hike that has all 10 waterfalls, then work their way back to the parking lot.
12) Paulina Creek Falls:
Description: Within the area of Newberry Volcano (one of the best places to see in Eastern Oregon), there is a popular waterfall hiking trail that connects 3 different waterfalls together.
One of them is Paulina Creek Falls, and the other 2 are on the same trail. One of them has a swimming hole and the other a slide.
Waterfall heights: 50+ feet is the highest there.
Location: Newberry Volcano area.
Length of hike: About 3 miles one way.
General questions about waterfall hikes in Oregon:
What is the prettiest waterfall in Oregon?
There are tons of pretty waterfalls in Oregon and here are a few: Multnomah Falls, Latourell Falls, Toketee Falls and much more. Silver Falls State Park has many very pretty waterfalls too.
Where is the famous waterfall in Oregon?
Generally speaking Multnomah Falls is the most famous one in Oregon and that is in Columbia River Gorge.
What city of Oregon has the waterfalls?
Portland Oregon is generally the closest city to Columbia River Gorge which has a large compilation of waterfalls to see.
An additional benefit of these waterfalls hikes in Oregon:
They’re all easy to find on your GPS and if you use the AllTrails app, you’ll easily the trails to reach any of these falls. Also here is another waterfall hikes in Oregon post from another site you may find useful for your trips!
Other things and places to see in Oregon:
I’ve been a large chunk of Oregon, and here’s some things I recommend seeing:
- This list of the best Oregon Coast hikes.
- This list of sea caves on the Oregon Coast.
- Secret Beach (popular spot on the coast).
- Natural Bridges (so far my favorite place in all of Oregon).
- My list of the best state parks in Oregon is worth checking out too.
Want to see more waterfall hikes nearby? Check out my post on waterfall hikes in Washington State here for more adventures!
I do also have other states listed where you can find epic waterfall hikes like in Arizona. Enjoy!