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Wahkeena Falls/Fairy Falls Columbia Gorge Hwy

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A fairly steep hike up to a viewpoint of the Columbia and on to a small falls
Near:Bridal Veil, OR
Distance:2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:970 ft
Hike Time:1.5 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: The view of Wahkeena Falls is best right next to the highway. You can walk .2 miles on a paved path to a spot right next to the lowest stage of the falls, and there's a nice bench to rest on. From here up to the viewpoint, the fast switchbacks take you hundreds of feet up in a very short period of time. This is a very old trail, so it's well established and fairly wide. The viewpoint at the top affords a view of the Columbia, but not of the falls. Take the path south up the hill for some pretty stream views, then up a few more switchbacks to Fairy Falls. Just above Fairy Falls the trail splits. You can get to many of the Gorge trails and destinations from here, including the Larch Mountain Trail, Devil's Rest, Angel's Rest and more. If you stay to the right you can go up to Wahkeena Springs and then over to the Larch Mountain Trail and then loop back to this spot and down to the trailhead. The distance recorded for this trail is just for the hike up to Fairy Falls.
Trailhead: From Portland head east on I-84 and take the Bridal Veil exit. At the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway, take a left heading east and go approximately 3 miles, just before Multnomah falls. There is parking on both sides of the highway, and the trail head is on the south side of the highway, heading west. There is another trail that connects this trail head to Multnomah Falls, heading east. (Lat:45.57552 Lon:-122.12741)
Trail Guides for Wahkeena Falls/Fairy Falls Columbia Gorge Hwy:
Pacific Northwest Hiking 1000 Hikes in OR and WA
by Ron C. Judd and Dan A. Nelsen  (Avalon Travel Publishing)

Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, 503-668-1440
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Steve Snyder, who has posted  13 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 3   Submit your own review
Reviewed by sw on 5/20/2013
just a heads up ladies. just shy of fairy falls i ran across an older man, dressed like "the crocodile hunter" who would not leave me alone... first he offered me his tripod... then he kept looking back as we descended the trail... then he stopped and as i went to go around him told me i should leave my dog and take a very steep non established trail with him to a "secret" waterfall... i said no thank you and he headed back UP the trail as day light was fading... safety first! other than that... i LOVE this hike!

Reviewed by cec on 7/26/2010
My husband and I did this hike on 7/24/10, and it was BEAUTIFUL!! We actually happened upon Wahkeena Falls by accident, as we were heading to Multnomah Falls. We planned only on hiking a short way up to get a better view of Wahkeena, and ended up hiking all the way up and over to the top of Multnomah Falls. It was a fairly easy hike, but we forgot water, as we weren't planning on hiking that far. We were thankful that we met another lady, who had recommended we continue the hike. Well worth the hike!

Reviewed by jdd on 8/7/2009
I did this hike a couple days ago (if your living in 2009 it would be a little while ago)and I love this hike. Wahkeena Falls is GORGEOUS. And then the creek and Fairy Falls are very lovely. If they would have also mentioned Multnomah creek, the many Falls on that creek, Angel's and Devil's rest, and the many other hikes you can get to from here (which they partly talk about in the disciption) I would no doubt give it a 6 star rating. (one more for Multnomah Falls) I'll tell you what I mean. The Wahkeena Tr. goes to an intersection with the Angel's Rest Tr. and goes west to Angel's Rest, Coopey Falls, an intersection with the Foxglove Tr. that goes up to the Devil's Rest Tr. and the place of that trail's name. You can also reach Mult

Reviewed by phoebe on 6/18/2009
We started at Multnomah Falls and hiked the 5 1/2 miles to Wahkeenah Falls. The first mile is quite steep, but if you stick to the right you'll be dropped out at a very cool viewing deck placed just above the top of the falls. (When you get back down it's cool to look up at Mult. Falls and know that you've stood at the top of it!) Heading down the trail in the other direction will take you to Wahkeena Falls. This trail is also steep with stretched out switchbacks, but all the little waterfalls raging through the creek you follow will distract from the burn! Follow trail #420 for more climbing. After about 2.5 miles or so the trail evens out & it is fabulous! Wildflowers, great views of the Columbia & lots of waterfalls to cool off in!

Reviewed by pkg on 6/18/2009
This was a nice evening hike. We went up the right trail to the Devils Rest trailhead and then back down the other way. Not many people after 5 pm. One of my favorite waterfall hikes. I like how you are right next to the stream for much of the hike. Wear good shoes for the rocky spots. We went to Devils rest from there on our next trip. A bit challenging but worth the very. Even my 16 year old didn't grumble too much (after we got to Devils Rest and had lunch).

Reviewed by Henry on 11/8/2008
I thought this was a great hike for exercise for it is fairly steep and the scenery on the way to Angel's Rest is great overlooking part of the Columbia Gorge.

Reviewed by Warren on 8/22/2008
We started our hike at Wahkeena Falls trail head and made a loop to Multnomah Falls. The first section of the hike maybe 1/2 mile. It is filled with switchbacks which is good test for your calves. You walk along a river that includes Fairy Falls. It's beautiful. Once you get past the switchbacks it is a pretty easy hike. You really don't see a whole lot of people until you get above Multnomah Falls then it gets more crowded. As you are walking toward Multhomah there is a scenic point. Don't miss this! It takes you to a fenced area that has a waterfall to the left and edge of Multnomah Falls to right I will do this hike again and again. Soft Ice Cream is a great way to finish up a wonderful hike!

Reviewed by ABB on 7/13/2008
We started at the recommended area and hiked up about a mile and a half past fairy falls. After fairy falls, you get to the top and you get a rolling slope. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is that I've been on some amazing hikes. This is definitely one of my favorite hikes in the Portland area. The only problem is that we couldn't find a 7-eleven on the way back =)

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Oregon Hiking, Oregon Trails, Oregon Hikes, Multnomah County Hiking, Multnomah County Trails, Multnomah County Hikes

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