America’s landscape is full of so many natural wonders that if you’re being honest, you kind of lose track of. You know that nature is beautiful and all, and that there are lots of places that you should visit, and lots of spectacular things you should see, but it’s a little overwhelming. It’s also hard to know where to turn to get ideas. You admire people who grab a backpack, and a map, and head off for an adventure, but you’ve never really been one of those people. You need a good list to work from.
In fact, what you really need is the proper inspiration to get you off your couch, off your phone, and into the great wide open. You don’t want anything too strenuous, but just a little something to get your feet wet.
A surprising source of that inspiration is Oregon’s many waterfalls. Yeah, Oregon has waterfalls, and they’re spectacular. Sure, when it comes to the great outdoors you literally have thousands of options, but the best waterfalls in Oregon offer you something unexpected, unusual, and memorable.
The Three Best Oregon Waterfalls to Visit Now
So pick up that backpack of yours, step out of your comfort zone, and step into a world so lush and beautiful, you’ll think you’ve teleported to a tropical rainforest. Bring your camera, and a good pair of boots because you’re about to explore the three best waterfalls in Oregon.
1. Tamanawas Falls
One look at Tamanawas Falls, and it’s easy to see why it is considered one of the best Oregon waterfalls. To get to Tamanwas Falls by hiking you can take an easy 3.6-mile round-trip trail that begins at a place called Sherwood Trailhead near the base of Mount Hood. The one hundred fifty-foot falls are formed where Cold Spring Creek shoots over the edge of a lava cliff onto the rocky landscape below.
The trek is an easy one, and the payoff is huge in proportion. That’s partly because most of the enjoyment actually comes from the scenic hike. Following the babbling Cold Spring Creek affords you lots of opportunities to stop, take pictures, and bask in the wonders of nature. The waterfall is simply the icing on the cake.
Plus, if you go early enough, before children and families descend en masse, you can actually have a little moment to yourself with nature. You can tune out the rest of the world, and just listen to the rush of the falls. So that’s what all those nature enthusiasts have been talking about.
2. Horestail Falls
Located just about a half an hour East of Portland, these falls get major points for accessibility. They are located right off of Historic Columbia River Highway. In fact, the roadside pool that the falls empty into is so close to the road that spray often falls on passing cars.
This close proximity to the highway, coupled with its unique horsetail cascade, make the falls a popular tourists destination. The one hundred seventy-six-foot drop is impressive, and the view is breathtaking.
This is another spot where the early bird definitely gets the worm, and the good parking spot. You’ll have a much more relaxed experience if you can beat the tourists at their own game.
3. Toketee Falls
These falls are located in Umpqua National Forest in Oregon, and their name is Chinook for graceful. Once you see the falls, you’ll understand the name completely. Standing before them you might think that the only name the could suit it better is mesmerizing.
You can experience the falls by taking an easy one-mile round-trip hike that follows the North Umpqua River and ends in an elevated viewing platform above the falls. You get a full view of the water rushing over the basalt rock columns to the clear teal pool below.
Getting any closer to the falls than the viewing platform is treacherous, and not recommended, but it’s easy to see why people have tried. The pool looks so inviting, and the rush of the water is enchanting. If you’re lucky enough to be there on a quiet day, you just might feel transported back in time.
Get Primed for Waterfall Adventures Everywhere
Now that you know of three of the best waterfalls in Oregon you have plenty of inspiration to get you out and exploring. In fact, once you cross these beauties off your list you just might end up at other wonderful spots like all the waterfalls in nearby Bend, Oregon. From there you just might turn into a waterfall junky, which means of course that you’ll go chasing them.