Outlet Falls

Klickitat Canyon / Glenwood, Washington, USA

About Outlet Falls

Hiking Distance: almost roadside; scrambling involved to improve view
Suggested Time: 15-30 minutes

Date first visited: 2021-06-26
Date last visited: 2021-06-26

Waterfall Latitude: 46.01786
Waterfall Longitude: -121.17337

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Outlet Falls was kind of an obscure 120-150ft plunging waterfall deep in the steep Klickitat Canyon.

It was almost as if this waterfall was an afterthought or off the tourism infrastructure radar because you have to know where it is to even stop for it.

Outlet_Falls_024_06262021 - Outlet Falls
Outlet Falls

As of our visit in late June 2021, there’s no signage, no formal viewpoint, no formal parking spaces, and really no hint of there being something here except for a couple of roadside posts (see directions below).

Anyways, once we finally found the correct spot to park the car, I then had to do a rather sketchy scramble to find a suitable place to view Outlet Falls without threatening my safety from the precipitous cliffs.

The rocky outcrop that I found was towards the downstream side where I managed to find a ledge providing the view of Outlet Falls that you see above.

While I noticed there were other use-trails (possibly mostly false trails), I did see some evidence of people managing to get to the bottom of the canyon and the base of the falls.

Outlet_Falls_015_iPhone_06262021 - Context of the precipitous view towards Outlet Falls from the precarious rock outcrop that I managed to find while looking around
Context of the precipitous view towards Outlet Falls from the precarious rock outcrop that I managed to find while looking around

I didn’t bother trying to find that as I’d imagine there would be significant risk to safety to pull that off.

Indeed, this was pretty much a look-but-don’t-touch kind of waterfall, and I managed to wrap up my visit in less than a half-hour.


Outlet Falls resides in the Klicktat Canyon Natural Resources Conservation Area near Glenwood in Klickitat County, Washington. It is administered by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Outlet_Falls_004_06262021 - Looking across the Glenwood Highway towards the rather obscure spot where we parked the car and searched for Outlet Falls
Outlet_Falls_001_06262021 - Another look at the context of where we parked the car for Outlet Falls
Outlet_Falls_002_06262021 - Looking back at the obscure entrance to the spot where we parked the car and started searching for Outlet Falls
Outlet_Falls_006_06262021 - Another look at the rutted surface of the 'parking area' for Outlet Falls
Outlet_Falls_007_06262021 - Trying to look around for 'trails' leading me to a suitable spot to view Outlet Falls without putting myself in too much danger
Outlet_Falls_008_06262021 - I noticed many trails like this one that seemingly went to either sketchy lookouts or disappeared altogether
Outlet_Falls_010_06262021 - Once I found a real promising spot to view Outlet Falls, this was the view back at the 'trail' that would have taken me there
Outlet_Falls_011_06262021 - Looking towards the ledge that might yield a good view of Outlet Falls
Outlet_Falls_013_06262021 - This rocky ledge was ultimately the spot where I got the best views of Outlet Falls that I could get
Outlet_Falls_037_06262021 - Another look at the sit-and-scoot spot leading to the ledge where I got my best views of Outlet Falls
Outlet_Falls_016_06262021 - Looking back up at the rock wall that I had to sit-and-scoot down to get to the ledge yielding the best views that I could get of Outlet Falls
Outlet_Falls_023_06262021 - Context of Outlet Falls as seen from the ledge I was on
Outlet_Falls_033_06262021 - Shadows kind of made taking pictures of Outlet Falls rather difficult during my late June 2021 visit
Outlet_Falls_017_iPhone_06262021 - Another look at the precipitous context of Outlet Falls from the rocky ledge that I stood at
Outlet_Falls_038_06262021 - Making it back to the spot where we parked for Outlet Falls

We drove to Outlet Falls from Hood River, Oregon, so that is how I’ll describe our route in this section.

From Hood River, we crossed the toll bridge over the Columbia River then drove 1.5 miles west on the WA-14 towards Underwood.

Drive_to_Outlet_Falls_001_iPhone_06262021 - Our drive to Outlet Falls from Hood River started with crossing the Columbia River over this narrow toll bridge
Our drive to Outlet Falls from Hood River started with crossing the Columbia River over this narrow toll bridge

Turning right onto the WA-141, we then drove about 10 miles north towards BZ Corner before turning right onto the BZ-Glenwood Highway.

We then drove about 19 miles along this rural road towards the town of Glenwood, where we then turned right onto the Glenwood Highway (the main drag through town).

We then had to watch the odometer carefully as we then had to drive about 5.9 miles to the east to the very easy-to-miss area to park the car and find Outlet Falls.

The only tell-tale signs that hinted to me that we found the right place were a couple of road poles flanking an unpaved entrance to an informal and rutted parking area surrounded by trees.

Outlet_Falls_005_06262021 - It's hard to see in this picture, but the two road poles with reflectors on them kind of surrounded the unpaved entrance to the 'parking area' for Outlet Falls
It’s hard to see in this picture, but the two road poles with reflectors on them kind of surrounded the unpaved entrance to the ‘parking area’ for Outlet Falls

If you get to the Klickitat Canyon Overlook, then you went too far by about 0.9-mile.

Overall, this drive took us around an hour.

As for geographical context, Hood River is about 62 miles (an hour drive) east of Portland, 143 miles (under 3 hours drive) north of Bend, 227 miles (about 3.5 hours drive) south of Seattle, and 369 miles (about 5.5 hours drive) west of Boise, Idaho.

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Semi-circular sweep from a precarious overlook of Outlet Falls in half-shadow while also showing some of the rocky scramble to get here

Nearly 360-degree sweep showing the precarious rocky ledge peering down at Outlet Falls

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Tagged with: glenwood, klickitat, mt adams,

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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