About Outlet Falls
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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