About Wahkeena Falls
Wahkeena Falls was one of those waterfalls where we could’ve been satisfied with a distant roadside view or one where we could’ve walked a little bit to attain a closer view. The distant view showed the full cascade where the main upper drops were small compared to the longer cascade rushing towards car park. However, as we walked closer to the falls, the main tiers became more prominent and we ultimately ended up with the view you see at the top of this page.
Right at the base of the main section of the falls, there was a bridge that crossed right in front of it. Apparently bridges crossing before the sections of a waterfall seemed to be a common theme amongst Columbia River Gorge waterfalls with Multnomah Falls and Elowah Falls being prime examples.
We’ve noticed that most people made this waterfall merely a roadside stop, and we did the same on our first visit when we happened to be caught in a downpour and didn’t feel like drenching ourselves under those conditions for a closer look. We ended up doing that a couple days later when the weather calmed down a bit. Speaking of which, the path spanning the car park to the base of the main section of the falls was a short 1/4-mile uphill walk (1/2-mile round trip).
If we were so inclined, we could have extended this excursion into a moderate hike that went beyond the bridge and towards a lookout. Then, continuing further, we could’ve reached Fairy Falls as well as Necktie Falls. Those would be for future visits I’m sure.
The car park for the trailhead and viewing area of this falls sits just east of the Bridal Veil exit on the way to Multnomah Falls along the Old Scenic Highway. For details on getting to the Bridal Veil exit, see the Multnomah Falls page.
From a trip planning standpoint, the falls sits 29 miles or a little over 30 minutes drive east of Portland. Coming from the other direction, the falls sits 14 miles or under 30 minutes drive west of Cascade Locks.
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