Today we drove north to the Columbia River Gorge to do some hiking at a couple of the many waterfalls in the gorge. Our first stop was at Wahkeena Falls. We hiked up to a bridge crossing the stream about mid-way up the falls then continued up to Lemmon’s Viewpoint, well above the 262 foot falls.
The trail going up the hill is very steep and features numerous switchbacks. At some points you can look down the hill and see the path numerous times. In the picture below Pam was on the trail below me after a switchback. In the second picture she continued around another switchback while I remained in the same spot.
After returning to the parking lot we decided to hike the half mile to the next falls area. Multnomah Falls drops in two major steps, split into an upper falls of 542 feet and a lower falls of 69 feet, with a gradual 9 foot drop in elevation between the two, so the total height of the waterfall is conventionally given as 620 feet. Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the State of Oregon. It is credited by a sign at the site of the falls as the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States but that claim is debated among waterfall experts.
We hiked up to the bridge across the falls, then continued up a long, steep trail to the top of the falls where we were treated to some spectacular views.
At the visitor’s center we were told there were more falls above Multnomah Falls and also the trail would cross over and we could come down the trail we previously hiked to Wahkeena Falls, so we continued the hike upward.
The trail became a bit steep and narrow above all the falls. It’s difficult to capture in a picture, but the picture below shows a look down through the trees.
After many switchbacks and steep climbs upward, we reached the top and were treated to a beautiful trail through the tall pines.
After a mile hike across the top, we began the long descent. Again, many switchbacks weaved the trail down the mountain.
After over four hours and seven and a half miles of hiking up and down the side of the gorge, we returned to the car tired but glad to be alive, We now know how Sir Edmond Hillary and his expedition felt after hiking Mt. Everest in 1953.