Wahclella Falls Trail #436
NOTE: The following two books are highly recommended for anyone interested in hiking in the Columbia River Gorge: Hiking the Columbia River Gorge, and 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon. I own both and consider them indispensable for hiking the Columbia River Gorge.
Length: 1.8 miles round trip
Trail Uses: Hiking
Facilities available: Parking
Season of Use: Year Round
Visitor Use: X Heavy
Northwest Forest Pass Required
Directions to Wahclella Falls Trail
Eastbound or westbound I-84 – Take Bonneville Dam exit # 40. Turn south and find paved parking area.
Wahclella Falls Trail Description
The trail begins on an old, gated road alongside Tanner Creek. Pass a small intake dam for the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and continue into the narrowing canyon. A tributary stream creates a dramatic waterfall at the first bridge, and the trail forks after 0.7 mile. If you have small children it is advisable to stay on the lower trail and avoid the sheer-sided return loop currently the second bridge is out. Wahclella Falls is one of the more spectacular waterfalls in the gorge-a 350-foot two-tiered plunge with the final 60-foot section providing a powerful horsetail fall into an enormous splash pool.
Wahclella Falls Trail Features
The trail winds past house-sized boulders left behind by a 1973 landslide. Watch for water ouzels bobbing and diving on the side of the stream, and for spawning salmon at the base of the falls during late fall.