Truth is there are more than 5 easy hikes, but these are super easy to get to, and they are all very close together on the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway. As with most hiking in Oregon you can choose to go farther at nearly every stop. Got to love Oregon.
Our Day trip started out at Crown Point, this can be easily accessed (if leaving Portland and heading East) by taking the Corbet Exit.
Crown Point has a great view, but be warned it’s very windy up there. We stopped for a moment just to take in the view. Luckily the visitor center was open and we were able to look from there. We were then given this nifty map of all the Falls that were to follow.
1. Lauterall Falls ~ The parking lot is right off the road and you can hike either up or down to see the falls. We always hike down because you can walk right up to it and cross a bridge right by it. It will take less than 5 minutes to get to the falls. You can see it immediately and that path is paved, bumpy, but paved.
2. Wahclella Falls ~ This one is right at the Bonneville dam exit. It’s a short and easy 1 mile hike to this beautiful falls. It also has a great swimming spot on those hot summer days. This one is a mile and it can also be done in the winter if you are wanting to see some frozen magic.
3. Wahkeena Falls ~ This is one of my favorites. Again you park at the bottom of the Falls. You could, if you really wanted too, just stay in your car and look at this falls. You can take a quick switch back trail that will lead you to the middle of the falls. It’s fun, it’s easy and it’s so beautiful.
4. Multnomah Falls ~ One of the top tourist attractions in Oregon. I have to agree it is spectacular. There is actually an exit right off I-84 that drops you into their very own parking lot. The problem with taking the freeway is you don’t have access to all the other waterfalls. The hike to the top might not be easy, but the beauty is, you don’t have to hike anywhere to enjoy this one.
5. Horsetail Falls ~ There is no hiking at all to get to this one, but you can walk down into the water, which is probably nice on a hot summer day. You can grab a trailhead nearby and hike the upper Horsetail Falls. Or better yet, go on a cold winter day and check out the frozen waterfall.
As you go along this Scenic Highway you see all kinds of trail heads. Each one is carefully marked with how far each trail is and where they lead too.
So put on your shoes and make your way out to experience the Gorge, you won’t be disappointed.