Yesterday, I let one of my friends know we were going on an adventure. She had asked to let her know when we go because she wanted to come along with us. I had been thinking about doing this Columbia River Gorge waterfall adventure for about a week, but initially I planned that me and Raylee would drive down, stay in Portland for a few nights, and then drive home so we didn’t have to drive so far in one day. We Monday came along and I woke up at 7, decided we were driving there, and the rest is history. I told my friend “I’m indecisive and notoriously spontaneous,” and that was a perfect definition of the day. Luckily, I had done my research about these waterfalls and knew which ones we needed to see and where they were. It was a long day of driving, a hot day for hiking, but SO good to finally get out the house and get some SUN!!
I woke Raylee up at 7:30 and wanted to be out of the house by 8. We ate some breakfast, Raylee told me she didn’t want to go see waterfalls, but did want to go for a drive. Lucky her- we had an almost 4 hour drive ahead of us! We packed up, jumped in the car, got some gas, and headed out. We were only 20 minutes later than I wanted to be! We went through Goldendale, and down across the river that way (because it’s faster). I love that drive becase you get to see SO many awesome, flippin’ majestic mountains. It was so clear that you could see all of them, but I only got this shot of Mt. Hood from the freeway.
I don’t know why, but I’m always surprised in the spring time how much water can come out of a dam at once. The Dalles Dam was pushing out SO much water it was coming over that little dike. It was awesome. After our long drive, we got to our first waterfall at about noon, but we had stopped in Hood River to get some food so we were all ready to hit the trail running. First stop, Latourell Falls…
I knew I wanted to go to Latourell Falls. It’s a 249 foot drop from the basalt cliff, and if your brave enough, you can even hike over to the edge and take a peak. We weren’t brave enough; I didn’t want to die. It’s a pretty easy 2.4 mile hike with only a 520 foot gain, but the best part of the hike is at 0.9 mile, you get to see the upper portion of the falls which ISN’T visible from the road. You hike through tall canopies, lush ferns, and maybe see a few milipedes along the way. Raylee was even lucky enough to step on a mole. That was disgusting. It was just laying there in the middle of the trail, and I wasn’t quick enough to pull her up. *gag* Better than dog poop, I suppose.
When you get to the upper falls, you’re welcomed by a light mist in the air and the temperature drops about 15 degrees which was a nice plus considering it was almost 90 degrees. We stood there for a while, I put Raylee in her carrier (because she walked the whole way UP!) and then we headed back down. You take a short jaunt to the East on the loop down until you get to a lookout of the Gorge! That’s pretty cool, but then you head down in a hurry. You get to the end of the trail, which puts you back on the road, but you have to cross the road, and make your way down to the picnic area. Then the trail heads back up to the base of the higher lower falls, and back up to the viewing area.
It was a great hike! I didn’t feel like I was dying, and most of it was shady. There wasn’t a TON of people on the hike, and that was nice. I think most people that go there don’t realize there’s more to see, and that it’s TOTALLY worth it. 🙂
Not in focus, but this is how most of our day looks. Crazy hair, and me smiling, acting like I know what I’m doing. Haha!
Some nice girls offered to take our photo after witnessing my sad attempts to selfies. 🙂
I love all the moss.
From the lookout looking west…
From the lookout looking east…
A tiny little snail. Raylee decided it was Turbo.
The crazy shaped tree, and the bridge you go under to get to the bottom of the lower falls.
Next stop, Multnomah Falls…
When we were on the hunt for the next waterfall, I decided that going to all these places on the hottest day of the year so far, wasn’t the best idea. Here I was thinking it was a Monday and it wouldn’t be as crowded, and though that MAY have been true, there were still way more people there than I would have liked. I decided I really LOVE the waterfalls you have to work for, and because of that, there’s not a zillion people there. That’s a plus in my book. Multnomah Falls was cool, but there was SO many people. Raylee insisted on walking herself, and someone graciously left their dogs poop on the trail on the way up to the bridge. Luckily, I smelled it before either of us stepped in it, but it was obvious that others weren’t so lucky. There was pooped tracked up and down a section of the trail, and all I’ll say is that person is lucky that I didn’t see it happen. If you can’t pick up your dogs poop, leave them home. It’s pretty simple.
ANYWAYS. Multnomah was nice. It’s a huge drop, and I was hoping to fly my drone around there, but there was too many people.
Looking up, and looking down. It was nerve-wracking getting that second shot. I was holding my camera with one hand over the edge while holding Raylee’s hand with my other hand so she didn’t run off or fall through the bridge slats. It was great.
We didn’t stay at Multnomah Falls for very long. Raylee doesn’t get that people will steal her, and that she can’t run off, and is all about getting as close to the water as possible. We saw the falls, walked to the bridge, then walked back to the car. It was pretty short lived. Next up, Wahkeena Falls….
Looking back now, Wahkeena Falls probably should have been the first stop. It was kind of lack-luster after seeing the other waterfalls first. It’s not a plunge fall, or a horsetail, but just a bunch of different tiers. It reminded me a little brook. There is a trail that you can take that will bring you to Multnomah Falls, and we walked about 0.2 miles of it, and then turned around because Raylee was losing it. We were fading fast. There was a cute little waterfall through the rocks though.
There was a smaller falls right at the top that you can KIND of see, but the rest was just a bunch of small tiers. Eh…
But I sure had a cute model in front of it. 🙂
Next up, Horsetail Falls…
This one was another that we didn’t spend much time at. You can see the falls right from the road so there were tons of people, but not at many as Multnomah. It makes sense where they got the name from. Raylee brought her Goldfish and was eating those as I tried to take pictures of her.
Mmmmm…see-food and everything. 😛
It was a fun adventure, but I driving in the car for 8+ hours isn’t the MOST fun we could have. Now that I know we can do it, we might have to do a few more before it gets too hot. Diablo Lake, here we come!!!