Elowah Falls, Oregon

Elowah Falls in April 2008

Elowah Falls is probably my favorite waterfall out of those I saw in the Columbia River Gorge (though I saw only a few). The hike and setting are so beautiful. The waterfall can be seen at eye level by taking the Elowah Falls Trail, or can be seen from above by taking the trail to Upper McCord Creek Falls. The Elowah Falls trail is relatively easy, though there are some ups and downs. The trail to Upper McCord Creek Falls becomes very narrow, and at some points you are only a foot or so away from a 200-foot drop. I turned around before I got to the Upper McCord Creek Falls.  (I actually thought I had seen a portion of Upper McCord Creek Falls, only to realize later that I was nearing the crest of Elowah Falls!)

Directions:

  1. If you are already on the road that passes right next to the gorge, the trail is accessible by a parking lot that is right near the entrance to I-84. If you are coming from the west, you can exit at I-84 Exit 37. If you are coming from the east on I-84, you should exit before that and take the gorge road.
  2. Once at the parking lot for John B. Yeon State Park, begin walking up the trail, which I believe is clearly marked as leading to the falls. About halfway along the trail, you’ll reach a fork in the trail. One leads left to Elowah Falls, the other right to Upper McCord Creek Falls. Take the trail left, and then you’ll reach your destination. The trail to Elowah Falls is less than a 1 mile one way.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 213′
Length of Hike: 1.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Elowah Falls?

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