“What do you want to do this summer?” asked the newlywed husband to his wife. “Let’s go chasing waterfalls,” she replied. And so they did. Of course, living in Oregon, that wasn’t going to be a problem. The challenge instead, was which waterfalls to chase.
Counting waterfalls anywhere in the Northwest is a fool’s errand. Where does one even begin?
The Columbia River Gorge And Waterfalls
Multnomah Falls. Nestled along the historic Columbia River Gorge, it is the state’s tallest waterfall. In that article, we wrote, “The highest waterfall in the state of Oregon, Multnomah Falls is the second-highest in the nation. Plunging 620 feet in two major steps, the upper fall plummets 542 and the lower fall 69 feet. Oregon’s number one most visited natural attraction, Multnomah Falls sees 2.5 million visitors each year.”
But, did you know that on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, there are 90 waterfalls? This combined with Washington’s share of waterfalls just across the river, leads many to consider the Columbia River Gorge to have the highest concentration of waterfalls in all of America.
What’s more, for those we know of, there are said to be at least 238 waterfalls in the state of Oregon alone.
What Waterfalls Newlyweds Chase
Back to our newlywed couple and their summer adventures to chase waterfalls, here’s a snapshot of two hikes they did:
Pup Creek Falls
Located outside of Estacada, Oregon, Pup Creek Falls is a bit of a hike, even so much so that visitors are led to often wonder if either they’ve missed it or will never actually arrive. But keep going, the return hikers say. It’s always only another mile or so to the falls.
To reach Pup Creek Falls, hikers are treated to a trail that seems like an endless series of high steep slopes to river level and back up the slope again. Rinse and repeat seemingly for hours. The falls itself is a two-tiered, 240-foot waterfall, and well worth the long hike to get there.
Here’s what our newlywed couple had to say about the Pup Creek Falls experience:
“Kicked off the first day of summer in true PNW fashion.
- Distance: 11 miles
- Time: 5 hours
- Elevation gain: 2300 ft.
- Difficulty level: moderate/hard
- Knees: thrashed
I guess you could say we’re getting pretty serious about these waterfall hiking adventures. We spent a lot of time eyeing other hikers’ shoes and gear. Tomorrow we shop for proper boots!”
This 92 foot waterfall, hidden on private land owned by Mount Abbey and just outside Scotts Mills, Oregon, is a gem. Having to park a mile or two out from the trailhead, to get to Abiqua Falls begins with walking along a backroad as it winds through forest trees and sounds of distant running water. The trailhead is where the fun begins as visitors must rappel down the side of a ravine, surrounded by trees to arrive at the scenic Abiqua Creek. If you go after it has rained, be careful. It can be slippery.
Once at the bottom, a narrow trail that runs creekside winds its way until you are met with the sheer power and beauty of Abiqua Falls. It really is magical.
For a better glimpse of the Abiqua Falls experience, here’s what our newlyweds had to say about it on their social media pages:
“The most BREATHTAKING waterfall I’ve ever seen. The trek was muddy, treacherous, and death-defying (only slight exaggeration) with literal ropes to rappel down the mountain but SO worth it and we can’t wait to do it again.”
Make It A Waterfall Day Trip
While you’re in the area, just a short 23 mile drive from Abiqua Falls is another famous Oregon waterfall. We have previously written about this one as well, it is Silver Falls. Here’s what we had to say about the crown jewel of the Oregon park system, “Silver Falls is a perfect day trip from Portland with so much to experience you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it before. Imagine several miles of perfect hiking trails with 800 feet of elevation, stunning views, and more waterfalls than many people will witness live in their entire lifetime.
Create An Oregon Chasing Waterfalls Bucket List
Of course, these are but a few of Oregon’s many waterfalls. Are you looking for a fun thing to do this year in Oregon? How about creating a Chasing Waterfalls Bucket List. How many will you visit this year?
A great resource to get your list started is the waterfall page on the Travel Oregon website. There you will find more than enough to help get you started.
When we asked the newlyweds what they planned to do again this summer, no shocker here as they replied, “Rinse and repeat.” In case you wonder, they use the All Trails app to scope out what waterfalls they’ll chase next.