Wahclella Falls Trail (#436)

Area Status: Temporarily Closed
This area is Closed
 

Trail leading to Wahclella Falls.

Wahclella Falls Trail offers a relatively easy, 2.4 mile out-and-back day hike through a slot canyon to one of the more spectacular waterfalls in the Gorge. It originally had a short loop at the end, but the upper section is closed due to damage from a 2017 fire.

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. The upper section of trail was heavily damaged after the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire burned away vegetation from the slopes, causing landslides and rockfall to cover parts of the trail and damage the bridge.

The trail winds past house-sized boulders left behind by an earlier 1973 landslide, and enters the Mark O. Hatfield wilderness.

At the end of the trail lies Wahclella Falls, a 350-foot two-tiered plunge. The upper falls are 15-25 feet, while the lower 60-foot "horsetail" style falls plummets into an enormous splash pool. 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.

In 2017, Eagle Creek Fire burned especially hot in the Tanner Creek watershed that feeds into Wahclella Falls, so we do not recommend hiking the area during or within 48-hours of heavy rain and snow events, as these can trigger flash floods, tree fall, and landslides. Risks will remain elevated for up to 10 years after the fire.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Temporarily closed due to crowds that exceed health authority recommendations.
Fees Day use fee of $5/vehicle/day or a valid pass.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Motor vehicles and bikes are prohibited. Fires not allowed within 200 feet of trail.
Closest Towns: Cascade Locks, OR
Water: No
Restroom: There is a portable toilet on site year-round.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

General Information

Directions:

From Portland, OR travel east on Interstate 84 to exit #40, Bonneville Fish Hatchery.  Turn right and right again (south) and follow the road to the trailhead. 

From Cascade Locks OR travel west on Interstate 84 to exit #40, Bonneville Fish Hatchery.  Turn left (south) and follow the road to the trailhead on the right.


General Notes:

 Wahclella Falls Trail. Wahclella Fall.

  Wahclella Falls Trail #436.  Wahclella Falls.


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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/crgnsa/recarea/?recid=29992