Back to index Wahclella Falls Loop Trip
Trip Date:  06/22/2015

Distance
: 2.2 Miles

Vertical Gain: 350'

Group Size: 40

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate   Hard    Strenuous
Wahclella Loop Trip
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Wahclella Loop Trail Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 45 38.104, W 121 57.207     End Coordinates:   Same as starting coordinates
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Interstate 84 from Portland into the Columbia River Gorge.   Take Exit 40 (Bonneville Dam) and turn right at the road for a small parking area.  If this is full, head back under the freeway into the parking area for the Bonneville Dam and park at the posted coordinates. 
Hazards of Note:   The trail can be slippery when wet.  Crowd Factor:   Moderate.  This is a lesser known destination than Multinomah Falls a few miles west on the same highway, but can see a number of visitors especially on weekends.
General Notes:
From the parking area, you will find a well-marked trail to Wahclella Falls along a gravelly road right from the start.  You will almost immediately pass a power structure on the right with a small diversion dam, and then the trail will begin to gradually head up and into the green surroundings of the trees and vegetation.  About 1/4 mile along the trail you will cross over a wooden bridge, with an unnamed waterfall glissading down on your left over a rocks and running below the bridge.  Continue another 1/2 mile and you will get to an intersection where you can either head up to your left, or down to the right.  Both of these paths will take you to the falls, but you can approach either from above and drop down (the path on the left) or head up the stream to the falls pool (the path on the right.)    After enjoying the falls continue back the way you didn't take on the trip in to make it a bit of a circle path rather than a straight out and back.

The two signs you will pass on the way to the trailhead near the parking area. Trailhead Trailhead
The bridge early on that passes over the first, unnamed falls on the way.
Bridge crossing the first falls First falls
A couple of the chaperones heading on up the very cool, green trail. Green predominates the trail
Mossy trees along the way, looking much different from those we see on the drier California trails. Mossy trees
A little over halfway along the trip you can either head up to the left, or down to the right.  Both paths take you to the same place but up this way you get a great view of the falls from above first. Taking the left hand trail
Bringing 45 hikers on a single track trail is bound to cause a few traffic jams, and the noise also keeps the bears, lions, and tigers away. Traffic jam
At one point along the upper trail you could look down and see the way we would be coming back on the lower trail alongside the stream below the falls. Glimpse of the lower trail
The first look you get of Wahclella Falls as you arrive at the upper viewpoint. First look at falls
Some of the coaches enjoying the view of the falls from the higher overlook spot. Coaches checking out the falls
The players posed in front of the falls at the upper overlook spot. Players at the overlook
The group making its way down to the waterfall pool. Heading down Friends
The players posed in front of the falls at the upper overlook spot. Players at the pool
A good shot of the perspective of how large the falls really are. Falls size perspective
Going out on a limb for the team. Setting a good example Setting a good example
My wife and kids along with me on the trek.My family
The first view of the falls that you will have coming in on the lower trail.Falls view from lower trail
Checking out a water-carved cavern on the lower trail portion of the hike.Players at the pool
The players posed in front of the falls at the upper overlook spot.Crossing another bridge
A look at the river that crosses under the last bridge where it flows after coming down the falls.River below the bridge
GPS track of the hike starting at the bottom right. GPS Track of the hike