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TrailDudes Hike to Latourell Falls

Updated on May 13, 2013

Full Frontal Waterfall

Standing near the trail head sign, we are already presented with a fall in the distance. For a short few strides, our path is paved with a rail to the left. The climb is moderately steep at first. Soon we meet an overlook, a perfect snapshot of Latourell falls from a distance. In a few hundred yards, the pavement stops.

As we continue to climb, the path becomes ever more natural with each step. The rails go away with the pavement. A dirt trail turns upward with a constant view of the fall from an elevating perspective. It's muddy and slick, and we continue to climb. The views are breathtaking. The leaves, the trees, the foliage and the flowers all serve as a brilliant atmosphere wherein the nearing cascade is nestled.

Above the Drop

A small, little used path creeps under a rope-fence barrier. Climbing past it, we are able to walk above the fall. Looking down, we can see the the top of the fall and the 249 foot drop below. I sneak close to the edge to film the phenomenon. We hover for some time, taking in the view.

Soon the ropes and benches disappear. We are in the forest. We are in the wild following a narrow trail along a creek in the thick green. The birds chirp, and the squirrels are caught in their neurotic motions. We joke about Bigfoot and vampires and how we feel so much more in tune with nature on this hike than on any other. We cross the river via a fallen log, and continue to an upper fall.

Behind the Upper Falls / A Quiet Hike

The mist races toward us, and we climb behind the upper fall, watching the back of the water and the scene before us. It's only the second time either of us had been behind a waterfall. The white drops off a the stone above our head.

The loop continues downward, and is replete with budding blossoms and a variety of green low vegetation. We see our first traveler there after a oddly shaped tree helps us turn the corner. He comments on the "great waterfalls" and how "there's not a lot of people up here," obviously appreciative of the quiet serenity provided by the hike.

Quick Facts

Height: ~249 feet

Hike Distance: 2.1 miles (loop)

Fun Facts:

1. The bridge crossing the river blow Latourell Falls, the Latourell Creek Bridge, was built with lightweight contruction due to loose soil which made it difficult to frame a firm foundation. The bridge is also unique in that it is the only one of its kind (a braced-spandrel concrete arch) on a state highway.

2. The rock around Latourell Falls is made up primarily of basalt.

3. Latourell Fall is named for Joseph Latourell, who raised his family and established a small settlement near the falls.

Behind the Lower Fall / Time to Head Home

A road surprises us as a car drives through our trail. We cross it and walk through a park where a paved path offers us an impressive view of an Old Highway bridge used to cross the river below the falls. We peel back the rock walls as we move forward and Latourell is once again revealed.

I run behind the fall, far greater than the one above. Mysterious yellow flowers grow near the fall, and I pass by them, hurdling over the rocks in my way. Upon reaching my goal of peering through the back of the falling water, I scurry back to TJ who holds the camera.

"That was awesome! But I definitely have wet socks!" I exclaim. The smile on my face cracks from ear to ear. I'm soaking wet, cold and muddy, but at this point nothing can bother me except the fact that the hike is over, and it is time to head home.


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Tell Us About Your Hike

Us TrailDudes are not only looking to share our experiences in the great outdoors, but want to hear about your's. If you've been privileged enough to hike to Latourell Falls, we'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment below and tell us about your hike.

Latourell Falls Part 1

Part 2

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Latourell Falls from a distance.The steep drop of Latourell Falls.Wood bridge and road over the river below Latourell Falls.A panoramic view near Latourell Falls.A view of Latourell Falls from the trail.A panoramic view of Latourell Falls.Another panoramic view of Latourell Falls.TrailDudes love Panoramics :)A view of the trail to Latourell Falls.Another view of Latourell Falls from the trail.A sensitive plants sign made us laugh.Latourell Falls from the top looking down the cliff.Nature is so beautiful.Our favorite close up of this white 3 petal flower.TJ crossing the river on a log.This is a really weird green prickly plant.Upper Latourell Falls and the bridge before it.Upper Latourell Falls with the rocks and river Below it.Another picture of a white 3 petal flower.Macro close up picure of a beautiful purple flower.
Latourell Falls from a distance.
Latourell Falls from a distance.
The steep drop of Latourell Falls.
The steep drop of Latourell Falls.
Wood bridge and road over the river below Latourell Falls.
Wood bridge and road over the river below Latourell Falls.
A panoramic view near Latourell Falls.
A panoramic view near Latourell Falls.
A view of Latourell Falls from the trail.
A view of Latourell Falls from the trail.
A panoramic view of Latourell Falls.
A panoramic view of Latourell Falls.
Another panoramic view of Latourell Falls.
Another panoramic view of Latourell Falls.
TrailDudes love Panoramics :)
TrailDudes love Panoramics :)
A view of the trail to Latourell Falls.
A view of the trail to Latourell Falls.
Another view of Latourell Falls from the trail.
Another view of Latourell Falls from the trail.
A sensitive plants sign made us laugh.
A sensitive plants sign made us laugh.
Latourell Falls from the top looking down the cliff.
Latourell Falls from the top looking down the cliff.
Nature is so beautiful.
Nature is so beautiful.
Our favorite close up of this white 3 petal flower.
Our favorite close up of this white 3 petal flower.
TJ crossing the river on a log.
TJ crossing the river on a log.
This is a really weird green prickly plant.
This is a really weird green prickly plant.
Upper Latourell Falls and the bridge before it.
Upper Latourell Falls and the bridge before it.
Upper Latourell Falls with the rocks and river Below it.
Upper Latourell Falls with the rocks and river Below it.
Another picture of a white 3 petal flower.
Another picture of a white 3 petal flower.
Macro close up picure of a beautiful purple flower.
Macro close up picure of a beautiful purple flower.
A markerLatourell Falls, OR -
Latourell Falls, Oregon 97019, USA
get directions

At 249 feet, this Latourell Falls is one of the many gems of the Columbia River Gorge.

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    • traildudes profile image
      Author

      traildudes 4 years ago from Portland, OR

      Thanks for the great feedback! We're in the process of adding quick facts such as these to all of our blogs now, and have this one up and ready. Hope it helps :)

    • Daena B. profile image

      Daena B. 4 years ago from Wenatchee, WA

      I love all the pictures, and the videos really add a lot to the hub, helping to clarify the descriptions and fill in the gaps. I really like it. I also find it interesting that you use present tense to describe the hike. Not many people try that. I think your's turns out pretty good. If I was considering hiking this trail based off of your hub, I think the only think I would be wanting to hear that you did not address was how many miles is the hike? How long does it take to complete?

    • traildudes profile image
      Author

      traildudes 4 years ago from Portland, OR

      We just added a map. Thank you for the suggestion! We will also be adding a video to this hub sometime in the next few days.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      This looks absolutely beautiful. Could you add a Map Capsule so we can see how to get there?

      Voted up and beautiful.