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Visited: April 21, 2017
Description: Built on a cliffside, this trail takes you through several stunning waterfalls before the big finale!
Length: 12-13 miles
Elevation: 1650 feet
Duration: 4-6 hours
Difficulty: Easy-moderate (only moderate bc it is long). If its snowy it might be much more challenging.
Parking: Lot: $5 fee
Best time to go: Weekdays/Mornings
Bring: Water, change of clothes, shoes, snack/lunch
The hike that killed our knees… Not trying to scare you because this is a really easy hike. It’s just loooooooooong and we may just be getting old but this 13 mile hike took a toll on our precious knees… and it was only the FIRST HIKE of our WATERFALL CHALLENGE!
Starting at the trailhead, this trail is a really easy and gradual hike along the river. It’s been a while since we’ve been back in Oregon and we’ve already forgotten how green and lush everything was.
If you go during wet season you can expect to see tiny waterfalls everywhere!!! We were barely at the start of our hike and we were already amazed!!
There will even be some waterfalls along the trail, be prepared to get wet! Or you can just wash your hair… like Linda did 😛
On some of the more wet and narrow parts of the trail there will be a metal chain-like rails that you can hold onto for more security. These rails reminded us of the Angel’s Landing hike we completed in Zion.
We were surprised at how easy this hike was. The elevation was a perfect gradual incline. There are a few log crossings. Be careful because it can require a lot of balance. Hold those abs tight!
You’ll also cross a couple of bridges.
About 1.5 miles in, you’ll start to see the bigger waterfalls this hike is known for. Here are the ones you can see along the way:
- Metlako Falls: There use to be a trail that would lead to a closer overlook of this waterfall but it collapsed after a bad storm earlier this year. No news whether this overlook will be rebuilt.
- Lower Punchbowl Falls: You’ll see a sign for this to access lower punchbowl falls which is a short 0.3 mile detour downhill.
- Punchbowl Falls: Looks just like a punchbowl, nature’s punchbowl!
- Loowit Falls: Gorgeous two-tiered waterfall. Even more beautiful in person!!!
- Skoonichuk Falls: We didn’t climb down to get a better pic of this waterfall because we didn’t realize this was one of the main waterfalls along the way… 😅
- Tenas Falls: A pair of waterfalls to keep you motivated to continue hiking. Even better waterfalls are getting closer!
- Wy’east Falls: We almost mistakened this waterfall for Tunnel Falls but it’s not. We kind of (not really) regret not getting closer to this one.
- Twister Falls: continuing past Tunnel Falls for .25 miles, you can find this waterfall.
Right before hitting Twister Falls, you will have spotted the MAIN attraction – Tunnel Falls. We were shocked when we laid our eyes on this beauty!
We knew there was a tunnel and a waterfall but we didn’t expect to see this!!! This was just breath-taking. Actually and literally!! 😍
This 160-foot waterfall plunged into the creek bed below with such force. You can feel the misty water surround you. Images of slipping off the cliff and falling to our death replayed in our head. We stayed close to the wall for safety. If you get scared, hold onto the metal railing.
This waterfall has been on the HikeSnobs’ bucketlist for some time now and to finally have witnessed this beauty was amazing. If you’re visiting Portland or the surrounding area for a few days or more, add this to your list! You will not be disappointed.
- We hope you have good knees…… or don’t discover your knees aren’t what they used to be.
- During wet season, this area can be really slippery. Be careful with your footing.
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