Oregon is located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is a geographically diverse state containing several volcanoes, evergreen locations, grand water bodies, forests, shrublands, and deserts. But one of the best attractions in Oregon is actually its waterfalls.
If you are fond of the plunges, cascading drops, or punch bowls then these are some of the best Oregon waterfalls to visit right now. In fact, you shouldn’t visit Oregon without seeing at least one waterfall! You won’t find these incredible views anywhere else in the country.
FAQs About Oregon Waterfalls:
Before we dive into our favorite Oregon waterfalls, here are some of the most common questions we get.
How Many Waterfalls Are In Oregon?
About 230 breathtaking waterfalls are situated within Oregon. 90 of these are associated with the Columbia River Gorge.
What Are The Tallest Waterfalls In Oregon?
If you’re looking for the biggest waterfalls in Oregon then you won’t be disappointed: Oregon has some massive waterfalls. Like, mind-blowingly large.
Some of the tallest waterfalls in Oregon include Multnomah Falls, Mist Falls, Munson Creek Falls, and Salt Creek Falls. We’ll talk more about these later on in this post!
Which Waterfalls Have The Easiest Access?
Multnomah Falls has extremely easy access and is definitely one of those Oregon waterfalls that everyone should check out. It’s iconic for a reason!
Salt Creek Falls and Tumalo Falls also have super easy access if you’re not into hiking.
Best Waterfalls In Oregon:
Now let’s get into it: the best waterfalls in Oregon that you need to see! This list, in no particular order, includes our favorite spots to check out the stunning views, feel the spiritual energy of the water, or snap an Instagram.
1. Multnomah Falls and Benson Bridge
Multnomah Falls is an iconic site that easily grabs the attention of tourists and is considered one of the most famous visiting places in the Columbia River Gorge.
Its high plunge of about 600 feet is quite mesmerizing and leaves a lasting impression on the tourists.
Benson Bridge is located over the Multnomah Falls and serves as an added advantage for the visitors to stand above and admire the beauty. Multnomah Lodge, a famous restaurant is located on-site to serve delicious cuisine to the visitors and increase the value of the place.
Multnomah Falls is a 30 min drive from Portland and travelers mostly use public transportation to arrive at the location, however, you can also bike the route for the fun.
2. South Falls
South Falls is one of the ten falls located on “the trail of ten falls.” However, South Falls is the most visited and most photographed amongst all because of its serene nature and its height, plunging from 175 feet.
It provides a unique location for hikers, as all hikers can easily go behind the thundering curtain which provides an exhilarating experience. It’s really intense!
South Falls is the highest waterfall of the Silver Falls State Park. The park spreads over 9000 acres and is a flagship of the state park system in Oregon. One thing that must be kept in mind before visiting the trail is that dogs are prohibited here, unlike some of the other Oregon waterfalls and locations on this list.
3. Watson Falls
Watson Falls is one of the best places to visit inside the Umpqua National Forest. It is the tallest waterfall in Southern Oregon.
Nearby waterscapes are rapidly filled by water plunging from the Watson Falls and provide a magnificent view for visitors. It is the most famous photography spot that is accessible from the main parking area; about a 1/2 mile hike (~0.8 Km).
Watson Falls is fortified with the rest area to provide delicious meals and living space. Colored picnic tables inside the area also attract the attention of the visitors, making it a family-friendly easy access waterfall in Oregon.
Although Watson Falls seems beautiful all year long, springtime is the best time of year to visit and experience its stunning beauty if you have your pick.
4. Punch Bowl Falls
Punch Bowl Falls is another great Oregon waterfall located in the Columbia River Gorge. Visitors will have to follow the Eagle Creek Trail to reach this waterfall.
Due to the excessive water flow, a pool is created and serves as a famous swimming spot during the summer season. Its iconic beauty attracts a large number of visitors throughout the year and is particularly popular during the weekends.
If you want to swim, then this is by far one of the best waterfalls in Oregon. It’s an incredible experience!
The Eagle Creek Trail is also used by hikers to reach Tunnel Falls, which is another famous tourist spot. Tunnel Falls is located near Portland OR and is designated as one of the “highest” places to visit while experiencing Portland.
5. Pearsony Falls
Just a quick 17-minute drive from Union Creek lies an incredible view of Pearsony Falls.
Located in the town of Prospect, the road to Pearsony Falls is tricky and parking is scarce. However, you will find Pearsony Falls to be extremely attractive and worth the trek, since it’s only a few minutes’ walk from the parking lot.
Although it is not as famous as some of the other waterfalls on this list, Pearsony Falls is hands-down another amazing place to visit, particularly in autumn. You’ll experience a fairy-tale-like setting with lots of deciduous and mossy fibers mixing green and yellow leaves across your view.
6. Gorton Creek Falls
Experience a spectacular 115-foot drop at Gorton Creek Falls! It will seem like a secret to those willing to make the trek, as very few people visit and hike this amazing waterfall.
Use caution if you choose to hike the access trail. We recommend wearing slip-proof shoes.
The trail to Gorton Creek Falls is very damp and heavily laden with moss, which is why we would consider it difficult to hike. If you are willing to make this trip, then you are in for a treat! This is by far one of the best hiking waterfalls in Oregon as long as you have some experience.
This same adventurous hike also leads you to another waterfall, Emerald Falls. With a short 1/2 mile path towards the end of your original hike, you’ll get to experience 2 outstanding waterfalls!
Gorton Creek Falls is a fun-filled place with crystal clear water, gorgeous trees surrounding the waterfall, and provides an infamous feeling of peace and tranquility. To experienced hikers, this is a MUST VISIT place and should be on your list! It’s one of my favorite hidden waterfalls in Oregon because you’ll almost always have the place to yourself.
7. Koosah and Sahalie Falls
Koosah and Sahalie Falls are part of the scenic McKenzie River. Both waterfalls are easily accessible and provide an opportunity for various amusing activities.
Both the Koosah & Sahalie Falls have distinct parking lots and are viewed from separate locations. However, even though they are separate waterfalls, they are connected via a 2.6 miles bridge and hiking loop. We HIGHLY recommend doing both as they will enhance the recreational value of the two!
The Sahalie is the larger waterfall of the two, however, most visitors prefer Koosah (because you can check out the views more easily) and it is usually much more crowded than Sahalie. Both have their own scenic nature and value and are known as the epitome of Oregon Falls.
8. Salt Creek Falls
Salt Creek Falls is a single drop beautiful water basin of about 280 feet. The largest waterfall of the state, it has a completely accessible viewing platform and board walk from 50 feet away the parking area.
People always fall in love with this unique waterfall in Oregon because it’s so easy to see and is so beautiful. These falls are located within Willamette National Forest, 60 mile away from the Eugene.
There are also steeper interpretive trails that lead the hikers to the base of the falls to completely enjoy the scene, but you’ll need to be ready to climb. The snow fall around the waterfall provides an impressive sight, but only properly equipped visitors and explorers can enjoy the sight. Otherwise, the regular platform still offers beautiful views!
9. Tumalo Falls
Tumalo Falls provides some of the most spectacular views in Central Oregon. Tumalo Creek Trail leads to the top of the fall and the small canyon for viewing. to provide a different perspective of the location.
These falls can be pretty crowded, mainly because you feel like you’re in a fairytale when visiting. In order to enjoy Tumalo Falls, we recommend that you visit super early in the morning or mid-week. The parking lot also fills really quickly so plan ahead!
10. Tamanawas Falls
The incredible view of Tamanawas Falls within Mount Hood National Forest can be accessed via a 3.4 miles hiking trail, making it less crowded as compared to others in the state. It is located at the top of a beautiful lava cliff and falls 110 feet to reach a (freezing) pool.
You’ll love the clean air and serene beauty of Tamanawas Falls. It has a never-ending mist, making it one of the coolest places in the summer and a great spot to relax during a heat wave.
This is one of the best waterfalls in Oregon if you’re looking for that ultra-magical vibe!
11. Proxy Falls
The scenic beauty of Proxy Falls is one of the best things to see inside the Willamette National Forest.
Cascading falls form Proxy Falls, which eventually gather into a pool of chilly water. In addition to being beautiful and easy to access, it is one of the most photographed falls in the state.
At the same time, getting to the base of the fall requires a great deal of effort and extra caution, as this is the most slippery part, so you should wear proper shoes if you intend to climb down. You should also keep in mind that during winters, the McKenzie Highway often closes due to extremely cold temperatures.
12. Toketee Falls
Toketee Falls is located inside the Umpqua National Forest, 3 miles away from Watson Falls. Its name comes from a Chinook word meaning “pretty” or “graceful” and the name truly justifies the charming beauty.
It is 0.8 miles away from the parking area and can be accessed via a beautiful and easy trail, so the whole family can enjoy the magnificent scenery of this Oregon waterfall. The two-tiered waterfall forms a pool of purified aqua-colored water at the bottom that is truly stunning!
13. White River Falls
The freezing cold water of the White River Falls makes it a popular picnic spot during the summers when travelers need to cool down. The overwhelming beauty of the place attracts plenty of visitors for hiking and swimming or just checking out the scenery.
This beautiful landscape is located 30 miles south of the Columbia River. The waterfall is visible from the parking area however, to get closer to the falls, a 0.5 miles round-trip hike is required.
14. Hug Point State Recreation Site
The small waterfalls located on Hug Point are actually among the most visited places along the Oregon Coast! People who visit this place consider it a slice of paradise because the waterfalls are surrounded by beautiful oceans.
By walking along the beach during low tide, you can access the small waterfalls and beach. Its proximity to Cannon Beach (five miles south) further enhances its fun since you can check out this famous beach right after.
15. Marion Falls
At Marion, you get to enjoy waterfalls, hiking, and natural beauty without the crowds.
A hike of 4.5 miles takes you to the closest view of the waterfall. In order to avoid hiking, most people view the waterfall from the parking area, so the actual location is quiet and calm.
Those who hike towards Marion falls really enjoy the adventure, which takes them through coniferous forests and along a beautiful river. So, if you plan to visit this waterfall, consider hiking the trail to get the full experience. It’s definitely one of the best waterfall hikes in Oregon because you’ll have the place to yourself!
16. Yakso Falls
Yakso, meaning hair of the head in Chinook Jargon, was named after the water’s resemblance to the long hair of women. The site is located on the Little River, 43 km from the Glide.
The waterfall is easily accessible from the Umpqua National Forest via a 1.1-kilometer hike. While the track remains open to the public year-round, it is comparatively less explored than other waterfalls, making it one of the better hidden waterfalls in Oregon that won’t have huge amounts of people.
If you enjoy photography, then you should definitely visit this place because the emerald green water of this area makes for an amazing photography spot.
17. Latourell Falls
A jaw-dropping waterfall over 200 feet in height, Latourell Falls creates a long array of mist and water that should not be missed.
As you travel along the Historic Columbia River Highway from Portland, it is one of the first major waterfalls you encounter. From the first viewpoint, visitors can reach the real and epic beauty of the park by following an easy 2.4-mile trail.
During the day, it gets quite crowded with people (and their dogs) as both enjoy the place very much. If you prefer some solitude, visit the Latourell Falls in the mornings and reserve a spot at Guy W. Talbot State Park to enjoy a quiet picnic.
18. Munson Creek Falls
Oregon Coast Highway provides access to this waterfall, which is among the largest on the Oregon coast. If you and the entire family enjoy both natural beauty and hiking, this is an excellent family destination.
The lower falls trail and upper falls trail are the main hiking trails. As the lower trail gains just 100 feet or less elevation, it’s simple and easy to hike, while the upper trail is more challenging but offers scenic views of coastal forests.
It is a real fun place to visit if you are bored from the daily routine as this place will restore your energy. There’s some serious spiritual energy here!
19. Bridal Veil Falls
Since Bridal Veil Falls is located near Latourell and Multnomah Falls, it is very easy to explore.
Munson Creek Falls offers visitors both upper and lower trails for exploring the area. In addition to providing a panoramic view of the Columbia River Gorge, the upper trail is widely accessible. Bridal Veil Falls is a double cascading waterfall that can be reached via the lower trail.
There is no need to hike to enjoy the beauty of this waterfall as you can clearly see it from the parking lot, so it’s one of the best waterfalls in Oregon to visit if you’re short on time.
20. Alsea Falls
This location has two waterfalls (Alsea and Green Peak Falls) on a single three-mile trail, making it a wonderful place to visit.
A second important feature of these falls is that their scenic beauty changes with the seasons. It becomes a popular swimming spot in summers as a result of the heavy rain fall. People usually stay at private campgrounds nearby during the summer to enjoy the captivating scenery and to take a break from their daily routines.
21. Kentucky Falls
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Oregon is very hard to access, which is why it remains less crowded year-round. However, the jaw-dropping falls and the beautiful colors of nature urge the hikers to tackle this daunting trail.
There are three falls along the trail including North Fork of the Smith Falls, upper Kentucky Falls, and lower Kentucky Falls. Each is unique in its own way.
This hike is elevated enough to keep the scorching heat of the sun away and provides a pleasant atmosphere during the summers. So, if you love adventure, this Oregon waterfall is worth exploring.
22. Golden Falls
These falls are close enough to Silver Falls to be considered as a single picnic spot, so we recommend visiting both at once.
The road leading to these falls remain often closed a mile away from the parking area, however, this doesn’t stop nature lovers from reaching the Golden and Silver Falls.
From the parking area, two separate routes are available for both the falls. The shorter trail leads to Silver Falls whereas the longer trail leads to the top of Golden Falls. The forest and meadows along the longer trail are a delight and these falls are definitely worth the effort!
These are some of the best waterfall hikes in Oregon if you’re looking for a beginner-to-intermediate hike.