When visiting the Pacific Northwest, there’s never any shortage of amazing natural places to visit – whether it’s for a hike or just for a nice photo opportunity. No matter what you want to see when getting outside, the best waterfalls in Oregon are always worth checking out.
With its many mountain ranges, rivers, and lakes, there are plenty of gorgeous Oregon waterfalls where you can soak in the water or just the beautiful views.
This list will tell you all about the very best waterfalls that the pristine nature of Oregon has to offer–any one of them can make a great jumping-off point for your next Oregon road trip!
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If you’re at all familiar with waterfalls in Oregon, then you have probably heard of Multnomah Falls.
It’s the most popular waterfall to visit in Oregon, and also one of the most popular day trips from Portland, for good reason!
There are two major steps in the falls, the first one is at 540 feet and the two make a total of 620 feet.
At the bottom of the first tier sits a bridge facing the falls that makes for a perfect place to take a picture.
You can access Multnomah Falls by a trail that’s just over a mile and only has an elevation gain of 600 feet, making it easy to access for even the least-seasoned hiker.
If you decide to take a drive on the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway, one of your first stops has to be Latourell Falls.
The water flows into the Columbia River and while it’s not as tall as Multnomah Falls, it still impresses at 224 feet.
The most exciting part about this waterfall is the wall of basalt that it flows over, and it provides the perfect subject for a photo, which is made even better by the yellow lichen on the cliff’s face.
The best time to visit Latourell Falls is in the spring when its flow is at its highest.
A little overshadowed by its more famous neighbor Multnomah Falls, Wahkeena Falls should not be missed if you’re in the area.
You can get up close and personal by using the well-trod trail that passes the foot of these falls.
Whakeena means “most beautiful” in the language of the Yakama tribe and you’ll understand why when you see these 242-foot falls.
There are several different vantage points to check out the falls and get some pictures, too.
If you want to enjoy a meal close to the falls, there’s a picnic area north of the highway.
A nice hike to take the whole family on while you’re visiting Oregon is the Eagle Creek Trail.
The first Oregon waterfall that you’ll encounter while on the hike is the Metlako Falls, and if you’re lucky you might see some kayakers in the water.
They don’t go over the falls, though, as the drop is over 100 feet.
The Eagle Creek Trail itself is open year-round and is about four miles.
If your main goal for using the trail is to see Metlako Falls, then the best time to go is either the winter or spring.
The falls are a mile and a half into the trail and there isn’t much elevation gain, so children will have no problem.
If you’re confident in your endurance and the hike to Metlako Falls isn’t enough, then head to Abiqua Falls in Scott Mills.
It’s a much tougher hike and probably not appropriate for younger children, but for those who make it all the way to the falls, there is a big reward, especially when the falls are fully flowing.
The trail has steep areas going down and up with spots where hikers must avoid logs.
But, once hikers make it up to the falls there, there is water crashing into a large splash pool that makes for a nice place to soak your feet.
White River Falls
These falls have their own state park, but for some reason, they’re not as well-known as other falls in the state, which makes them one of the coolest waterfalls in Oregon to visit.
Located in the White River Falls State Park, they’re only a short distance into a trail that goes into a canyon and ends at a hydroelectric plant that was operating 100 years ago.
The falls are part of the Deschutes River and are 90 feet high with a few tiers.
If you plan on going, be aware that the park is closed during the winter and doesn’t open until mid-March.
It stays open until the end of the fall. Consider adding White River Falls to a summer weekend getaway from Portland!
Located on the McKenzie River, the Sahalie Falls are the first of three waterfalls along the river and it’s the highest of the three.
These falls are part of the classic Disney movie “Homeward Bound” as well, so you can claim that you saw a movie star on your trip after seeing them.
There’s some debate over the actual height of Sahalie Falls, with the shortest claim being 70 feet and the tallest being 140 feet.
Unlike the Metlako Falls, kayakers do go over the top of Sahalie Falls, which could be fun to watch.
The falls can be seen by taking a family-friendly 2.5-mile loop trail.
All of the Oregon waterfalls already mentioned are best viewed in the spring but if you want to see a waterfall while enjoying the crisp fall air then head to Majestic Falls.
The changing colors of the maple leaves make for a nice setting. It’s the largest of four waterfalls located on McDowell Creek.
There’s an observation deck that gives an excellent view of the 39-foot falls and makes it easy to take pictures and lets you watch the water head down into the canyon.
You can then follow the same trail to see the other three falls along the creek.
Another rewarding waterfall to hike to, the Ki-a-Kuts Falls were only discovered in 1993.
They’re in a remote area of Washington County and are part of the Tualatin River.
The unique name comes from the last Chief of the Atfalati Indians.
The falls are only 40 feet tall, but the basalt columns and cliffs make for a particularly beautiful setting.
If you plan on going, wear good hiking boots and take food and water because it is a strenuous hike.
And don’t expect to get great cell reception!
Sweet Creek Falls
If you want to wade into some nice cool water, then put Sweet Creek Falls on your itinerary.
Located in the Siuslaw National Forest, there are four tiers to the Sweet Creek Falls that make for a 70-foot drop but don’t let that shorter height make you think they’re not worth seeing.
The falls are only a small piece of the setting with the trees, ferns, and moss combining for fantastic views.
There’s no parking fee and you only have to walk 350 feet along the trail to reach the falls.
Less than a mile from the parking lot, Watson Falls are worth the mostly uphill climb.
They’re a very impressive 272 feet high and the water falls into a unique base covered by moss.
Some bridges near the falls make for great spots to take pictures and the North Umpqua River trail nearby makes for an excellent area for outdoor activities like fishing, biking, and camping.
You might also come across rafters that are enjoying the white waters of the North Umpqua River.
Don’t plan on doing the North Umpqua River trail all in one day, though, because it’s almost 80 miles long.
Spending time in Oregon means that you’ll probably head to the Cascade Mountains.
The South Falls can be found in the foothills of the Cascades and can be reached from Salem, the state capital, in half an hour.
That easy access and the beautiful falls themselves make the South Falls a popular day trip.
No matter what angle you look at the falls from, you’ll get a great picture of the 180-foot-high cascading water that falls in a single column.
There’s even an opportunity to get behind the water using a trail that goes under the eroded rocks.
Punch Bowl Falls
Another waterfall located on Eagle Creek is Punch Bowl Falls. They’re only 35 feet high but the falls earn their name by flowing down through a narrow channel into a bowl below.
The falls are just one great view as you walk along the trail, but make sure to be aware of your surroundings because the path has problems with falling rocks and has been altered after boulders collapsed onto it.
Lake Creek Falls
Open year-round, Lake Creek Falls is a natural recreation area that gets most of its visitors during the summer.
There are multiple rivers that flow through the gorge on the way to nearby Triangle Lake, and it has created a perfect place to spend a day admiring the setting and enjoying a meal outside.