Our original plan for our last day in Oregon was to drive to the coast, but I vetoed four hours of driving in favor of returning to the Columbia River Valley and visiting some waterfalls we hadn’t visited back on our 2008 trip (Latourell to Wahkeena and Multnomah to Elowah).
Our first stop, after driving past a whole bunch of waterfalls we’ve photographed already, was Wahclella Falls. It’s a pretty two mile RT hike on a well-established trail to this falls. It was fairly busy with families and the small parking lot was totally full but there is street parking just a ways up the road and public toilets at the trailhead.
We needed to check into our Southwest flight at 12:25pm so we stopped in at Thunder Island Brewing for wifi and a half pint. Unfortunately they were out of their Sour and Scotch Porter so we opted for the Hood Valley cherry cider which was refreshing and tasty. Our bartender was very chatty and even gave us a local guidebook to look over while we sipped our beer. On our way out we walked along the river park for some views downstream.
Bridge of the Gods; a toll will allow you into Washington
The next waterfall was a bit tricky as the directions described a 4-5 mile hike which I was not keen on doing. Instead, we decided to chance the semi-paved road to the trailhead and made it most of the way until I got nervous about the size of the rocks in the road compared to our little compact rental car. It wound up being a little less than three miles RT to the base of Dry Creek Falls and it was a lovely, quiet hike. We only saw two other groups the whole time!
Eric on his photo perch; picturesque Dry Creek Falls
We had some time left so we did a quick stop at Starvation Creek Falls. There are several waterfalls in this area but parts of the trail were under construction, so we just saw the one closest to the parking lot. We will definitely come back and do the longer hike on a future visit.
Starvation Creek Falls; looking downstream from the base of the falls
At this point we were thirsty so we drove into Hood Creek and stopped at Pfriem for a Belgian Golden and a sour Saison. We also walked along the river watching the many kite-boarders take advantage of the windy day.
Though a full day we only spent about 2 hours of it driving!