In case there was any doubt… Winter has officially arrived in Oregon. And who says it’s too cold to hike? Just because the days are shorter and the weather isn’t warm, that shouldn’t stop you from getting out and seeing some of the most breathtaking sites in Oregon. I don’t care how cold it is out there, these frozen waterfalls in Oregon are absolutely incredible. Here are some hand-picked places I felt every Oregonian should go see for themselves.
1. Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon. It is credited by a sign at the site of the falls, and by the United States Forest Service, as the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States.However, there is some skepticism surrounding this distinction, as Multnomah Falls is listed as the 137th tallest waterfall in the United States by the World Waterfall Database (this site does not distinguish between seasonal and year-round waterfalls)
2. Silver Falls
Silver Falls City formed in 1888 and was primarily a logging community with a few homesteaders, and the area was extensively logged. The small lumber town of Silver Falls City sat atop the South Falls, and as the land was cleared, a local entrepreneur sold admission to the Falls area, with attractions such as pushing cars over the falls and even hosting a stunt with a daredevil riding over in a canoe.
3. Horsetail Falls (Also known as Ponytail Falls)
Horsetail Falls (or Ponytail Falls)) is a waterfall along the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.
The waterfall is easily accessed, in contrast to its near neighbor Oneonta Falls, as it is right next to the Historic Columbia River Highway. The shape of the falls and the rounded rockface over which it flows cause it to resemble a horse’s tail.
4. Weisendanger Falls
Wiesendanger Falls is the first of the two major upper waterfalls along Multnomah Creek. The falls drop over a flat 55 foot ledge into a broad gorge overlooked by the switchbacking trail. Just downstream from the falls lies Dutchman’s Tunnel, a precarious overhang of basalt creating a natural shelter for passers by. A plaque placed on the wall of the gorge approaching the falls commemorates its namesake.
5. Abiqua Creek Falls
Abiqua Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Oregon. While located on private land the falls are currently accessible to visitors but getting to the trailhead does require some off-roading. Finding the turn off is tricky so it’s not wise to simply rely on your phone’s GPS for directions.
6. Tamanawas Falls
Tamanawas Falls forms a broad curtain where Cold Spring Creek thunders over a 150’ lava cliff near the eastern base of Mount Hood. This hike along scenic Cold Spring Creek has been a traditional trek for families.
7. Sahalie Falls
Sahalie and Koosah Falls are located along the McKenzie River in the Cascade Mountains. This photo was one of a few great shots I took when visiting recently, in December of 2016. We parked at the entrance as we didn’t have 4WD, but the walk to the falls was no problem at all from our vehicle.
Just down the road, you can hike the famous McKenzie River National Recreation Trail to Tamolitch Pool (Blue Pool). Check it out here to see how incredible it is during winter.