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Latourell Falls


Hiked:   August, 2004
Length:   2.3 mile loop
Elevation Gain:   600 feet
USGS Quad:   Bridal Veil
GPS Coordinates:    N: 45 32' 11"
 W: 122 13' 07"
Photo Gallery:    (See Below)

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To Reach (From Portland):

Take I-84 eastbound to exit 28 (Bridal Veil) and turn right along the old Columbia River Highway.  Continue 2.8 miles to the Latourell Falls parking area on the left.

The Trail:

You can view 249-foot Lower Latourell Falls from the parking lot, but the hike is definitely worth it.  The loop begins from the signed trailhead, which heads uphill just left of the falls.  To cut the loop really short, you can also take the paved trail from the parking lot downhill to the bottom of Lower Latourell Falls.

The uphill trail begins as a broad, paved path, but the pavement ends just past the first viewpoint.  The trail inclines gradually through lush forests of maple, ferns, nettles, and salmonberry, an edible fruit that abounds here in the summer months.  Continue past a viewpoint at the top of Lower Latourell Falls and over a couple of bridges before you begin to hear the familiar roar of a waterfall again.

Upper Latourell Falls is a spiraling, 100-foot cascade that is very distinct in its shape.  You can walk down to the pool below if you like, or continue on the trail to another viewpoint of the Columbia River.  The lush greenery continues as you descend back to the highway.  You can either turn right on the highway and walk a short distance back to your car, or you can cross the highway and continue on the loop down to Lower Latourell Falls. 

The loop takes you down to the pool below the falls, where you can feel the spray from the falls in your face.  You can wade through the pool if you like, or just stop and eat lunch on the rocks and take some photographs.  The trail, now paved, continues back uphill to the parking lot.

Our Take:

This is an appealing after-work destination, as it is the closest of the great waterfalls to Portland.  Both Upper and Lower Latourell falls are beautiful, and the accessibility of the pools is appealing.   It only takes about an hour or so to hike this trail, but you'll work up a little bit of a sweat. 

We played in the water of Lower Latourell Falls for a while before heading up the trail.  I guess it would have made sense to work up a sweat and THEN play in the water on a warm summer evening, but we had fun anyway!


Photo Gallery
(Click for Larger Image)


Lower Latourell Falls

Lower Latourell Falls

Lower Latourell Falls

     

Lower Latourell Falls

Sandra Gets a Shower From Lower Latourell Falls

Crossing the Bridge over Latourell Creek

     

Fording Latourell Creek to get to the pool below Lower Latourell Falls Upper Latourell Falls The Pool Below Upper Latourell Falls

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