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Published: April 17th 2010
Wahclella Falls Sign
Wahclella Falls sign at the entrance of the park.
Looking for a quick and easy escape we went on a hike at at Wahclella Falls
Located in the Cascade Locks in the Columbia River Gorge
it's only 40 minutes from our house ... After a short drive we paid $5.00 in the parking lot and were on our way. The trails at first are nice and open, a bit tight once you start to wind up the mountain, but it's a pretty easy hike. There were quite a few families out and about and many a dog along the trail.
The hike itself is relatively easy, but it does have some pretty steep inclines. The 1.1 mile hike to the trailhead is an impressive finish to the large waterfall. When you first get there you can't really tell, but it's constantly being fed by two other waterfalls that spill into the massive one. As you approach it you instantly feel colder and the mist starts to fall over your whole body. This is nice, especially because we'd been hiking up a steep hill to get there.
If you take the trail the rest of the way it follows the river in a less direct route with two other bridges to
The first of many "white water" areas of the river.
cross that provide mother nature at her finest! If you have kids, you might want to take the "lower" trail both ways. It's not marked, but when you start to see the steepness of the hill you'll definitely want to take the little ones the easier way.
Once back to the car we decided to cross the highway to go to Bonneville Dam
. It's very impressive when you get there and it's a little over a mile from the freeway. The rushing water is a sight to behold and the pictures I took from far away hardly do it justice.
At Bonneville Dam we went to the exhibit hall. It's five stories high, with the bottom story being underwater so that you can observe the fish. We were there for only about ten minutes and saw two tiny fish. Once outside we were followed by a grey squirrel
who probably wanted food. There are many signs around warning that the squirrels will bite you if you attempt to feed them food.
This was a quick and fun escape from life in Portland
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