Trip experienced July 21, 2017 – July 25, 2017
I am so in love with Oregon. I could go on and on about how the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest will change your life. In fact I did in these posts: Soul Searching in Seattle and In An Oregon State Of Mind.
If you are thinking about making a trip to Oregon I highly recommend it.
To make your life simple I put together a three-day travel guide. It is entirely nature, no city, and everything is within a two-hour drive from Portland, Oregon.
Travel Day: We worked almost a full day and left at 6:00PM from San Diego, California on Friday night.
We started the trail at Wahkeena Falls and hiked up, over, and back down to Multnomah Falls (picture an upside-down U shaped trail). You’re able to do it in the other direction. However, my personal preference is to start at Wahkeena Falls. There is an abundance of waterfalls to distract you (shown in the first six pictures below) as you work your way up the steepest incline of the hike.
When you start at Multnomah Falls the steepest incline is 11 paved switchbacks. Although it is beautiful, there are no waterfalls to distract you. The two trailheads are a half mile apart so you can easily walk to your car after you have completed your hike.
About half way through the hike you can venture off the beaten path and work your way down to a little waterfall.
Even the small stretches without waterfalls are exceptionally beautiful.
Eight miles later…
Wrap up the hike with a quick half mile walk back to the car and you’re done!
Day Two: Latourell Falls (2.5 mile hike)
This hike starts a short distance away from the bottom of the waterfall.
The trail leads you to the top where you can climb down off the path and look over the edge at the water falling. This picture below is admittedly taken with my arm stretched out over the edge. Even that was making my hand shake so much I had to pull back and run back up to the trail, safely away from the edge. There was a guy before us who squatted down and leaned forward slightly so he was fully looking over the edge. While that made for an epic video, I still think he’s insane and watching him caused me a tremendous amount of anxiety.
From here you hike to the base of a waterfall. You can walk straight up to it, as close as the water will allow you. Standing inches from the powerful stream of water falling off of the cliff above you is truly magnificent. The cold, misty water is incredibly refreshing and invigorating.
(Quick note – Plan on getting wet: shoes, clothes, hair, everything)
The rest of the hike leads you down to the base of the waterfall in the first picture. This time you can walk right up to it, rather than view it from afar. Since my phone isn’t waterproof, I was only able to take one picture.
From here you walk a short distance back to you car.
Day Two/Day Three: Glamping at Lost Lake Resort in Mount Hood National Forest
We drove from Latourell Falls to Lost Lake Resort where we rented a yurt for the night. It came complete with two bunk beds and was fairly inexpensive (~$80 a night total). Personally, I am a fan of camping in tents but it was so much easier to show up and not have to put anything together or take anything apart. We could just focus on enjoying the nature. Also, none of us own a tent so the cost to rent would have added up. All in all, glamping was a great idea. There’s no cell service, which I am a huge fan of. I love how it forces not only myself, but also everyone around me to get off their phones and be fully present in the moment. We had a little grill to cook our meals and a fire pit to keep us warm while we talked, laughed, and listened to music (on a synced playlist).
Around sunset we walked over to Lost Lake where we watched the sun go down which turned Mount Hood from white to pink for a brief moment.
We were there on a new moon so there was zero visibility once the sun went down. What was visible, however, was the Milky Way. We stayed there for hours completely mesmerized at the sky above us. We counted about 10 shooting stars between the five of us.
Day Three: Lost Lake Resort in Mount Hood National Forest
We woke up and headed back down to Lost Lake where we rented a rowboat for $20 total. We stayed out on the lake for two hours, stopping to swim around every once in awhile.
Day Three: Oneonta Gorge Trail (1 mile hike)
We drove from Lost Lake to the Oneonta Gorge Trail. I have zero pictures of this trail because there was a 100% guarantee that my phone would get wet. I’ll do my best to describe what exactly this trail entailed. You can also click the link above to see more.
This trail cuts through the mountain. It was really cool walking down a trail surrounded by the sides of a mountain as opposed to giant trees. The trail leads you to a logjam which requires you to get creative to climb through it. The logs are huge so the risk of falling off isn’t too high, it could get slippery though. I had a lot of fun climbing all around. Everyone found their own unique way to get through it. When we hiked this trail, there was a little pool about 8 feet deep that you could jump into from the logjam. There was only a small area where it was deep enough to jump so if you go, be sure to swim around first and feel it out!
After a ten minute internal pep talk (as well as a pep talk from an 8 year old kid) I finally built up the courage to jump. Fortunately, I did not hit any rocks.
A piece of advice: don’t bother jumping around from rock to rock trying to keep your shoes dry. Beyond the logjam you are required to wade through waist deep water to reach the end of the trail. There’s no way you could do this barefoot so either wear water shoes or be prepared to mess up your sneakers! (I washed my sneakers in the washing machine after. While they don’t feel brand new anymore, they bounced back enough for me to wear on future messy hikes.)
The trail ends at a waterfall complete with a little pool of water that you can swim around in. The current is quite strong where the waterfall lands so be careful when you’re swimming around!
After the hike we drove back to Portland, grabbed dinner, and hung out for the rest of the evening.
Travel Day: We left at 5:40AM, landed around 8:00AM and went to work. That day wasn’t fun but worth it to have three full days in Oregon!
That’s it! As always, I am here for any questions you may have.
Enjoy your trip!
Love & light,