Upper Latourell Falls ©Greg Lief
Upper Latourell Falls ©Greg Lief

Latourell Falls Loop

Western Gorge, oregon

Beginning from the trailhead from the Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH), follow the trail uphill to the left of Latourell Falls (or sometimes referred to as the lower falls). At the falls, the lichen-covered columnar basalt formations around the falls steal the show. Continue to the Upper Falls after crossing several bridges and following Henderson Creek. Finally you’ll come to the upper falls, a two tiered drop: first a block fall that’s almost hidden and then a plunge into a pool.

Now continue on the other side of the creek back to the HCRH. Once you get to the highway, you can return back to your car by carefully walking on the side of the road. Or better yet, cross the highway and walk down some steps to Guy Talbot State Park. Look for a paved path to your right. Follow this approximately .25 miles, taking you under the HCRH. The bridge, dating from 1914, is interesting in its own right, with special lightweight construction due to the unstable soils in the area. This will return you back to your car.

Alternate option

Begin the loop by parking at Guy Talbot State Park. From the park follow the paved path to the left to view the lower falls. This approximately .25 mile path that takes you under the HCRH, is a beautiful short hike. After viewing the waterfall, return the way you came to the park.

To hike to the upper falls, follow the old set of stairs taking you to the HCRH. Cross the highway (very carefully!) to find the trail on the opposite side of the road. Wind your way uphill following the trail for 1.2 miles with Henderson Creek to your left to the upper falls. Return the way you came.

Trail Map

Driving Directions

Latourell Falls Trailhead: Traveling east on I-84, take Exit #28/Bridal Veil. Turn right on the Historic Columbia River Highway and travel west for approximately 3 miles to the parking lot on your right/south.

Traveling west on I-84, take Exit #35/Ainsworth. Drive 11 miles west on the Historic Columbia River Highway to the parking lot on the left/south side of the road.

Guy Talbot State Park/Trailhead : Traveling east on the Historic Columbia River Highway, just before the Latourell Falls trailhead, turn left/north onto Latourell Rd. Guy Talbot State Park will be on your right.

Traveling west on the Historic Columbia River Highway, after passing by the trailhead on your left/south, turn right/north onto Latourell Rd. Guy Talbot State Park will be on your right.


Hike Information:

  • Type of Hike: Loop
  • Length: 2.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 520 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Restroom Facilities: Yes
  • Fees and Regulations: None

Features:

  • Waterfall
  • Wildflowers
  • Family Friendly

Difficulty Levels

Easy: Up to 3 miles, less than 700 ft. elevation gain

Moderate: Up to 5 miles, less than 1,500 ft. elevation gain

Strenuous: Up to 10 miles, up to 2,500 ft. elevation gain

Expert: Over 10 miles, steep trail, over 2,500 feet elevation gain

All hike distances are round-trip.

Gorge Wildflower Search

Want to look up Gorge wildflowers, or find out bloom conditions? Greg Lief's website Oregon Wildflowers has search options for both the Oregon and Washington sides of the Columbia River Gorge.

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Contact Information

Credits

Trail maps are courtesy of NWHiker.org. Hike descriptions were collaboratively written with the generous support of Portlandhikers.org.