Looking down on Panther Creek Falls from the viewing platform. ©Greg Lief
Looking down on Panther Creek Falls from the viewing platform. ©Greg Lief

Panther Creek Falls

Western Gorge, washington

This is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the entire Gorge region. It’s a hidden gem inside the Gifford Pinchot National Forest that few people know about. It’s a short walk to a wooden viewing platform perfectly perched for one to marvel at such a unique waterfall. Allow plenty of time to soak in the different combinations of waterfalls and to let your eyes explore the hanging gardens and rich colors of moss.

Trail Map

Driving Directions

Cross the Bridge of the Gods ($1 toll). Turn right and head east on WA Hwy 14. At MP 47.5 turn north/left onto Wind River Rd. (This is 3 miles east of Stevenson or 17 miles west of the Hood River Bridge). Travel on Wind River Rd to Carson's 4-way stop. Continue to go straight for 4.7 miles to the second of the "Old State Road" right turns, also signed for Panther Creek campground. Turn right here and then immediately left onto Panther Creek Road. Travel 7.2 miles to the falls. However, the falls are easy to miss. Look for a large gravel/dirt pull-out on the right hand side at the base of a large rock cliff. Sometimes this area is signed with Panther Creek falls but don't count on it. It gets pulled down by locals. You'll find the trail on the road about 50 yards back.

Hike Information:

  • Type of Hike: Out and Back
  • Length: .4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 200 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Restroom Facilities: No
  • Fees and Regulations: None

Features:

  • Waterfall
  • 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

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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.