Wahclella Falls is a kid friendly hike in the scenic Columbia Gorge. It is 2 miles round trip and has a place to swim along the way. Keep reading to find out more.
There are so many amazing hikes to go on in Oregon like Wahclella Falls, a kid friendly 2.4 mile hike in the scenic Columbia Gorge area.
We hiked Wahclella Falls last summer on a super hot day and like all the hikes in the gorge area it was beautiful. We had never hiked the Wahclella Falls trail before, but picked it out because it is considered both kid-friendly and easy. Since I was hiking with four kids ages 6 – 12, I definitely needed a hike that was kid friendly. There are some drop offs on this trail, but not near as severe as many trails in the gorge. At no point did I feel uneasy with all the kids.
How to Find Wahclella Falls in the Columbia Gorge
To get here take exit 40 off of I-84. You do have to pay for parking. I believe it was $5. I suggest taking ten $1 bills with you just in case. Or if you have some sort of parking pass that works too. I forgot our annual pass so I had to write a check!
The Wahclella falls trailhead is easy to spot, so you do not have to worry about getting on to the wrong hiking trail.
Is Wahclella Falls hiking trail open?
This area was affected by the 2017 Eagle Creek fire, so you will need to check and see if this trail is open because heading out there. The last time I check was in July 2018 and it was still closed, however, I know they are continually opening trails, so it could reopen at any time.
You can swim at Wahclella Falls
What I did not realize is that we would be able to swim when we got near the falls. Next time I will have the kids wear bathing suits and bring water shoes with us. It is always so nice to be able to swim half way through a hike on a hot day. Instead we just took our shoes off and dipped our feet in the water, which was still refreshing. This is also the perfect time to stop for a snack break as well. For a list of good hiking snacks, check out my article on healthy travel snacks. The kids had a lot of fun climbing around on the rocks.
I should mention that along the way we saw two small snakes sunbathing on rocks. This is the first time we have ever seen snakes out in the gorge.
You have to hike almost all the way to the waterfall before you will have an actual view of Wahclella Falls.
After you reach the falls I found it a little challenging to spot where the trail continues. This is not a one way in, one way out. So after you pass the falls you continue on. You are headed back the way you came, but not the same exact way as before.
There are many other hikes in the scenic Columbia Gorge area. One of my other favorites is Punchbowl Falls.
Here are 11 kid-friendly hikes in the Columbia Gorge.
Have you been hiking in Oregon? What is your favorite hike? I am always looking for new hiking trails.
It is about a 45 minute drive from the center of downtown Portland.
awesome, thanks Meagan!
Oregon is on my bucket list for 2019! We have been working our way through the National Parks and I can’t wait to get up there and see all the natural beauty. This spot looks perfect for hiking with my kids.