10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Oregon That Take You Closer To Nature

Last Updated on May 19, 2023 by Nikki Jain

From mountainous forests and steep canyons to pristine beaches and cascading waterfalls, the state of Oregon is an adventurer’s paradise.

A visit to the Beaver State isn’t complete without a trip to at least one of its awe-inspiring waterfalls.

The state's Northwest Pacific location creates the perfect environment for beautiful water bodies that can't be missed. 

Here are 10 most beautiful waterfalls in Oregon.

The Best Waterfalls in Oregon

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1: Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls
Dreamstime/Marek Rybar

Located in the expansive Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Multnomah Falls is one of the most stunning waterfalls in Oregon (and one of the state's most visited attractions). Standing at over 600 feet tall (higher than Niagara Falls!), the falls are Oregon's largest waterfall and offer unforgettable sights and sounds of gushing, falling water.

A bridge in the middle of the falls gives visitors a chance to get up close to this natural phenomenon and take spectacular photos. With tree-lined cliffs and mossy rocks surrounding this beautiful waterfall, it’s no wonder it’s visited by more than two million people each year.

Multnomah Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls in the state and is located just a half-hour from Portland. It's just a five-minute walk from the parking lot to the central viewing area. There are also other hiking trails to nearby falls if you're looking for more adventures beyond Multnomah.

Address: Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah County, OR

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Oregon

2: Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls is the first waterfall drivers along the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway come upon, and it's an impressive first attraction. The 224-foot waterfall pours water down a smooth basalt cliff. The 2.4-mile round trip hike takes you from the trailhead to the upper falls for spectacular views.

In the summer, the falls become a popular spot to cool off in the pool below. The nearby Guy W. Talbot State Park also offers more hiking and picnic opportunities for a day in the Oregon wilderness.

Latourell Falls is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Oregon. It’s best visited in the springtime, as the water flow slows down as the summer progresses. However, this beautiful waterfall is an impressive sight year-round.

Address: Guy W. Talbot State Park., Corbett, OR

3: Watson Falls

Watson Falls

Take your Oregon waterfall tour to the Umpqua National Forest, where you'll find Watson Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the southwestern part of the state.

Just 30 miles north of the famous Crater Lake National Park, these falls dump water over 300 feet of a rocky cliff and plunges onto mossy stones below.

With just a half-mile hike to get to the observation area, the falls are one of the most accessible in Oregon, making it one of the state’s most popular waterfalls.

Add on a hike to the nearby Toketee Falls for an extraordinary adventure and more waterfall sightseeing. There are also opportunities for fishing, biking, hiking, and even whitewater rafting in the area. 

The half-mile hike may be short, but there are a few challenging spots that you need to climb over. There’s also a wooden bridge close to the falls, where you can feel the mist spraying onto your face.

4: South Falls

South Falls

Silver Falls State Park is home to a diverse spread of waterfalls, including South Falls, a 175-foot majestic plume. Follow the observation path behind the falls as you watch the water plunge into the dark pool below.

If you’re looking for more Oregon waterfalls, Silver Falls State Park has plenty to add to the list. The 7.2-mile Trail of Ten Falls takes you to the best waterfalls in the park, and the Silver Falls State Park is known as one of the best campgrounds in the state.

South Falls are located just a half-hour away from the city of Salem, making it the perfect day trip away from the bustling city. The viewpoint is just a quarter-mile walk from the parking area, but you can also hike the Trail of Ten Falls or a 1.1-mile loop that takes you up close to South Falls.

5: White River Falls State Park

White River Falls State Park

With blue skies, mossy rocks, and deafening falls, White River Falls State Park offers an adventure surrounded by lush greenery and rugged hikes.

White River Falls towers above 90 feet high, and jagged, rocky scenery and plunging water make the challenging hike worthwhile.

The waterfall is hidden off amongst lush scenery, away from the dry landscape of the region. The viewing platform for the falls is next to the parking lot, but the hike to this gem is great for hot and cold days.

Take a one-mile trail to the pool of water below the falls and take in the sight of a decommissioned hydroelectric plant.

Because of its hidden location, White River Falls is unknown to many tourists, so it gets fewer visitors throughout the year than other waterfalls in Oregon. The park is closed in the winter, but visitors are welcome from mid-March to the end of fall.

Address: White River Rd, Maupin, OR 97037

Also Read: 25 Best State Parks in the US

6: Punch Bowl Falls

Punch Bowl Falls

Take a hike on the Columbia River Gorge's Eagle Creek Trail to view the iconic Punch Bowl Falls. When you visit, you'll see the falls were aptly named after the enormous pool formed by the falls, which is a popular swimming spot in the summer.

The hike itself offers some spectacular views, and there are some challenging spots as boulders have collapsed over the trail. While the falls are short, standing at just 35 feet, the swimming hole is awe-inspiring and offers a welcome escape.

It's recommended to hike to Punch Bowl Falls in the early morning on weekdays to avoid crowds. The area gets very crowded on hot afternoons, especially weekends, with tourists and locals alike looking for a dip in the cold water.

Address: 74162 NE Eagle Creek Loop, Cascade Locks, OR, 97014

7: Salt Creek Falls

Salt Creek Falls

Another gravity-defying Oregon waterfall is Salt Creek Falls. Standing at 280 feet high, it's one of the largest single-drop falls in the state.

This natural phenomenon is a must-see for anyone visiting or living in the area, and it's very accessible—the boardwalk and viewing platform just 50 feet from the parking lot.

Surrounded by the breathtaking forests of the Pacific Northwest, Salt Creek Falls creates a mysterious, peaceful atmosphere as you stand beneath them and take in their beauty.

In the winter, visitors can cross-country ski to the falls and view the impressive sight amongst a snowy landscape.

Located in the Willamette National Forest near Eugene, Oregon, the falls also feature an interpretive trail and a spur trail that leads to the base of the falls. There is a daily fee to enter the park.

Address: Oakridge, OR

8: Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls
Dreamstime/Caleb Miller

Just a few miles of Bend, Oregon, is an inviting escape into the wilderness: the Deschutes National Forest. Located just inside the national forest, Tumalo Falls is a popular attraction that’s easy to find from the parking area off a gravel road.

The 97-foot-high falls are a gorgeous sight and must-see for anyone in the Bend area. For a bigger adventure, explore the Tumalo Creek Trail and hike through a canyon and up to the top of the falls to take in the surrounding vista. There are also nearby hikes to more waterfalls and beautiful mountain peaks.

Tumalo Falls can get very crowded – especially in the summer – so head out in the early morning during the week to get the quietest, most secluded experience out of your visit to Tumalo Falls.

Address: Tumalo Falls Road, Bend, OR

9: Sahalie and Koosah Falls

Sahalie and Koosah Falls
Dreamstime/Stephen Moehle

Located in the heart of the Willamette National Forest are two impressive Oregon waterfalls: Sahalie and Koosah Falls. Both falls sit along the McKenzie River and are connected via a 2.6-mile loop trail.

The trail crosses part of the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, known as one of Oregon's best hikes. 

You might recognize Sahalie Falls from the well-known Disney movie “Homeward Bound.” Sahalie Falls is the larger of the two, but Koosah is more popular. If you're not ready for the hike, both falls have their parking lots and observation decks. 

Sahalie Falls is wheelchair-accessible, and there are restrooms at both parking lots as well. Located in between Eugene and Bend in the Williamette National Forest, it makes for a perfect day trip into the Oregon wilderness.

Address: Highway 126, Sisters, OR 97759

10: Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls
Dreamstime/Stephen Moehle

If you’re visiting Multnomah and Latourell Falls, be sure to add Bridal Veil Falls to your itinerary. Located on the Historic Columbia River Highway, these family-friendly falls is easy to explore and fun to visit.

Two trails offer different perspectives of the cascading falls, including an interpretive trail that also provides panoramic views of the gorge.

Bridal Veil Falls gets its namesake for its resemblance to a veil when the water levels are high. The lower trail leads to the base of the two-tiered falls, where you’ll find a viewing platform and great photographic opportunities.

The hike takes about 10-15 minutes to traverse, and you’ll find an up-close view of the falls at the end.

Bridal Veil Falls is very close to the city of Portland and located just off Interstate 84 on exit 28, where Multnomah and Latourell Falls are also accessed. It’s the perfect spot to cross some of the best Oregon waterfalls off your bucket list.

Address: E Crown Point Hwy, Bridal Veil, OR 97010

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