Once known as Gordon Falls, after the pioneer F.E. Gordon, the falls were renamed Wahkeena Falls by the Mazamas in 1915. Wahkeena is a Yakima word that means "most beautiful," but in this case the falls are just the beginning of of this most beautiful hike. A series of popular falls are accessible from the Historic Colombia River Highway, but tucked away above each of these falls are countless other falls that are equally spectacular and perhaps more enjoyable because you won't have to share them with the droves of tourists who stick closer to their cars. When included with a trip to Multnomah Falls, you will encounter four of these lessor known cascades: Fairy Falls, Ecola Falls and Weisendanger, Upper Multnomah Falls and Duchman Falls. Return to the Wahkeena Trailhead by making your way to the bottom of Multnomah Falls via the paved switchback trail. Walk east for several hundred yards, passing the lodge to get to the lower trail that parallels the Historic Colombia River Highway for one-half a mile.
Camping is no longer permitted in the old campground below Wahkeena Trailhead, but there are numerous picnic areas with their own grills, restrooms, and a picnic shelter for inclement weather.