Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The often overlooked Elowah Falls rush just off of the Historic Columbia River Highway.  Tucked away in a giant amphitheater of basalt, Elowah Falls drops cascading water an impressive 280 feet from McCord Creek.  As you make your way through the forest, be sure to avoid the ubiquitous poison oak. Also note that trail intersection signs were missing the directional indications for Elowah Falls, so kind hikers have added the appropriate information. The hike to Upper Elowah Falls is impressive, with a single-track trail that is cut high into the basalt cliff.  Not only does this trail provide excellent views of Hamilton Mountain and Table Mountain across the Columbia River, it is also home to a plethora of unique flora.  Look for the white shooting star, poison delphinium, mountainbells, broadleaf stonecrop, and the endemic flower, Barrett’s penstemon.  This is a hike you’ll be sure to remember!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Two waterfalls. Trail along a cliff's edge. Endemic wildflower species.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

130.00 ft (39.62 m)

Net Elevation Gain

600.00 ft (182.88 m)

Features

Waterfalls
Big vistas
Old-growth forest
Wildflowers

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

It was sooo slippery with ice but so beautiful. I made it in hiking boots although slipped and slid all over the place. There were folks out there with running shoes and some with spiked shoes. I'd definitely NOT wear running shoes. The snow hasn't melted and just turned into ice. So worth it, just takes longer than usual because you have to go super slowly.
12/31/2016
This is a great winter hike! Not too many people on the trail and a fantastic view of Elowah Falls. We followed the trail to the upper falls as well which had two waterfalls you couldn't see from below! A little snow on the trail so boots were a good choice but this was a pretty easy/moderate hike.
We've had the pleasure of visiting this waterfall a couple of times. Our first trip was on January 16th 2011, during the floods. As we made our way up to Upper McCord, we could see the Elowah footbridge was being engulfed by the spray. It was that moment we knew we needed to head down there after visiting Upper McCord (which was three times it's normal size). The gorge waterfalls were truly exploding! Our second trip was a little calmer but still wet. We never saw another soul on either trip, surprisingly.
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.