Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
85.00 ft (25.91 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
1.10 mi (1.77 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 1 mile Falls Loop Trail is a fantastic short hike located within Barlow Wayside Park, about 11 miles east of Sandy. The trail passes through what is truly a forest wonderland. Western red cedar, Western hemlock and Douglas fir dominate the landscape, with a rich understory of sword fern, salal, Oregon grape and vine maple. The average annual rainfall here is around 90 inches, more than twice that of Portland. This helps sustain the richness and diversity of the species found here.

The Barlow Wayside Park area is also rich with human history. Local Indians would have used this area for hunting, fishing, foraging and camping well before western settlers came here. In the mid 1800s thousands upon thousands of emigrants traveled the Oregon Trail across the country in hopes of making it to the “paradise” that was the Willamette Valley. The route followed the treacherous Columbia River, but in 1846 an alternate route was built - the Barlow Road.

Still an extremely rugged and difficult trail, the Barlow Road was used by around 300,000 emigrants from 1846 to 1869. After descending the steep and treacherous slopes around Mount Hood, these early emigrants would have taken solace in this very area. Only 35 miles would remain before they reached the Willamette Valley and the end of their 6 month journey.

Today hikers can relive the natural and human history of the area by walking one of the short trails found in Barlow Wayside Park. The Falls Loop Trail is a lovely walk and is perfect for families as well. A brochure can be picked up near the trailhead that leads a self guided tour of the area.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Beautiful dense forest. Small waterfalls. Rich history. Great for families.

Trailhead Elevation

1,003.00 ft (305.71 m)

Highest point

1,070.00 ft (326.14 m)

Features

Waterfalls
Wildlife
Family friendly
Big Game Watching
Old-growth forest
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Hide and Seek + Hide and Seek Cutoff
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area

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