Elevation Gain
500.00 ft (152.40 m)
Trail type
3.80 mi (6.12 km)
Warming hut
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.

See the wintry side of this magnificent waterfall on Mount Hood's eastern side with a relatively easy snowshoe hike through old-growth forests. While popular and oftentimes crowded during the summer, this falls sees only moderate activity during the middle of winter, partly because of the limited roadside parking. With only a gradual incline throughout, you’ll enjoy a short stroll through Douglas fir, mountain hemlock and cedar. You’ll also follow and cross (by bridge) Cold Spring Creek, which presents breathtaking winter scenery.

If you plan on getting near the falls, make sure to bring water resistant clothing, as the 150-foot-tall by 40-foot-wide Tamanawas emits mist throughout most seasons (which can freeze on camera lenses during the winter). It’s also wise to be cognizant of potential falling ice nearer the falls. Many of the icicles during winter can be several meters long. If you’re looking to avoid the slow slog of traffic up to Mount Hood from Portland, a good alternative would be to access these falls via Highway 35 through Hood River.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Men's and Women's • $229.95 • Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Men's and Women's • $475.00 • Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

$189.95 • 35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Men's and Women's • $134.25 • Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

$79.95 • Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Men's Powdercloud • $181.61 • Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Men's and Women's • $149.95 • Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Men's and Women's • $64.95 • Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant


If you are snowshoeing into avalanche terrain, you should be prepared, equipped and educated on how to use avalanche rescue and snow safety gear - including but not limited to an avalanche beacon/transceiver, probe, and shovel.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Fantastic winter falls. Great beginner snowshoeing. Photographic opportunities. Old-growth forest.


Limited parking. Minimal snowpack in early season. Trails are sometimes icy.

Pets allowed


Trailhead Elevation

3,020.00 ft (920.50 m)


Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day


Groomed trail



Nearby Adventures

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

Nearby Lodging + Camping


It's getting later in the season and while this is normally a pretty easy hike, it has turned much more difficult due to hard packed ice just before you get to the falls.
I was there on 2/25/17 and saw several people take substantial falls in the steep area just prior to the falls. One fell and est 100' and almost ended up in the creek. Way too many people trying to hike this trail without the proper gear or experience. Tennis shoes or simply hiking boots will NOT allow you to reach the falls safely. At this point the season, you almost really need crampons and an ice axe to make it all the way in safely. That or at very least snowshows with VERY GOOD ice grips (No cheap Costco shoes).
Be smart and hike prepared.
We intended to snowshoe this trail, but the snow was so hard packed that we simply hiked it. The trail is easy to hike and easy to follow. On a weekday, there was no one parked at the trailhead at 9AM when we arrived, although by the time we departed at 11:30 (yes, it's a short hike), there were 5 cars, but still more room to park.

The falls are really beautiful, tucked in the short dead-end canyon. And in the winter, the icy stalactites it creates around the sides of this small rock rim are amazing!

Note: A make-shift sign at the trailhead warns of a slide that blocks the trail. Ignore this. While indeed there's a rock slide covering the trail about 3/4 the way to the falls, it's easily passable with only very minor bouldering.
Tried to snowshoe this today and was denied with ZERO parking. Campground also not plowed. Maybe enough to park just out of traffic lane but severe risk of getting clipped. No broken trail from shoulder to trail head either.
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