Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
200.00 ft (60.96 m)
Trail type
0.40 mi (0.64 km)
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Panther Creek Falls is known as one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge and certainly worth a stop if you're nearby. From the parking area, it is a quick, easy walk down to the newly constructed viewing platform. From there you'll get a stunning view of two steams merging together to form a beautiful wall of cascading water. The falls on the right that flow from the clearly visible upper stream are about 69 feet, and the other falls that feed from the cliff on the left are about 102 feet.  In total, the falls drop about 136 feet, which includes a few smaller steps.

If you take the rough path down to see the falls from the lower section, you can also make your way downstream to see the three tiers of these falls. The best access to the lower falls is from a trail about 200 feet from the main trail that leaves from the road. This trail is actually more of a scramble and mudslides are common in the rainy season. Please take caution if you decide to venture down to the lower falls. If you walk back down the road to the beginning of the bend near the parking area, a path over the small hill on the right will lead to the lower falls. The path to the bottom can be a bit slick and steep in places, though a few ropes have been put in place for assistance. The size of the falls is awe-inspiring from this perspective, and the viewpoint is close enough to feel the soft moss under your feet and the mist on your face. It is really worth the hike as long as you are comfortable with a little scrambling. 


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Easy to access.


Not well marked from the road. Only one main viewpoint trail. Rough trails access other views.

Trailhead Elevation

1,679.00 ft (511.76 m)


Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day



Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping


The area itself is incredibly lush and vibrant. You can park alongside a vast stone hillside, and the trail is across the street, probably 30 ft. (or less) from the parking area. There is an unmarked trail, but it wasn't hard to find.

The walk is very easy. It takes you to a wooden platform where you can view the falls. I wanted a closer look, and made the descend down. There is a path that takes you to a rope where you can shimmy your way down. I was quite nervous, but I had vocal assistance from my boyfriend who went ahead of me. I found that easier to work with. After that, you must free climb against a rock face (I had acrylic nails and I was able to confidently maneuver my way down). Then taking my time walking down the wet, slippery, muddy trail.

Totally worth it. Loved every moment being in front of this cool waterfall!
Impressive falls next to the road. Lower viewpoint only for those in good shape.
This place has become quite the popular destination lately. It's easy to see why. A unique falls in a classic Northwest setting. Could it get any better? Yes, in fall it is better :-)
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