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Ramona Falls

From Portland Hikers Field Guide

The 'glowing effect' of Ramona Falls (Jeff Statt)
The falls fan out in impressive fashion from a narrow chasm 100 feet above (Jeff Statt)
A footbridge spans the base of falls (Jerry Adams)

Contents

Description

The dazzling, picturesque Ramona Falls stands like a fountain centerpiece at the front of a wooded cathedral. The water appears as if from nowhere a hundred feet above you and fans out like a wedding veil to the creek bed below. As it trickles and ricochets off the basaltic rock-face, it gives it a glowing, almost phosphorescent appearance. This illusion is especially noticeable when the alder canopy allows the evening sun rays to pass through, like a spotlight on a great work of art. Its wooded setting provides a cool escape from the summer heat and is an obvious resting spot before turning around or heading to points beyond.

This is a popular location however. Not only do day-hikers from Portland visit the area, but backpackers traversing the Timberline Trail (or up nearby Bald Mountain or Yocum Ridge) will pass through here, often taking up camp in a nearby site.

But don't let the crowds deter you. This is required fare for outdoor enthusiasts, on many book author's must-see lists!

Camping

On the one hand you wouldn't think to camp here because it's fairly close to the trailhead and is very popular, but there are a lot of places to camp in the vicinity.

From Ramona Falls there are two trails - one goes West and the other Northwest. The Northwest immediately splits into two trails that are both going approximately Northwest.

The West trail, within about 0.1 miles of the falls has several side trails going to campsites. These are probably the most used. You can get drinking water from below Ramona Falls.

Keep going on the West trail about 0.4 miles to a junction, and then take the PCT South down to the river. In about 0.1 mile is a large flat area with a couple campsites. Go uphill on steep trail a short distance to Sandy Guard station and places to camp up there. Or, on the other side of the PCT there's a side trail that leads to some other campsites. Maybe this used to be a main trail? If you keep going a short distance more on the PCT there's a nice clear stream for drinking water.

Keep going on the PCT towards the Sandy River and there are many flat places that would make a good camp. It is possible for a sudden increase in stream flow so maybe don't camp next to the stream. If you cross the Sandy River the crowds way diminish and there are a couple campsites on the other side.

On the Northwest trail from Ramona Falls that follows along Ramona Creek there are nice places to camp. This is nice when the weather is hot - much cooler next to Ramona Creek. In particular there is a place where the trail has been routed away from the creek and the old trail next to the creek hits some nice spots.

Between the two trails of the loop you can walk away from the trail and find nice spots. It's about 1.5 miles from Ramona Falls to the other end of the loop and the two loop trails are between 0.1 and 0.4 miles apart so there are many possibilities.

It doesn't matter how many people there are on the busiest summer weekend, you can still find a spot to camp with some sort of solitude.

Trip Reports

  • Search Trip Reports for Ramona

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • Hiking Oregon's Geology, by Ellen Morris Bishop
  • 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Portland by Paul Gerald
  • A Waterfall Lovers Guide to the Pacific Northwest 3rd Edition, by Gregory Plumb
  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon 2nd Edition by William Sullivan

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Contributors

Portland Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.