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Tamanawas Falls Hike

From Portland Hikers Field Guide

View from behind Tamanawas Falls (Tom Kloster)
Tamanawas Falls (Greg Lief)
Cold Spring Creek and Tamanawas Falls (Tom Kloster)
Cold Spring Creek (Greg Lief)
Cold Spring Creek (Greg Lief)
  • Start point: Sherwood TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Tamanawas Falls
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 3.6 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 590 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Open late Spring through late Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes - Cold Spring Creek trail continues to Elk Meadows
  • Crowded: On Summer weekends

Contents

Hike Description

Tamanawas Falls forms a broad curtain where Cold Spring Creek thunders over a 150’ lava cliff near the eastern base of Mount Hood. This hike along scenic Cold Spring Creek has been a traditional trek for families.

The hike begins at the Sherwood Trailhead. From the large parking area, walk through the woods toward the roaring East Fork of the Hood River to find the trail, where it crosses the raging stream on a massive, new log bridge (installed in 2007 after floods removed the former bridge). Turn right after crossing the bridge, and follow the East Fork Trail (no. 650) north as it gradually climbs high above the river and highway. At the half-mile mark, pass a viewpoint and round the corner into Cold Spring Creek canyon. The trail drops gently, and soon reaches the East Fork-Tamanawas Falls Trail Junction, where you head straight (left) toward a bridge over Cold Spring Creek. The continuation of the East Fork Trail heads north (right), and is an alternate route to the falls from the Polallie Trailhead.

After crossing the creek, the trail ambles upstream, always within sight of the rushing stream, which tumbles over a series of tiny waterfalls. At 1.5 miles beginning climbing above the creek on a section of new trail. Pass the signed Tamanawas Falls-Tamanawas Falls Tie Trail Junction on the right, and then pass a second unsigned junction for the same trail (#650B). Continue on to Tamanawas Falls, crossing the upper reach of the large rock fall for a quarter mile. Beyond the rock fall, the trail enters forest, and soon arrives at a fine view upstream to Tamanawas Falls, at the 2 mile mark. From here, you can simply enjoy the falls from the trail, or follow one of the use paths for a closer look. Sure-footed hikers can climb the talus to the right of the falls to reach the amphitheater behind the falls.

To complete the hike, simply return along the same route.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Northwest Forest Pass required at Sherwood Trailhead. Leash recommended for dogs.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Portland by Paul Gerald

More Links

Page 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.