Umbrella Falls Loop Hike
From Portland Hikers Field Guide
- Start point: Hood River Meadows Trailhead
- End Point Umbrella Falls
- Trail Log: Trail Log
- Hike Type: Dogbone (Out to a loop and back
- Distance: 4.6 miles round-trip
- Elevation gain: 820 feet
- High Point: 5,240 feet
- Difficulty: Easy
- Seasons: Summer and early Fall
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Backpackable: Yes - Connection to the Timberline Trail
- Crowded: Rarely
Mount Hood's most expansive flower displays are found in the vicinity of Hood River Meadows, on the gentle, southeast flank of the volcano. While the Meadows ski resort has expanded to cover much of the area, the trails remain surprisingly free of reminders of the throng of skiers that crowd the slopes here in winter. The massive display of wildflowers in July and August and series of pretty streams and waterfalls makes this a good destination even when clouds obscure the mountain. The loop visiting Umbrella and Sahale Falls combines the best of the features with an easy grade that even young children will enjoy.
The hike begins at the Hood River Meadows Trailhead. From the trailhead, hike 0.3 miles through open forest to a junction with the Umbrella Falls Trail. Turn left here and immediately begin climbing around a rocky bluff, passing under the first of several chairlifts that crisscross the area. Hood River Meadows, proper, spreads out below. Soon, the route levels off and passes through small meadows, passing a junction with the trail to Sahale Falls at the 1.7 mile mark. You'll return to this junction to complete the loop, but first keep straight, and at 2.0 miles, reach graceful Umbrella Falls. The dog-legged footbridge across the East Fork makes for a nice lunch spot. Kids will have fun exploring the slow, clear pool below the bridge. Adults may notice ski litter that has floated down from the Meadows resort, just upstream, so a good object lesson for kids is to carry a couple of pieces of litter out.
From Umbrella Falls, backtrack 0.3 miles to the Sahale Falls junction, and turn right, following the trail through small meadows and open forest. After about a mile, the trail passes above Sahale Falls, with views into the falls and of the picturesque original highway bridge that arches below the falls. Scramble trails drop to the old highway and bridge viewpoint, for those inclined to take the side trip. The main route continues through forest, and soon reaches Hood River Meadows, proper, where the trail meets the old highway again. Resume the path through forest and a crossing of gurgling Meadows Creek for 0.3 miles to the trailhead at 3.6 miles.
Fees, Regulations, etc.
- Northwest Forest Pass required at Hood River Meadows Trailhead
- Search Trip Reports for Umbrella Falls
Related Discussions / Q&A
- Search Trail Q&A for Umbrella Falls
- Splintercat (Tom Kloster) (primary)