Tag Archives: Fairy Falls

Fairy Falls (Winter 2018)

Directions: Take I-84 East to exit 28. Go left on the Historic Highway to the Wahkeena Falls Trailhead.

We were really anxious to get back up to this waterfall after the Eagle Creek Fire. It’s one of our favorite hikes in the Gorge and we really missed it.

Obviously there is fire damage visible throughout this whole hike but it’s really apparent after you get up above all the switchbacks.

First, you’ll start out on the paved path and cross over Wahkeena Creek as you switchback once to get up to Wahkeena Falls. From here the trail is still paved as you head straight up 12 switchbacks, they are fairly short but you’re definitely still feeling all the quick elevation gain. Through this section you are mainly seeing partially burned trees and more open views.



The switchbacks end at an signed intersection. It’s worth the short trip off to the right to Lemmon’s Viewpoint. When finished head back the other direction where the paved path turns into a typical dirt and rock Gorge trail. You’ll head over a footbridge and start heading uphill somewhat steeply on a very loose rocky trail, staying right next to the creek for a short distance. Normally there are a few fallen trees in this section, but since the wildfire there are a TON of downed trees and they are mostly hanging over the creek. A lot of the moss is burned in this section as well.



Cross over a second bridge and head up some more switchbacks that take you right to Fairy Falls. As you head up these last switchbacks you really get a good view back down into the creek where you can see a lot of the damage. We are happy to report that the waterfall still looks great and the bench survived the fire. Head back out the way you came in.



*Please read all the posted warning signs carefully before heading out on any of the recently reopened hikes. Trails impacted by wildfires are at higher risk for falling rocks and trees, as well as slides.*

Distance: 2.5 miles (easy)

Elevation: 800 feet (moderate)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: Most- there is quite a bit of elevation gain for such a short hike.

Bathrooms: None

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes

Warnings: This trail was hit by a wildfire so please read all posted warning signs.

Fairy Falls (Summer)

Directions: Take I-84 East to exit 28. Go left on the Historic Highway to the Wahkeena Falls Trailhead.

Whenever we do this hike we’re always reminded just how pretty it is and thoroughly enjoy ourselves.

From the trailhead cross the small bridge over the creek and head up a long paved switchback that takes you to Wahkeena Falls. Even during the summer months this waterfall puts off a decent amount of spray so you may get a bit wet as you cross in front of it. The trail stays paved as you pass a bench and head for the cardio kicker section of this hike- 12 switchbacks. The switchbacks are fairly short and are paved for the most part.



Once you make it to the end of the switchbacks you will come to a trail junction. It’s worth the short trip to Lemmon’s Viewpoint off to the right. Once you’ve seen enough at the viewpoint head back to the junction and go left where you will start seeing the creek and the trail levels out briefly. The pavement also ends here and switches to dirt and rock. You will be following the creek just about the rest of the hike as you cross the first of two footbridges and the trail again starts heading uphill. All through this area is very beautiful with all the moss covered trees and the creek being so close to the trail. It’s one of our favorite sections of Gorge trails. After crossing the second footbridge you have a few more switchbacks and then you are at Fairy Falls. The waterfall is right on the trail and there is a bench to rest or enjoy lunch.


When you’re ready, head back out the way you came in.


Distance: 2.5 miles (easy)

Elevation: 800 feet (moderate)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: There’s a good amount of elevation for the short distance so this hike may not be best for younger kids and older folks.

Bathrooms: Yes but they are seasonal

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes especially nice weekends

Warnings: None

Spring Hikes

Hope everyone is enjoying the new season! Here are some of our favorite spring-time hikes 🙂


If you’re looking for flowers:

Pittock Mansion

Rowena Crest & Tom McCall Nature Preserve

Lacamas Creek (Camas Lily Field)

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival


Hikes that open in spring or that should be done before it gets too hot:

Larch Mountain

Painted Hills

Smith Rock



Tunnel Falls

Fairy Falls

Dry Creek Falls

Pool Of The Winds

Falls Creek Falls

Mist Falls



Spring kayaking:

Columbia River Slough

Sturgeon Lake




Fairy Falls (Autumn)

Directions: Take I-84 East to exit 28. Go left on the Historic Highway to the Wahkeena Falls Trailhead.

To see our first post on Fairy Falls click here.

This hike starts at the Wahkeena Falls Trailhead. After you take in lower Wahkeena Falls follow the paved path uphill as you switchback once and end up at upper Wahkeena Falls. There is enough room here to stop, take pictures and take in the waterfall. There is a bench just past the waterfall as well.

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From here you start to head uphill, somewhat steeply, as you start the first of 12 consecutive switchbacks. The switchbacks are short and the trail is paved. You’ll get views of the Gorge occasionally as you climb. After you finish the last switchback you will come to a split in the trail. It’s worth the short side trip to the right to see Lemmon’s Viewpoint. You will get great views of the Gorge and Columbia River.

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Continue on the trail (left at the split) which is now dirt, as you start to follow next to Wahkeena Creek. This last part of the hike is really beautiful and it’s one of our favorite trails in all of the Columbia River Gorge. The creek is beautiful and there are numerous spots in the creek where you are going to want to stop and take pictures. The narrow almost gorge like slot canyon you hike through is very interesting as well. As you continue uphill you will cross two bridges and come to a few more switchbacks that take you right to Fairy Falls. We hiked this trail right after a big rain storm and the creek was overflowing onto the trail. It was nothing that we couldn’t rock-hop over but fair warning you might get wet feet after heavy rains.

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Fairy Falls isn’t a very tall waterfall but it’s still very pretty. The trail crosses right in front of the waterfall so you can get very close. There is also a bench right at the waterfall making it a great place to relax and have lunch.



Distance: 2.5 miles (easy)

Elevation: 800 feet (moderate)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages- please be aware that it’s a fairly steep hike.

Bathrooms: Yes but it is seasonal

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes on nice weekends

Warnings: None