Tag Archives: Frozen Falls

Frozen Gorge (2017)

Oregon has been experiencing one of its coldest winters in quite some time. We’ve had multiple ice and snow events making for some very pretty scenes across the state. Every time we have an extended period of freezing weather we like to get out and see what the Columbia River Gorge is looking like. To see our previous Frozen Gorge post click here and here.

Our first stop was Multnomah Falls. There were more people than we thought would be here since the roads were still a mess. It was probably the most frozen we’ve personally ever seen this waterfall.

      

Next up was Oneonta Gorge. The stairs that take you down into the gorge were a solid sheet of ice, we would definitely recommend wearing some sort of traction for your shoes.  The icicles lining the gorge were huge! The water was mostly frozen over but we stopped at the log jam, falling in the water would have been a very dangerous situation!

      

Our last stop was Horsetail Falls. There was so much ice that it was blue in places, the ice formations were so interesting! Again, everything was slick but it was well worth the effort!

      

The drive out was beautiful as well!

Hope everyone has been enjoying all this gorgeous winter weather! We’d love to hear about what you’ve been seeing/doing 🙂

Little Zigzag Falls (Snowshoe)

Directions: Head east on Highway 26 until you reach Kiwanis Camp Road/Road 39 (about 6 miles past the town of Zigzag). Head north on this road until you reach the Kiwanis Camp (where they stop plowing the road). Park along the side of the road.

They usually only plow Road 39 to the Kiwanis Camp, it does occasionally get plowed to the Little Zigzag Falls Trailhead but I wouldn’t count on it. So the start of the hike depends on what type of plowing you encounter that day.

      

      

From your car start snowshoeing up the road until you come to the Little Zigzag Falls Trailhead. From here you can get on the main trail, it follows along the creek. Soon you will come to an area with large icicles hanging from it. It’s easily passable just watch your head. The creek has a lot of downed trees over it, when they are covered in snow and ice it looks quite pretty.

      

Continuing on you will cross a bridge and come to an open area which leads you right up to Little Zigzag Falls. The waterfall looked amazing with all the snow and ice!

      

Head back out the way you came in.

Distance: 1.5 miles from the Kiwanis Camp, .6 if you started at the trailhead.

Elevation: 40 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: No

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: When there is enough snow for snowshoeing.

Popular: No

Overall: Very lovely snowshoe, we highly recommend it!

Bridal Veil Falls (Winter)

Directions: Take I-84 East to Bridal Veil exit #28. Take a right onto the Historic Columbia River Highway and in less than a half mile the Bridal Veil Falls parking area will be on your right.

From the parking area get on the paved trail that heads past the bathrooms and curves right. The trail quickly turns to dirt and heads down one long switchback. We did this hike a few days after the recent ice storm so the trail was pretty much a sheet of ice. We would not recommend hiking this trail if it’s icy unless you have some sort of shoe traction (YakTrax, Stabilicers, IceTrekkers, etc). Even with these on our shoes we still fell a few times.

      

After the switchback you will head down a staircase and follow a bridge over Bridal Veil Creek. From here you can go up more stairs to a viewing platform where you get a nice view of the waterfall. You can also go down to creek level and get a side view of the falls and explore around the creek. When it’s not icy you can climb around the large rocks and get up nice and close to the waterfall.

      

This waterfall is always pretty but it was extra beautiful with all the icicles and snow surrounding it.

Head back out the way you came in.

Distance: .6 miles

Elevation: 100 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages. Unless it’s icy, then make sure you are sure footed and have the right gear with you.

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes on nice weekends.

Overall: We love going to the Gorge when we get snow or ice, the waterfalls look even better!

Winter Hikes

Winter

Winter can be a great time to get out and hike. The trails aren’t very busy, water levels are nice and full, and the crisp air is refreshing. 

Here are a few of our favorite hikes that are great for the winter season. Clicking on the links will take you to a more detailed post with directions.

Mt. Tabor: This well maintained city park is a great choice on those chilly days where you want to get out for a quick hike.

Wahclella Falls: This waterfall is at it’s best when it’s nice and full. Just be careful, the trail can get a little icy if we’ve had low temps.

Bayocean Spit: Located in the Tillamook area, this hike is a nice option on those cold but clear winter days. It would also be a great beachcombing hike after a winter storm.

Silver Falls State Park: This trail of 10 waterfalls is a State Park so the trails are always well maintained. You won’t have to worry about running into trail damage after a winter storm.

Little Zigzag Falls: This short hike is a nice addition to any snowshoeing or skiing activities you have planned this winter.

Powell Butte: Great year-round hike that’s in SE Portland.

Hug Point Falls: Good option for those rainy days. It’s a quick walk to a small beach waterfall.

**Frozen Gorge Waterfalls: If we end up having an extended period of freezing weather, you should definitely check out some of the waterfalls that are just off the Old Highway. Here are some frozen waterfalls we saw in 2013 and 2014.

We hope everyone has a great time enjoying winter in Oregon!

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Frozen Gorge Waterfalls

We had a nice dose of freezing weather over the last couple weeks, so we decided to check out the Gorge and see if the waterfalls were putting on a frosty show.

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We decided to check out Ponytail Falls, Horsetail Falls, and Multnomah Falls.

Ponytail Falls (Upper Horsetail Falls) is a short but steep half mile up from Horsetail Falls. The trail switchbacks many times and you get great views of the Gorge. It’s also one of those fun waterfalls that you can walk behind.

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Horsetail Falls and Multnomah Falls are both great options if you don’t feel like hiking in below freezing temps. Both are easily visible from the comfort of your car.

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DSC_0067We definitely recommend Stabilicers or some sort of traction shoe. We saw a LOT of people sliding and falling.

It’s definitely worth the time to check out a waterfall or two when the temperature dips below freezing!

Frozen Falls

Once every 5 years or so the Portland area gets freezing weather. This was one of those years.

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We heard the falls were freezing and since we were so impressed with Elowah Falls the first time we decided to brave the 17 degree weather to get a look.

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The trail was clear until we go close to the falls. At first the ice was patchy, then it just covered everything. We’re definitely glad we brought our Snow Trax and Stabilicers with us, we wouldn’t have gotten very far without them.

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After Elowah Falls we drove down the old highway to look at the other waterfalls. If you don’t want to get out of your car you still have good options.

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