Tag Archives: Ramona Falls

Ramona Falls (Spring)

Directions: Take Highway 26 to the town of Zigzag and take the turnoff to Lolo Pass Road on the left. Drive Lolo Pass for about 4 miles and take a right onto Road 1825 and cross a bridge over the Sandy River. Continue on the road passing a campground and horse camp, the road is paved but narrow and has some potholes. There will be signs directing you to Ramona Falls.

To see our first post on Ramona Falls click here.

The trail starts out along the Sandy River and there are a couple of good viewpoints as you go. Be cautious of where you’re standing along the edge of the trail because the sides have been undercut by the river. You will soon pass by a wilderness checkin station, make sure you fill out the tag (it’s free but required) and attach it to your backpack. As you keep hiking the trail gradually heads uphill as you make your way to the crossing of the Sandy River.

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The trail has changed a lot near the crossing since the bridge was washed out in a flash flood in the summer of 2014. The trail heads down to the river where there is a pretty large log jam area, you will be using these downed trees to cross the river. We saw about three good options for crossing. It wasn’t too terrible crossing on the trees, just make sure you are sure footed and take your time.  We hear they are NOT planning on putting in a new bridge so that means finding your own way from now on. These trees may not be in the same area or around at all depending on if they get washed away with storms. So please keep that in mind before heading out on this hike, it’s just really hard to tell year to year what the crossing will look like. After you get across follow the footpath up the side of the bank and onto the trail.

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From here the trail heads uphill, not terribly steep but it’s consistently gaining elevation. You switch back and forth from heavily wooded to sparse with lots of sun coming in. May is definitely Rhododendron season and they were blooming all along the trail! You will come to two junctions in the trail at the first one stay right (straight) and continue on up the trail to the second junction. At this second junction go straight for signed Ramona Falls. A short distance later you will come to a horse staging area that you pass through and go right down to Ramona Falls.

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On the way out head across the bridge at the base of the waterfall and follow the trail downhill along a creek. You will also pass along a large cliffside to your right as you hike down to a junction. Take a left and continue on to a second junction which gets you back on the main trail you came in on (take a right and head downhill at this junction). From here you head downhill to the river crossing and back to your car.

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Distance: 7.1 Miles

Elevation: 1,100 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: This is not a good hike for young kids or older folks due to the river crossing.

Bathrooms: Yes at the parking area.

Parking Fee: A $5 NW Forest Pass is required

Seasons: Spring to early fall

Popular: Yes

Overall: We love this hike, it’s too bad about the bridge!

Ramona Falls (Summer)

Directions: Take Highway 26 to the town of Zigzag and take the turnoff to Lolo Pass Road on the left. Take Lolo Pass for 4 miles and then take a right onto Road 1825 and cross a bridge over the Sandy River. Continue on the road passing a campground and horse camp. The road is paved but is narrow with lots of potholes. Stay left at the road to Lost Creek Campground.  The trailhead will be about 2.5 miles from Lolo Pass Road. Some of the intersections are not marked so it can be a kind of confusing drive.

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For about the first mile, the trail winds along the river until you reach the seasonal bridge that crosses the Sandy River. Down by the bridge you will see good views of Mt. Hood. The majority of the trail is a sandy mix that’s not too hard on the feet. From the bridge it’s about a half mile until the split, where you have a choice of going clockwise or counterclockwise around the loop. Until the bridge the trail is a gradual slope, but after the bridge it gets a little steeper.

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From the split you walk another two miles to the falls. There are plenty of places to sit, enjoy the falls and eat lunch. This is a very popular waterfall so expect to see many people. We did encounter some people (who had been drinking) who climbed all the way to the top (which is very steep and dangerous). They also kicked loose a big rock that fell down where we were sitting- so be aware.

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To head back out you cross the bridge and follow the creek, passing giant cliffs that are worth stopping and looking at. This will take you back to the split where you will continue back the same way you came in.

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*Update* The seasonal bridge that crosses the Sandy River on this hike was washed out from a flash flood. Please take extra care when crossing the river without a bridge!

Distance: 7.1 miles

Elevation: 1,100 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages if there is a bridge, not best for young kids and older folks if the bridge is out.

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: $5 NW Forest Pass

Seasons: Spring through fall

Popular: Yes

Overall: Great views of Mt. Hood and the waterfall is beautiful.