Tamanawas Falls (photo by Marielle Cowdin)

Tamanawas Falls Fall Foliage Hike

Explore a diverse old-growth forest in fall along the crystal clear Cold Spring Creek leading up to the spectacular Tamanawas Falls.

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Distance: 4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: ~400 feet
Leader: Jamie Dawson
Location: Mount Hood National Forest (carpools depart from Portland)

One hundred foot tall Tamanawas Falls is less known than its rivals in the Gorge, but is equally as breathtaking. Besides delighting in this beautiful waterfall, we'll hike through lush vegetation and critical wildlife habitat. The water that spills over Tamanawas Falls is from Cold Spring Creek; a clear, cold creek that is a tributary to the Wild & Scenic East Fork Hood River. This area, which includes nearby scenic Polallie Creek, hosts winter and summer steelhead runs.

While you're noticing the creek's ideal steelhead habitat, be sure to look up and notice the area's diverse vegetation, and this time of year, it could include some incredible fall colors.  The Tamanawas Falls area has remnant old-growth Ponderosa pines along with a mix of Western Red Cedar and Douglas fir trees. The forests surrounding Tamanawas Falls are proposed for Wilderness protections, the gold standard for protecting our public lands.

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Tamanawas Falls photo by Marielle Cowdin.