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Latourell Falls | Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Latourell Falls, located in the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon, is a stunning, cascading waterfall that will take your breath away. As one of the most easily accessible waterfalls in the state, Latourell Falls is an ideal place for hikers, sightseers, and photographers alike.


The Latourell Falls Loop Trail is a popular waterfall trail 40 minutes from downtown Portland. On this trail, you'll see the stunning Upper and Lower Latourell Falls as you hike through Guy W. Talbot State Park.

Latourell Falls

Whether you're looking for a scenic walk or just a quiet spot to take in the beauty of nature, Latourell Falls offers something for everyone. With its towering basalt columns and lush greenery, it's easy to see why Latourell Falls is considered one of Oregon's natural wonders.


Where is Latourell Falls?

Latourell Falls is in the Columbia River Gorge, about 30-40 minutes from downtown Portland, Oregon. It is located just off the Columbia River Highway (U.S. Route 30) in the Guy W. Talbot State Park in Oregon. To get there, take I-84 east from Portland and merge onto US-30 E via exit 28.


Follow US-30 E for about 20 miles until you reach the Latourell Falls Trailhead on the left-hand side. There is a large parking area at the trailhead, so you won’t have to worry about finding a spot. From here, it’s only a short 0.4-mile hike to the falls. It's only a short drive away from other popular waterfalls like Gorton Creek Falls.

  • Location: Guy W. Talbot State Park, Corbett, Oregon

  • Trailhead Coordinates: 45.554147291817884, -122.22071820716637


Know Before You Go

Here are a few important facts to keep in mind before hiking Latourell Falls:

  • Lower Latourell Falls Height: 225 feet

  • Upper Latourell Falls Height: 134 feet

  • Facilities at Latourell Falls Trailhead: Bathrooms, limited parking

  • Pets: Pets are allowed.

  • Family-Friendly? Yes, but younger children might struggle with the incline and wet rocks.

Explore Latourell Falls in the Columbia River Gorge with Traverse the Pacific Northwest

The Latourell Falls Trail is a sight to behold, with majestic beauty and sweeping views around every bend. You'll be able to see the majestic Latourell Falls from multiple vantage points along the trail. On your hike, you'll find yourself winding through lush old-growth forests, providing breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife.



From the top of the trail, you can look out over the Columbia River Gorge and experience breathtaking panoramas of the area's mountains, streams, and lakes. Whether you choose to take in the view from below or hike up to the top, Latourell Falls will leave you awe-struck by its grandeur.



Latourell Falls Loop Trail Photo Gallery

Here's what you can expect if you go to the Columbia River Gorge to hike Latourell Falls:



Hiking the Latourell Falls Loop Trail

The Latourell Falls trail begins at a small parking lot with room for approximately 25 cars. Extra parking can be found .1 miles further down the road, across a bridge, on the right side of the road. It may be necessary to park at this secondary lot on weekends.

Distance

Elevation Gain

Time Required

Difficulty

3 miles

750 feet

2 Hours

3/10

The path up from the parking lot to the Lower Latourell Falls
The path up from the parking lot to the Lower Latourell Falls


At the trailhead, visitors can find several picnic tables and toilets. The trail begins to climb steadily uphill, alongside a guardrail to the first waterfall lookout. Some visitors choose to stop here and enjoy this view of the falls.


Did you know? Latourell Falls is the third-tallest waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge.

Lower Latourell Falls
Lower Latourell Falls from behind the safety guardrails.

If you're not going to complete the whole trail, we highly recommend walking slightly further uphill and seeing the lower falls from the left-hand side! The view is even better halfway to the top of the falls.



The path along this portion of the trail is relatively evenly graded, meaning that it's suitable for all hikers, no matter their experience level. It's in part the well-maintained nature of this hike that makes it so well-loved by locals and tourists.


As you climb, the trail gradually steepens, but don't worry; this is going to be the worst of it. As you reach the top of the falls, you may need to take your time as this area is often wet, especially if it's rained recently.



Did you know? Latourell Falls was privately owned before Guy W. Talbot donated the falls and the land to the Oregon Parks System.

Make sure to keep kids back from the path's edges as the trail does drop off over the cliff. But, many of these areas are protected by guardrails.


Your hike will take you back into the woods at this point, on the east side of the loop, as you start the complete loop to Upper Latourell Falls. Halfway to your destination, you'll see a tree crossing where some hikers choose to turn around and start back to the Lower Falls via the west side of the loop.



The incredible Upper Latourell Falls isn't far! You'll hear the double waterfall before you get there.

The Upper Latourell Falls
The Upper Latourell Falls are 134 feet tall.

The trail takes you down and under the Upper Falls via a small wooden bridge. If you're feeling brave and it isn't too cold out (or crowded!), you might want to follow the trail to the left and stand behind the noisy Upper Falls (where it's surprisingly dry!)


We definitely recommend taking your time here as the rocks are always wet and slippery.


The trail loops at the Upper Falls, and you'll start heading back towards the main trailhead.


You can choose to cross over the downed tree on the way back or follow the west side of the trail around the secondary trailhead, only slightly up the road from the main parking area where you started your day.



Did you complete the Latourell Falls Loop Trail? Let us know what you think in the comments!


Have any beta or suggestions? Please share it with the Traverse the Pacific Northwest community.


Did you know? Latourell Falls is pronounced Lat-er-uhl Falls.


Latourell Falls History

Latourell Falls has an interesting history, as do many areas along the Columbia River Gorge. The Falls were originally owned by Guy W. Talbot. Upon his death in 1929, he donated the land to the Oregon Park System.

Information panel at Latourell Falls
One of several information panels at Latourell Falls State Park

The falls are named for Joseph Latourell, a well-known early settler who was the postmaster of Rooster Rock Post Office.


Latourell Falls is one of the most beloved sights of the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. It has been a popular destination for hikers, sightseers, and photographers alike since its discovery in the mid-19th century.


The beauty of Latourell Falls was well-known to travelers and local communities, and it eventually became part of the Historic Columbia River Highway. This route was a scenic byway that included many notable sights, including the Latourell Falls Trail. The trail takes visitors to the base of the falls, where they can admire their beauty from up close. Visitors can also follow a trail that leads to an overlook where they can get a stunning view of Latourell Falls from afar.



Latourell Falls Parking

Parking at Latourell Falls can be challenging. There is one paved parking lot on the south side of the Historic Columbia River Highway and a parallel gravel pullout on the north side. Further along, the road is another gravel pullout on the right side, just beyond a bridge.


The first lot is often full on weekends, even when the weather is bad. The second lot also fills up, forcing some visitors to park farther down the road or save the popular Portland waterfall hike for another day.



FAQs

Is Latourell Falls an easy hike?

Latourell Falls is a fairly easy hike. Depending on your experience level, the approximately 750 feet of elevation gain may or may not present a challenge. It's kid-friendly and very popular with families in Portland and surrounding cities.


Can you see Latourell Falls from the road?

Yes, you can see Latourell Falls from the road. Specifically, the trailhead along the Historic Columbia River Highway. It's not far from the trailhead to access the best views of the Lower Falls.


Do I need reservations for Latourell Falls?

No, you don't need reservations for Latourell Falls. While no reservations are needed, the parking is limited. Make sure to get to the trailhead early, or go in the middle of the week, to avoid the crowds and ensure you get a parking spot!


How do you pronounce Latourell Falls?

Latourell Falls is pronounced: Lat-er-uhl Falls, despite its more complicated-looking name.


Can you hike Multnomah Falls?

Yes, you can hike Multnomah Falls! The falls are open but require reservations to access the viewing platforms and bridge. You can also find lots of camping near Multnomah Falls.


Similar Trails

If you enjoyed the Latourell Falls Loop Trail, consider some other hikes near Portland. For example:

  • Multnomah Falls Trail - a very popular hike to the top of the largest waterfall in Oregon that provides stunning views of the falls and the Columbia River Gorge.

  • Hamilton Mountain Summit Trail - is one of the most popular mountain hikes in the Columbia River Gorge on the Washington side of the river. It requires several hours and no shortage of endurance to complete!

  • Elk and King's Mountain Loop Trail - a challenging 10.2-mile hike that takes you through the beautiful Tillamook State Forest, up to the summit of Elk Mountain, and then along a traverse to the summit of King's Mountain, gaining around 4,300 feet of elevation.


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