Metlako Falls is the final major waterfall along Eagle Creek. The falls drop out of narrow, calm pool, and thunder into an impressive gorge. Because the falls are somewhat distant from the developed viewpoints, it isn't easy to get a good feeling of the height of the falls. I've seen it listed at anywhere from 100 to 150 feet tall. Some crazy kayakers who actually ran the falls measured the falls at 101 feet, but a subsequent measurement by another group of boaters showed it to be only 82 feet. Though the falls are usually cited as being of a Plunge form, because of the narrow constriction, the fire hosing tendency of the water as it drops over the lip of the cliff, as well as the obvious depth of the pool at the base of the falls, Metlako Falls, in my opinion, should be considered a Punchbowl form waterfall. That distinction would make it the tallest Punchbowl waterfall listed in this database. Dropping into the canyon immediately opposite of Metlako Falls is Sorenson Falls, which is unfortunately, mostly obscured by trees and bushes from all available perspectives.
- Metlako Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
The falls were named in 1915, by a committee of Mazamas, for Metlako, the Indian goddess of Salmon, likely because of the fact that this waterfall marks the upstream limit to fish who spawn in Eagle Creek.
Located along the Eagle Creek trail in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area. Driving east along Interstate 84, exit at the Eagle Creek exit, one mile past the Bonneville Dam exit (immediately after a short tunnel). The parking area is only accessible to eastbound traffic (if you are driving west, exit and turn around at Exit 40 (Bonneville Dam), then to return to your westbound direction, do the same at Cascade Locks). Turn right at the first stop and proceed to the trailhead in about 1/2 mile. Park and begin up the very creatively constructed trail. In places, the cliffs have been blasted out so that the trail could bypass several deep canyons. At about 1 1/2 miles, a short, poorly signed trail branches off, leading quickly to a viewpoint overlooking the gorge with Metlako Falls at its head.