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Wahkeena Falls
   Multnomah County, Oregon

[ Physical Makeup ]  [ Pictures ]  [ Maps ]  [ Update History ]

The major waterfall of Wahkeena Creek may just be the most scenic waterfall along the historic Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway. Wahkeena Creek crashes from step to step down a narrow crack between bulbous basalt outcroppings in a final furious plunge before joining the Columbia River downstream. A trail leads from a commemorative monument, honoring the completion of the original Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway, at the parking area to the base of the falls, crossing on an ornate stone bridge. Wahkeena Falls is unique among the major waterfalls in this section of the Gorge in that it possesses a significant alluvial fan in both size and elevation. The base of the falls lies a good 100 vertical feet above the road, which both helps aggrandize the falls and creates an unfortunate level of foreshortening. Lofty maple trees line the cascading creek below the falls, framing the scene in outstanding fashion. Any serious photographer should plan to spend a good hour or two here at least once in their lifetime.

HISTORY AND NAMING INFORMATION

  • Wahkeena Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
  • Known Alternate Names: The Necktie, Gordon Falls

The falls were originally known as Gordon Falls. In 1915, after the completion of the original highway, the falls were renamed to Wahkeena - a Yakima Indian word meaning "most beautiful". A now abandoned spur trail to the crest of the falls once prompted the upper portion of the falls to be dubbed "The Necktie", which then led to confusion about the naming and existence of a waterfall known as Necktie Falls.

LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS

The falls are located 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls Lodge. If you're driving from I-84, turn off the freeway at the Bridal Veil exit, and proceed east along the Scenic Highway for about 1 mile to the signed falls. A picnic area is on the opposite side of the road.

Latitude

45.57371 N

Longitude

-122.12704 W

Elevation

505 feet

USGS Quadrangle

Multnomah Falls 7 1/2"

Online USGS Topographic maps on Terraserver

Aerial Photographs: Terraserver | Flash Earth

Download KML

Open this location in Google Earth

OTHER NEARBY WATERFALLS

Name

Distance

Little Necktie Falls

0.061 miles

Mist Falls

0.425 miles

Fairy Falls

0.447 miles

Dalton Falls

0.706 miles

Shady Creek Falls

0.72 miles

Multnomah Falls

0.96 miles

Dutchman Falls

1.405 miles

Wiesendanger Falls

1.493 miles

Ecola Falls

1.512 miles

Foxglove Falls

1.953 miles

 

 

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Magnitude

39.24

IWC

1.37  (Class 2)

RATING

48.99 %

 

Photo of Wahkeena Falls

[ View Pictures ]

 

PHYSICAL MAKEUP

Height

242 feet

Tallest Drop

180 feet

Num. Drops

2

AVG. Width

15 feet

Pitch

77 degrees

Run

50 feet

Primary Form

Tiered Horsetails

 

Watershed

Columbia River (Snake River to Portland)

Stream

Wahkeena Creek

AVG. Volume

35.0 cfs

Source

Springs

Seasonality

Best Flows

Winter - Spring

 
 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Search for Wahkeena Falls on Google

Information on this waterfall at the World Waterfall Database

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Flickr | PBase | Webshots | Smugmug

       
 

UPDATE HISTORY

Mar 14, 2013

Edited basic information about this waterfall

 
 
 
 
 

 

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