HOME  |  BLOG  |  SEARCH   |  TOP 100  |  CONTRIBUTE  |  HELP  |  CONTACT  

Willamette Falls
   Clackamas County, Oregon

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

Willamette Falls is the largest waterfall in the Northwest, dropping 42 feet in a horseshoe with a crest length of approximately 1700 feet. Due to the industrialization of Oregon City, the falls have lost most of its natural appeal. The land on both sides of the river immediately adjacent to the falls harbors, among other facilities, a hydroelectric station, a paper mill and one of the oldest set of operational locks in the United States. The Willamette River averages approximately 20,000 cubic feet per second of discharge above the falls, but because of the hydroelectric facility, the majority of that gets drawn off, so the average volume of water flowing over the falls likely doesn't top 5,000 cfs. Late in the summer the presence of the hydro facility is particularly noticeable as the falls are reduced severely and have been known to go almost completely dry in drought years.

HISTORY AND NAMING INFORMATION

  • Willamette Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.

According to Oregon Geographic Names, the Willamette River was named for an Indian settlement somewhere in the vicinity of Oregon City known as "Wal-lamt", which may have meant "spill water", a reference to the falls. The falls were named for the river in the modern day. Oregon City was founded in 1845 on the banks of the falls, the paper mill opening in 1867. The city was originally known as Willamette or Willamette Falls.

LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS

There are several views of the falls available. Directions to 3 are given here. To reach all the viewpoints, drive along Interstate 205 to Oregon City / West Linn, about 15 miles south of Portland International Airport. 1 - Driving north along I-205, north bounders can get off at Exit 7 to stop at a scenic wayside, providing views down at the falls (north bound traffic only - seen above). 2 - Exit I-205 at the West Linn exit (Exit 8) and drive across the Oregon City Bridge. Distant views are had from the bridge. 3 - Proceed past the bridge views, and turn right on SR 99E for 1.2 miles to a signed viewpoint at the falls.

Latitude

45.35139 N

Longitude

-122.61917 W

Elevation

12 feet

USGS Quadrangle

Oregon City 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

Oswego Cascades

7.47 miles

 

 

See all waterfalls in Clackamas County

See all Waterfalls within the Northern Oregon Cascades

See all waterfalls in Oregon

 

Find additional waterfalls on the World Waterfall Database:

Search for additional waterfalls withn:

 

 

 

Magnitude

94.02

IWC

5.54  (Class 6)

RATING

66.38 %

 

Photo of Willamette Falls

[ View Pictures ]

 

PHYSICAL MAKEUP

Height

42 feet

Tallest Drop

42 feet

Num. Drops

1

AVG. Width

1700 feet

Pitch

68 degrees

Run

20 feet

Primary Form

Vertical Block

 

Watershed

Willamette River

Stream

Willamette River

AVG. Volume

5000.0 cfs

Source

Lake

Seasonality

12 months

Best Flows

Winter - Spring

 
 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Search for Willamette Falls on Google

Information on this waterfall at the World Waterfall Database

Search for more pictures at:
Flickr | PBase | Webshots | Smugmug

       
 

UPDATE HISTORY

Jul 29, 2011

Added a picture(s) of this waterfall

 
 
 
 
 

 

HOME
BROWSE WASHINGTON
BROWSE OREGON
BROWSE IDAHO
SEARCH DATABASE

BEST OF THE NORTHWEST
WATERFALL BLOG
MAPS
WATERFALL PHOTOGRAPHY
PURCHASE PRINTS
RECENT UPDATES

ABOUT THE NWS
FIRST TIME VISITORS
CONTACT US

CONTRIBUTE TO THE SURVEY
DISCLAIMER

All content © 2014 Northwest Waterfall Survey unless otherwise noted.
No part of this website may be reproduced, either electronically or on paper, without the author's written consent.