Oregon’s tallest volcanic mountain, Mount Hood, is a must-see landmark whenever you plan to travel out to Oregon. This mountain can be seen on the plane to the highway (as far as 100 miles too!), but it’s even better when you’re at Mount Hood National Forest. Standing at 11,249 feet high, Mount Hood’s snow-peaked features attract so many people each year and through Mount Hood National Forest, you’ll have the opportunity to see the beauty that surrounds it too.
Mount Hood National Forest includes four designated wilderness areas and 1,200+ miles of hiking trails, which is crazy big! You won’t be bored not finding a hiking trail around the national forest because there’s something for everyone.
Read on to see a hiking trail in Mount Hood National Forest that I cover here called Tamanawas Falls. This trail has an exciting waterfall to hike towards the end of and the hike there is one of the most beautiful trails I got to see during my time in Oregon.
Watch Me Explore Mount Hood and Hike Tamanawas Falls
About Mount Hood
Mount Hood is a volcano, and it is assumed to still be potentially active, but it’s likelihood of erupting soon is not very likely and it had already erupted 3 times before thousands of years ago. Discovered by European explorers in 1792, it was then discovered again by the famous explorers Lewis & Clark in 1805.
Mount Hood is also known for skiing and it is home to 6 ski areas, and it’s also almost an all-year round skiing area! Tens of thousands of people also attempt to climb Mount Hood, but unfortunately, avalanches can occur on Mount Hood and because of this, as a result of this, many lives have been lost over the years. Many climbers still successfully make it up there and become rewarded to see sights others that aren’t on there will not be able to (like glacier ice caves).
On the way to Tamanawas Falls Trail, you will already see Mount Hood from the highway and be surrounded by farms that are located there, where it then starts to lead you into a forested highway. Make sure to stop by the sides sometimes to get some epic photos of the scenery.
Tamanas Falls Trail
Length: 3.4 miles
Difficulty level: Moderate
Elevation gain: 580 feet
Route type: Out-and-back
This hike is beautiful from beginning to end! It starts off with you crossing a bridge over a powerful river and then you will slowly ascend on narrow trail ways where you can see the highway from an aerial view from your side. Most of the trail, you will be walking in a forest. What makes this hike even more special? There are so many sections of the river you will be crossing next to and you’ll constantly feel the breeze coming from these cool rivers.
Once you’re out of the forest, you’ll think you’re going into another ‘trail’ but it just continues when you continue to see the gray boulders opening up as a canyon and you’ll have to climb through them to make more of an ascend (this is going to be minor scrambling though). Continue onto the path around the corner and you’re back to the forest. You’ll eventually see the falls, which you would have to climb a bit down to, to see the beauty up close.
The 110-feet Tamanawas Falls is graced by these basaltic lava cliffs. It’s truly wondrous and lush green all around and that’s why I love these falls so much and have to say it’s one of the prettiest I’ve explored so far!
Other things to know about Tamanas Falls
As temperatures drop, the trail can be icey. I would bring hiking poles to help you safely hike better during the wintertime. I’d also consider bringing waterproof boots or trail shoes with microspikes during the cold weather. The scenery is obviously going to look different when it’s wintertime with snow or snowy flurries compared to these pics you see when I went during the summer so you may even get a glimpse of the falls frozen with many ice particles.
Don’t forget to bring water! I hiked with my Hydro Flask Trail Series bottle and it was so functional! I carried it throughout the trail with no problem and it kept my water really cold.
There are so many views for you to stop by and see the river streams too so you could find some opportunities for you to pull to the side to find a rock to just sit by these river streams when you’re at a non-elevated area and you’ll get to feel the coolness throughout your body.