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Trip Report: Wakheena Falls Loop
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Trip Report: Wakheena Falls Loop

Trip Report: Wakheena Falls Loop

--When, Where, Conditions--
When: April 23, 2015
Location: Multnomah-Wahkeena Falls Loop
Conditions: Drizzly
Duration: 4.9 miles, 3 hours 15 minutes

--Helpful Info--
Difficulty: easy hike/difficult walk
Kid Friendly? Yes, parents only kind of
Pet Friendly? Yes
Useful Links: Oregon Hikers

The Report: Last week my folks came to visit from Western Massachusetts. I wanted to give them an authentic Pacific Northwest experience, so I took them hiking in the rain. After they deemed Vanna (my van) unfit for travel, we uncomfortably packed into their rental and headed out to the Gorge. My mom had mentioned wanting to see waterfalls and I figured that the 5 named waterfalls on the Multnomah-Wahkeena Loop (under 5 miles) would suffice. My parents were excited about the numbers, however I did forget to check/mention one key stat about the trail: 1,600 feet of elevation gain.

We got to the Multnomah Trailhead around noon and it was teeming with people taking selfies in front of the falls. We decided it would be best to start from the Wahkeena Trailhead and try for a little peace and quiet. As we paralleled Interstate Highway 84 toward Wahkeena Falls, we took note of the volume of the 18 wheelers bombing down the freeway. Peace and quiet, not so much. However at the sight of Wahkeena, we all got excited. Spirits were high, some great family bonding was occurring, and I decided that I would document our trip with selfies of my own. A few minutes of hiking past the falls, the pavement ended, and our day went to hell in a hand basket.

We climbed to Lemmon's Viewpoint and my parents both expressed concern about the severity of the elevation gain, reminding me that they have been inside for months through one of the worst winters New England has ever seen. We climbed to Fairy Falls and they had lost all interest in talking to me at all. We got to the Wahkeena Spring Trail and once I had them convinced that we were done going uphill, tensions were eased and moods once again improved. The stroll along the ridge was pleasant and we began to discuss what a great job the Forest Service and Friends of Multnomah Falls do maintaining the trail. As we started to descend down the Larch Mountain Trail back toward the Multnomah Lodge, it was clear that they had recently cleaned up a few washouts.

Ecola Falls and Weisendanger Falls were both lovely, but honestly my folks had kind of had it with the waterfalls. The view from the top of Multnomah Falls was pretty neat and we pondered the speed of falling water. When we made it down the numbered switchbacks I took one final team photog and we ate at the Lodge.

Overall I would say that as an active 25 year old, this loop is a pretty manageable stroll. Yet I would also like to note that my parents have not spoken to me since and could not be reached for comment.

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