Day 2 started at sunrise. Waking at sunrise on vacation, you ask? Yes! It was an ideal plan for this trip as we got short waterfall hikes in before breakfast. It was very relaxing to be out in nature during the crisp, cool mornings in the Columbia River Gorge. View our itinerary here.
We started out Day 2 with a short drive from Bridal Veil Lodge to Latourell Falls and Shepperd's Dell. These waterfalls had easy trails with easy access. We ate a quick snack bar and/or fruit to give us a jolt of energy for the early morning hikes.
There are two trails at Latourell Falls. The trail to the right is the scenic route, and the trail to the left at the parking area goes to the base of the falls. We took the trail to the left. You can take steps down from the road to see Shepperd's Dell.
After our early morning hikes, we went back to Bridal Veil Lodge for breakfast, which consisted of steak, eggs, roasted onions and potatoes, fresh figs and gluten free toast with local honey. After breakfast each day, we loaded the cooler in the car for our day hikes with the packed lunches we ordered from the lodge, snacks and water bottles. We traveled down the gorge and stopped first at Multnomah Falls. This waterfall is the most popular in the gorge, and the ample parking was nearly full. It's best not to waste time and get to Multnomah just as early as you can. We parked alongside the road near the restaurant. We walked up to the overlook and to the Multnomah Falls bridge.
Traveling along the trail at the road takes you to Wahkeena Falls. We decided to keep our parking space and traveled between these two waterfalls by trail. On the hike up to Wahkeena Falls, we spotted a Pika (confirmed by a park ranger when we showed the photo). Pikas are apparently very hard and rare to spot because they make a call similar to a squirrel that they throw so it sounds like they are in a different place. It was an easy hike up to Wahkeena Falls where there is a bridge at the base of the falls.
We should have hiked on past Wahkeena up to Fairy Falls, but we didn't. We came back another day, but we've adjusted our itinerary to be most efficient so you don't waste time backtracking.
We hiked back to our parking spot near Multnomah Falls lounge and headed down the historic highway. Next stop, Oneonta Gorge! The hike through the Oneonta Gorge to see Lower Oneonta Falls was the most adventurous of the trip. I would list it moderate to difficult as wading through chest deep COLD water and climbing over a log jam was required. You'll love our fun narrated video of our Oneonta Gorge adventure.
This hike was VERY crowded. We ended up buying a cheap, inflatable raft and coming back to this waterfall during early morning for a better photo opportunity so we've adjusted our itinerary for this update as well so you don't make this hike twice. Don't worry about a backpack for the Lower Oneonta hike, and wearing a swimsuit is recommended. You just need a camera. Nice hiking shoes like my Keen hiking sandals are a must on this hike due to the wading and slippery rocks.
We walked through the tunnel to our parking spot along the highway to Horsetail Falls.
Horsetail Falls is right off the highway with a nice place to play in the water at the base of the falls.
On the way back to Bridal Veil Lodge, we drove up to Vista House (this is the white building you see overlooking the main highway). Vista House provides a nice view looking down into the Columbia River Gorge
Dinner back at the lodge was lamb chop with jasmine rice. After a long day, we prepared for the next day and hit the hay early.