Looking like a giant, upside-down pitchfork made of water, Triple Falls is a stunning sight to behold. Located along the Columbia River Gorge near Portland, this is a popular hike, and for good reason: the lush trail and year-round accessibility to such a wonderful water treat is well worth the effort.
There are two main routes to Triple Falls. The route we describe begins at the Oneonta Trail trailhead, located just west of Oneonta Gorge. (The other route begins at Horsetail Falls, a quick half-mile drive or walk to the east).
From clearly signed Oneonta Trail trailhead, this well-maintained trail gains elevation in several bursts through a series of switchbacks. At just under a half-mile, reach a signed junction. Stay right (straight) and continue upward through lush forest high above the Oneonta Creek.
Round a blind corner at 1.65 miles and prepare for a jaw-dropping experience as you catch your first glimpse of Triple Falls. For the best view of the falls, take the short spur to your left out onto the natural overlook ledge. Use caution as you enjoy the vista of three cascading falls nearly 130' in height drop down onto Oneonta Creek.
Once you can tear yourself away, push onward for another 0.10 miles to a sturdy wooden bridge that spans Oneonta Creek just upstream from the falls. As the water rushes beneath your feet, you have a decision to make: continue onward or turn back. For those that continue on, the trail eventually reaches Larch Mountain about 6.5 miles away, but most people just continue on another mile or so, enjoying the rushing creek just an arms-length away.
Permits & Tips
No parking permits required. No toilets or water available at the trailhead, but you can head west (about two miles) to the Multnomah Falls Visitor Center for full facilities and more info about hikes in the area. Don't leave valuables in the car; this area is notorious for prowlers. The parking lot is small, so if necessary, head east just down the road to either the Oneonta Gorge lot or the Horsetail Falls lot.
How to get there
From Portland, head east on I-84/US-30 to exit 28. Stay on the exit ramp as it merges onto E Bridal Veil Road. Continue on the Historic Columbia River Highway for 5.3 miles. The parking lot and trailhead are on the north (left) side of the road.