Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pics: Upper Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls is the first big waterfall you encounter heading east into the Columbia Gorge. It's quite photogenic and tourist-friendly: There's a nice viewpoint right at the parking lot, another one just uphill, and a short trail segment leads down to the base of the falls. People generally hit a couple of those viewpoints, take a few quick photos, and hit the road to the next waterfall. It's understandable, and it's what I've generally done until now. The trail goes on from there, though, and is part of a 2.4 mile loop that continues on to Upper Latourell Falls, the subject of today's mini-adventure. It's nowhere near as big as the lower falls, but it's nice, and it's much less crowded. It's worth a stop if you aren't in a big hurry to get back on the road.

I'd realized a while ago that I had no recollection of ever visiting the upper falls, so I made a note to check it out next time I was out in the Gorge. I hiked the loop trail in the direction that went directly to the upper falls, and the trail didn't look familiar at all. I'm almost positive I'd never been there before. It's a short and reasonably easy trail, and it's the closest Gorge hike to Portland, and somehow I'd just never gotten around to trying it until now. That's quite the oversight and I'm not sure how I managed it. Just one of those things, I guess.

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