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Latourell Falls and “town”

August 28, 2013 1 comment

Our time in the Pacific Northwest is drawing to a close, and today we took one of our last waterfall hikes.  This time, it was to Latourell Falls, about 40 miles from Portland in the Columbia Gorge.  Not a difficult hike, maybe 1.5 miles and modest uphill.  But a great view of Latourell Falls.

The bottom falls are an easy walk from the parking lot.  A very short, steep, paved path takes you to a terrific view of Lower Falls.  Then, a nice hike through heavy forests takes you to the upper falls, an entirely different look.   There were some trees that exhibited strange growth patterns.

After that, we took the long ways down to visit the old 1880’s lumber town of Latourell.  It’s mostly gone, but this was a bustling town in the late 1880’s.  It boasted 6 saloons, hotels, and presumably other attractions for hard working men.  It became a popular spot for Portlanders, who too a ferry up the Columbia, hiked to the town, and partied.  Some even walked to the falls for a look.  There isn’t much left, we found an old structure in the woods, as well as some of the last of the now deserted homes.

A view of Lower Latourell Falls,  246 ft high.

A view of Lower Latourell Falls, 246 ft high.

Upper Latourell Falls, probably some 200 ft tall.

Upper Latourell Falls, probably some 200 ft tall.

Remains of an old structure in the hills

Remains of an old structure in the hills

One of the remaining old homes, now abandoned

One of the remaining old homes, now abandoned

Romola by a strange tree

Romola by a strange tree

John by a strange tree

John by a strange tree

This bridge built by the CCC in the 1930's

This bridge built by the CCC in the 1930’s

Wahkeena and Latourell Falls

September 2, 2011 1 comment

A few more spectacular falls along the Columbia Gorge!  Both Falls have great tourist appeals on the bottom, next to the historic Columbia River Road.  They are easy to drive to and easy to see.  But both Falls have another personality…  take the time to hike up several miles, mostly along the river, and you will see spectacular mountain and river views, with many more falls along the way.

Yes, it takes some energy, as these trails usually involve climbing, up to some 1,300 feet in a mile or two.  And yes,there are places where you really have to use some caution, as a miss-step can result in some nasty injuries, even death.  But use some care, and you will be rewarded wioth a very pleasant hike and more great scenery.

Tourist view of Wahkeena Falls

But hike along the river a ways....

And you get to the very photogenic Fairy Falls.

Tourist view of Latourell Falls

A slightly closer view

And here is Upper Latourell Falls

John, in an unusual split tree trunk

Not to be outdone, Romola found a strange tree trunk too

Looking south from Crown Point

And, looking north from Crown Point

Zooming in on Beacon Rock

 

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