Wahclella Falls

300 Feet
2 miles Round Trip
Brian, Myself
Wahclella Falls Hiking Photos

NW Hiker Trail Info

Wahclella Falls is a great waterfall that sits back off about one mile in a small canyon. The hike starts with walking along a service road, which leads to an odd fish ladder structure that is constantly monitored.

Just beyond the fish ladder structure the access road turns into a wide trail following the Tanner Creek upstream. The trail crosses over a short bridge, which was built because of the great amount of run off from snow melt. There is a great waterfall that rushes down the rock face flowing into Tanner Creek. I always enjoy hiking many of the trails of the gorge during the rainy/ wet season because there are more seasonal waterfalls visible and the year around falls are much more powerful.

About a half mile into the hike you will come to a trail juncture, which allows you to do a looping hike. I always veer to the left hiking up the steeper trail – getting the more difficult part out of the way first and plus there are fewer people that choose this direction (the first 100 ft or so is kind of steep so it looks a little daunting, but then it levels out).

The canyon is wide and open with a good amount of trees and vegetation. Even with how open the canyon feels Wahclella Falls still seems extremely huge and powerful. Wahclella Falls is a two part falls also including a small side falls (winter run off) that flows into the mid section. The force of the water falling creates a mist that can carries a long ways giving you a taste of the chilliness of the frigid ice cold water.

[Wahclella Falls – with the mist getting to the lens of my camera]

After snapping a few quick shots before getting completely soaked we retreat to the other side of Tanner Creek – a much more protected area from the cold misting falls. The creek is much more calm and clear, but the current is still swift.  The canyon walls are formed by aged basalt columns that have eroded over time. In one area there is a small cave that goes a surprisingly long ways (further depending on how big you are/ how claustrophobic you are as well). I geared up with a headlamp and began my short-lived spelunking journey and was quickly distracted with a lizard crawling in the distance.

[A good ole cave lizard]

We continued our loop along the Westside of the canyon. Making the loop gives you great perspective of the size of the canyon. Along the Westside of the canyon you are at a better vantage point to view Tanner Creek. The white water makes it tempting to want to kayak.

Just as we were leaving the sun started to shine through the clouds and more people started to show up. This hike is a great family trail – its short, relatively easy and there is some great educational opportunities along the trail (wildflowers, wildlife, etc). Also, depending on how ambitious you are feeling this could be either a starting/ending hike – there are many other great hikes that can be accessed from the same parking area.

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