This out-and-back run through lush forest and a fern laden canyon leads to one of the more beautiful falls in the Columbia River Gorge. A little navigating at the start of this out-and-back run pays off big with a beautiful waterfall cascading from large formations of basalt. And although it's not devoid of people, the crowds are noticeably smaller than other Columbia River Gorge runs. Enjoy!
A long, gradual climb along non-technical terrain makes for good exercise as you head to a beautiful waterfall.
Getting to the trail requires a tiny bit of effort as the route navigates the roads of Cascade Locks. Don't worry, you'll soon find your way to the singletrack.
From the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead, cross the road and begin following the trail that parallels the freeway. Ahead, follow Moody Street under I-84 and stay with it until it heads to the left. From there, a short distance along a gravel road brings runners to the Pacific Crest Trail and Gorge Trail #400. Take the left option onto PCT Leg 3 Cascade Locks to Herman Creek.
The 2-mile trail leading to Herman Creek is lined with a diverse variety of ferns, sheltered under Douglas fir, big leaf and vine maples. At the bridge crossing Herman Creek, turn right and go 2/10 mile along the creek to the base of the falls. Herman Creek is a quintessential Columbia Gorge creek, flowing over moss covered stones, logs and bracken. Dry Creek
Falls is a 50-ft waterfall cascading through basalt cliffs to a catch basin, worth taking a dip into during warmer summer days.
The grade steepens a bit, but remains gradual for the remainder of the run. After about a mile of climbing through a pleasant forest, the route follows an access road strung with power lines before returning to singletrack. A gradual, half-mile descent leads to the Dry Creek Service Road
. Turn right on the road to complete the brief and final leg to the falls.
Falls is a rather striking stream of water that spills out between towering formations of striated rock. Babbling channels flow from the base of the falls, adding to the ambiance of this mossy grotto. After you've enjoyed yourself at the falls, simply retrace your way back to the trailhead.
This content was contributed by the Friends of the Columbia Gorge. To find more hikes they recommend and to learn about their efforts to support the Columbia Gorge, click here