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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

Tamanawas Falls

Updated: Apr 19

A beautiful snowy trail to a spectacular waterfall during the winter.


Tamanawas Falls

Waterfall Name: Tamanawas Falls

Waterfall Coordinates: 45.40083, -121.58944 Waterfall Elevation: 3400′ Access: Trail Distance: 3 miles (round trip)

Elevation Range: 3044' to 3645'

Ascent/Descent: +1041 ft / -1038 ft Trail Type: In and out

Trails: East Fork Trail #650 & Tamanawas Falls Trail #650 A

Permits & Fees: Northwest Forest Pass for parking Note: When we went, the snow on the trail was packed down and icy. We didn’t need snowshoes, but microspikes would have been a good idea.

Location: Near Hwy 36 in Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon, U.S.A.

Administration: Mount Hood National Forest

Ranger District: Hood River Ranger District Date accessed: 12-27-19


I found pictures of Tamanawas Falls during winter and knew I just had to go. I’m so glad I did. I went with my cousin Lauren over Christmas break. We got up at 7am and drove to the trailhead. We got there around 9:30am when the parking lot wasn’t full. We planned on having to snowshoe, but the snow wasn’t deep enough and the trail was packed down and somewhat icy.


After we put our winter gear on we started down the trail. There was a narrow bridge across the river and then the trail went up hill pretty quickly following the river. It was pretty slippery going up the hill from all the compacted snow and ice. We only fell once. The trail went up hill for 0.5 miles until it dropped downhill and met up with the Tamanawas Falls Trail. There was another bridge this one went across Cold Springs Creek. We continued up the trail as it followed its way along the creek.


The hike was gorgeous with the creek and crisp white snow. All along the creek there were icicles and ice formations clinging to the rocks and logs. We passed through a large rock slide area with huge boulders. It was sorta steep in a few sections so we made our way up the trail on both our hands and feet. As we got near to the falls there was one very icy section on the trail. Lauren was walking ahead of me and hit one patch of ice and was instantly on the ground. I decided to make my way across it on my hands and knees.

The waterfall was incredible. There were huge icicles hanging from the cliff the waterfall fell off of. The mist from the waterfall traveled quite a distance. We found a nice spot to sit with a view of the waterfall to eat a snack. We sat on our rain jackets so our butts wouldn’t get wet, but that didn’t stop the cold from coming through. We hung out at the waterfall for about a half hour before we decided to make our way back down the trail.


On the way back we stopped by a beautiful part of the creek where there was a little waterfall and pool of water. Lauren being the crazy and wild soul she is went for a dip in the water swimming clear across to the other side and back. I enabled and videoed.

Certain parts of the trail that were steep we just slid down on our butts since it was pretty much all snow and ice. Nothing sharp to cut ourselves on. There were definitely a lot more people on the trail on the way back and we were thankful we got to there early and didn’t have to fight with the mid day masses. My advice when doing this trail is start earlier in the day if you want a less people experience.



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My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your safety, any possible injury, or anything that happens if you choose to follow anything on this website. Maps are not intended to be used for navigational purposes, but to give an overview of the route taken. By going outdoors you are solely responsible to know your strengths and limitations, be aware of current conditions and proceed with the appropriate caution. My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your choices and the outcome. Reference my disclaimer for more information on being responsible outdoors.

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