Itching to visit some of the prettiest waterfalls in Oregon with your kiddos? Oregon is a treasure trove of natural wonders. And the waterfalls in the Beaver State are some of the best in America!
Nothing compares to the stunning rushing waters, gorges, and canyons that you can visit in Oregon. The Columbia River Gorge area is a hotspot for family-friendly waterfalls in the state.
Whether you are looking for short hikes with waterfalls, roadside waterfalls, or something a little more challenging for the experienced hikers in your family, you can find what you are looking for and more in beautiful Oregon.
Let’s get started!
Waterfalls in Oregon Map
If you are taking a Pacific Coast road trip or if your simply spending some time exploring the Pacific North West, consider checking out some of the incredible family-friendly waterfalls in Washington as well!
22 Prettiest Waterfalls In Oregon That Families Love
***Keep in mind that waterfalls and trails close due to fire danger and other risks. Be sure to check openings before visiting***
Let’s start with the most popular waterfall in Oregon, Multnomah Falls. When it comes to kid-friendly waterfalls in Oregon, this is one of the best! More than two million people visit this stunning waterfall every year.
The waterfall stands at 620 feet high a gorgeous arched bridge stretched across in front of the waterfall. About thirty miles east of Portland, this waterfall makes a great day trip as it is one of the best waterfalls near Portland.
This breathtaking waterfall effortlessly makes the list of the best family-friendly waterfalls in Oregon. It gets its name from the Yakama word that means the most beautiful. This 242-foot waterfall is tiered and while it isn’t as tall as Multnomah Falls, it is still remarkable and well worth a visit.
This waterfall has a nearby trail called the Wahkeena Trail that begins just west of the viewing platform for the falls. The trail is 2.8 miles and is full of lush scenery along with views of waterfalls, stonework, and the Columbia River.
One of the best waterfalls for families in Oregon is Abiqua Falls. The trail to the waterfall is also one of the best short trails in Oregon for families. Only 0.7 miles out and back near Scotts Mills, Oregon, the trail is rated as moderate in difficulty.
You should plan on spending around half an hour hiking to the falls. Then, when you arrive at the waterfall you will see the beautiful rock facings that are reminiscent of the Giants Causeway. The water rushing into the emerald pool below is a stunning display of Oregon’s natural beauty. Don’t forget to add Abiqua Falls to your list of must-visit waterfalls in Oregon.
When it comes to Oregon waterfalls, Tamanawas Falls is one of the most highly rated. For families with older kids and those who are experienced hikers, this 3.4-mile out-and-back trail is a dream. Ranked as moderate in difficulty, this trail in the Mount Hood National Forest is very popular.
This waterfall is best visited from May through October. You should plan on spending between an hour and a half and two hours hiking the trail to the falls.
Explorers will be happy to know that you can crawl behind the waterfall under the rock ledge to see things from a different perspective. Your little ones will love this! Just be careful on the slippery rocks. For little adventurers, this is one of the best kid-friendly waterfalls in Oregon.
Ahh, the beautiful Hidden Falls. Among the greatest Oregon waterfalls for families is this glorious little waterfall near Damascus. The trail is a fairly easy journey and is around 1.2 miles out and back. If you have been looking for Portland waterfalls to visit with little ones, put Hidden Falls on your OR itinerary.
You will find Hidden Falls Nature Park around 25 minutes from Portland. Dogs are welcomed on a leash and the trail is paved, so most travelers are able to hike this trail and see the waterfall for themselves. So, if you are looking for waterfalls in Oregon that are accessible, keep Hidden Falls in mind.
Another one of the waterfalls near Portland for families is Latourell Falls. The loop trail to the falls is around two miles and is located in Guy W. Talbot State Park.
The trail is super dreamy and really showcases the beauty that we’ve all come to expect from the Oregon wilderness. A beautiful wooden footbridge will take you across the creek onto a paved path that leads to the waterfall. Like many of the waterfalls in Oregon, the trail to the falls is dog friendly.
Horsetail Falls & Ponytail Falls
For those wanting to visit waterfalls in Portland, Oregon, Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls should be on your radar. This 0.9-mile trail offers one of the best hikes near Portland.
You can see both waterfalls in less than an hour of hiking; this is perfect for everyone who is not big on hiking, but still wants to experience nature while in Oregon.
Both kid-friendly and dog-friendly, this trail in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area leads to two of the highly loved waterfalls in Oregon.
Shellburg Falls is among the greatest Oregon hiking waterfalls. The trail is rated as moderate in difficulty and is 3.5 miles in length. The loop trail only gains around 680 feet in elevation and doggos are welcome on a leash.
The falls are located in the Santiam State Forest where wildflower viewing and mountain biking are popular.
Walking down the narrow path and wooden staircase to see the powerful waterfall is magical, no matter your age. Like most of the waterfalls in Oregon, you can see stunning greenery and moss-covered rocks surrounding the falls.
The Henline Falls Trail in Willamette National Forest is among the short hikes in Oregon that you should consider visiting while you are in the state. The hike takes you through a Douglas-fir and Western Hemlock forest that ends at the picturesque Henline Falls.
Both a dog-friendly and kid-friendly waterfall trail, the elevation gain is mild at 250 feet and the length of the trail is less than two miles, making this one of the best waterfalls in Oregon to visit as a family.
Related article: 12 Amazing Waterfalls In New Mexico That Families Love
Pup Creek Falls
A list of the best waterfalls in Oregon would not be complete without including the multi-tiered Pup Creek Falls. Portland hikes are highly sought after and the trail to Pup Creek Falls is a great hike to choose when you are in the area. Around an hour from Portland, this trail is ideal for older kids and those who are more experienced hikers.
Clackamas River Trail will take you to this waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate in difficulty and is a long 8.5 miles out and back. It has been argued that Pup Creek Falls is the most underrated waterfall trail in Oregon. You won’t want to miss this waterfall!
Those looking for hiking trails with waterfalls in Oregon will love Tumalo Falls. If you want to spend a few hours hiking to a breathtaking waterfall, this one in the Deschutes National Forest is a great choice.
This area is super popular among travelers looking to do a bit of hiking and waterfall hunting. The trail only gains around 550 feet in elevation and is dog friendly. Also popular with bikes, be prepared to share the trail.
Some of the best hiking in Oregon can be found on the trail to Proxy Falls. The Proxy Falls Loop Trail is a short 1.6 miles and only gains around 150 feet in elevation. The vibe at this waterfall is amazing. You and your family can walk across a long fallen tree across the creek to reach the falls.
Standing at the bottom of this waterfall is an amazing experience. Tall and wide, Proxy Falls is massive. It is best visited from March to November for the best visiting experience.
The trail to Toketee Falls provides one of the best hikes in Oregon. Standing at a whopping 112 feet tall, the North Umpqua River has carved a gorge from a lava flow that has resulted in this remarkable fantasy-like waterfall in Oregon.
The breathtaking surrounding and dramatic water drop make this one of the best waterfalls in Oregon. With rock walls rising above both sides of the waterfall, this area certainly feels like something from a classic fantasy novel!
The trail is just under one mile out and back and only gains around 160 feet in elevation, making it a great option for those who aren’t big hiking fans. Also kid and dog-friendly, this waterfall is a must-see in Oregon!
McDowell Creek Waterfall
The iconic wooden stairs and footbridges around the McDowell Creek Waterfall make for a fantastic place to take pictures and daydream! Roughly sixteen miles east of the town of Lebanon, the waterfall is open year-round. The park where the falls is welcomes guests to see the lush green areas and breathtaking vistas of Royal Terrace.
The bridges and viewing decks that rest along the three miles worth of hiking trails and green areas in the park are perfect places to renew your love of life and nature. McDowell Creek Falls also offers fishing and wading in the pools beneath the waterfall.
Salt Creek Falls
By far one of the most remarkable waterfalls in Oregon, Salt Creek Falls is an elegant cascade that plunges into Salt Creek. This creek is a tributary of the Middle Fork Willamette River. You will be thrilled to learn that this incredible natural feature can be reached via a kid-friendly and dog-friendly hiking trail!
A short one-mile walk will lead you to the falls. This area is very popular so you will likely meet others along the trail. A few things to keep in mind: it usually takes around a half hour to complete the hike and the best time to see wildflowers around the falls is early to mid-June.
Oregon has so many waterfalls that offer views that are mind-blowing. But, what about Paulina Falls? You can find this waterfall draining from Paulina Lake at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument just south of Bend, Oregon.
Surrounded by a thicket of conifer species, the waterfall offers visitors a chance to see a stunning Oregon natural wonder without having to put forth so much effort.
A short out-and-back trail that only gains around 100 feet in elevation will lead right to the falls. Only around half a mile, this trail is perfect for nearly every type of hiker. With a complete time averaging less than twenty minutes, this makes for a great pit stop to get fresh air on a road trip as well.
Easily one of the best waterfalls in Oregon, don’t overlook the intriguing Paulina Falls!
The spectacular Koosah and Sahalie Falls Trail is a 2.9-mile loop trail that takes you to the picturesque Sahalie Falls. This is a moderately difficult trail that takes between an hour and an hour and a half to complete.
Dogs are welcome on leash and the area is perfect for all types of outdoor activities. Camping, bird watching, mountain biking, and other activities are all popular in the area around the falls. The closest town to the falls is McKenzie Bridge, Oregon which is a hotspot for white water rafting!
Drift Creek Falls
Gaining just over 500 feet, the 3.2 out and back trail called the Drift Creek Falls Trail will take you to this stunning waterfall. As one of the best waterfalls in Oregon, Drift Creek Falls is an absolute dream which can be viewed from the bottom of the falls or from up above on the suspension bridge.
The trail is ranked as easy in difficulty and takes around an hour and a half to complete, longer if you are hiking with little ones who are always stopping to check out the sticks and stones along the path.
You can find the tumbling Kentucky Falls in Mapleton, Douglas County, Oregon. There is a lovely viewing deck and bench that sits close to the falls, so close that you can feel the cool spray of the falls which is lovely in the summer months. This area is ideal for picnics or playing in the creek.
The trail to the falls gains less than 1000 feet of elevation and is ranked as moderate in difficulty. The length is just over three and a half miles and usually takes between two hours and two and a half hours to hike.
If you are looking for the best waterfalls in Oregon that you can swim in, this is one of them! There’s a fun little swimming hole beneath the falls that your family is sure to love!
Sweet Creek Falls
This four-tier cascade is the ultimate family-friendly waterfall in Oregon. Sweet Creek Falls is near Mapleton on Highway 126. The four tiers ranged from ten feet to thirty feet drops. The easy 2.2-mile hike takes place on Sweet Creek Trail.
The trail has small pools, wooden bridges, dirt trails, and other fun features that kids will love. There are actually four trailheads that will take you to the falls. If you start at the first trailhead you will hike the full 2.2 miles to the waterfall. If you want to hike just part of the trail for a quicker journey to the waterfall, you can choose one of the closer parking lots/trailheads.
One of the more remarkable Oregon falls, Watson Falls is a draw-dropping waterfall in Umpqua National Forest. The 0.4-mile trail will take you to this stunning waterfall that drops nearly 300 feet down a vertical cliff.
With tons of parking and picnic tables nestled into the woods, this is a great destination on any Oregon itinerary.
The trail itself is a 0.8-mile loop trail that only gains around 350 feet in elevation, making it perfect for children and those not wanting to hike too far to reach a little slice of Oregon beauty.
As one of the best waterfalls in Oregon, be sure to add Watson Falls to your dream Oregon bucket list!
Punch Bowl Falls
This remarkable waterfall can be reached by taking one of the more popular Oregon hiking trails in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The trail is ranked as easy and is 4.8 miles in total. You’ll have to take the Eagle Creek to Punchbowl Falls trail.
You can plan on spending between 2h15 minutes and three hours hiking to the falls. The trail is open year-round and dogs are welcome on a leash. While the trail is stunning and it being easy in difficulty are absolute treats, what really makes this one of the best waterfalls in Oregon is the dramatic pool beneath the falls.
The long pool has moss-covered rock cliffs on both sides which come close to coming together in a circle. Looking between the cliffs and seeing the waterfall tumbling into the pool is an amazing site that you won’t want to miss!
Now that you’ve had a look at some of the best kid-friendly waterfalls in Oregon, which of these stunning natural features will you visit first?
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