Searching for the falls

Posted by on Aug 11, 2012 in Hiking Adventures, National Forests | No Comments

On a recent visit to Oregon, we decided we just had to go see a waterfall. The one my husband chose as a “Couch Potato Hike” – labeled easy – was Wahclella Falls. When we arrived, we found no parking in the lot nearest to the trailhead. Leaving the lot, we headed up the road, looking for a spot to park. Maneuvering into a spot with a drop-off, we settled in and got our gear to go hiking.

Wahclella Fall Trailhead Sign

The start of our 2 mile hike.

What we didn’t do was leave a pass in our windshield so we were “legal” to park in the area. Back at the trailhead, I decided to go back to the car and leave a pass so we wouldn’t be in trouble and have an unhappy surprise when we finished our hike.

Once out on the trail, the first part of the trail was quite flat, definitely qualifying as an easy hike. Then, just about 10 minutes after we started, we found the path was rocky, steeper, and not at all an easy hike.

We persevered. Further on, we were faced with a fork in the road. We chose the right fork, which went downhill. Not too much further, the path led us through switchbacks and got steeper. We kept going, eventually seeing a wooden ramp that headed uphill again.

 Wooden path at Wahclella Falls Loop

Part of the “not-so-easy” trail to Wahclella Falls

Uphill Climb at Wahclella Falls

Beyond the fork in the road & the switchbacks, lies the uphill climb to Wahclella Falls


Passing a family whose son had fallen in the mud, we could see rapidly flowing water and began to see the falls from a wooden footbridge.

Suddenly, we were just across from the falls, which has spewing water and making the air misty. Dozens of photos later, I hiked a little further to get another angle and more photos.

Wahclella Falls - Oregon

Well worth the hike…a stunning view of the falls

Satisfied that we had seen the falls, we headed back, knowing that we would complete the loop that started at the left fork we had previously not chosen. The way back was not difficult. We felt a sense of accomplishment that we had been able to see a waterfall and enjoy the rush of water, the power of nature.

And, you might wonder, why have I spoken of this?

Perhaps it is Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” personified. We chose a route, even though it was harder than we thought, and succeeded. It gave us something powerful to experience and remember. I was glad we’d taken the hike.

And the metaphor is that no matter what you experience – or how hard it is to be successful – you can learn something, and find a measure of pleasure and satisfaction, by just completing the task.

Hiking is just one way to enjoy nature. I invite you to find your own paths and create your own memorable success. See you on the trail!

For more great information on hiking Wahclella Falls or other great hikes in the area, click here.

For great information on a plethora of other hikes, all throughout the United States, consider purchasing your very own copy of Hiking for the Couch Potato!