As Cold Spring Creek flows away from the eastern side of Mt. Hood, it tumbles over a 125-foot cliff to form a thundering wall of water known as Tamanawas Falls. The easy 4-mile out and back, 500-foot elevation gain hike is one of my family’s favorites.
Known for its stunning color in fall, its formidable icy amphitheater in winter, and its scenic creek, the Tamanawas Falls hike is a solid choice whenever you decide to make the trek. The path to Tamanawas crosses multiple bridges as it ambles its way up through a forested Canyon. The clear waters of Cold Spring Creek are a constant and welcome companion for most of the hike.
If you’re up for a bit of an adventure, you can tip-toe your way through a mossy talus field to the cave behind the falls. This little journey is doable for kids, but make sure they take their time and mind their footing. There is plenty of room to sit and enjoy the view, but don’t expect it be quiet. The ground rumbles and the falls thunder from this vantage; which can be exciting for some kids but could be a bit scary for others.
To get there take I 84 east to Hood River. Head south on Highway 35 around Mt. Hood to the East Fork Trailhead near milepost 72. Park near the north end of the pullout.
Start by walking down through the woods towards the sound of the East Fork of the Hood River. From here, cross a large footbridge and turn right onto the East Fork Trail. After half a mile, stay left at the junction with the Cold Springs Trail and cross Cold Spring Creek. Continue hiking along the creek for another 1.3 miles to Tamanawas Falls. Head back the way you came.