Elowah Falls and Upper McCord Creek Falls
Portland - Columbia River Gorge
Upper McCord Creek Falls plunges 64' along McCord Creek above Elowah Falls. This short but vertigo-inducing hike runs across a rail-guarded catwalk to the viewing area. Elowah Falls drops 213' into a large, lichen-covered amphitheater in a rainforest-like setting.
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Upper McCord Creek splits in two neat segments and drops 64' before making a 213' plunge as Elowah Falls
The final approach to Upper McCord Falls crosses a rail-aided cliff that may be uncomfortable for some; while the rail provides some measure of security, it's not fail-safe and hikers should avoid leaning on or over it
At peak times Elowah Falls can be a misty (if not drenching) proposition!
It's believed that Upper McCord Creek Falls once had a third segment, but upstream debris has blocked its path and redirected flow into the two segments we see today
It's estimated that before European settlement, 16M salmon and steelhead to returned to the Columbia and its tributaries to spawn; that number has been reduced to less than 1M as a result of human development and habitat loss
Dense vegetation and lichen-moss covered walls of the amphitheater create a rainforest-like setting for Elowah Falls
Mild grades and good maintenance make Elowah Falls a family-friendly hike
The modern Columbia River basin took shape 12,000-19,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age as massive ice dams in NW Montana repeatedly gave way and water walls rushed seaward
Major tributaries of the Columbia River include the Kootenai, Pend Oreille/Clark’s Fork/Flathead, Spokane, Okanogan, Methow, Yakima, Snake, Umatilla, John Day, Deschutes, White Salmon, Wind, Sandy, Willamette, Lewis and Cowlitz rivers
Upper McCord Creek Falls