Hike to Ramona Falls

Oregon Ramona Falls Trailhead

Added by Mike Hathenbruck

  • Seven mile roundtrip hike through plush green forests and sandy river "beaches", and relatively little elevation gain, ~1000'
  • Great view of Mount Hood near the Sandy River
  • Ramona Falls trail is a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail
  • Amazing photo opportunities
  • Tons of other hikes in the area

I'd been wanting to do this hike for quite a while, and when I found work taking me to Portland, I made my return trip through the Mt. Hood wilderness area. I started this Hike from the Ramona Falls trailhead, which is the most popular starting point. The easiest way to find the trailhead, is to type "Zig Zag Ranger Station" into a maps app. The turn off (Lolo Pass Road) is pretty much directly north from the ranger station, where you can stop to buy your wilderness pass...I believe it was $5.

Once on Lolo Pass Road, the trailhead is incredibly easy to find, with signs directing you at every turn. After you're parked, loaded up, and are on the trail, about a few hundred yards up, you'll have to stop and fill out a wilderness pass...there were actually two rangers there when I arrived, to assist anyone who had questions. Now for the fun part...this hike was arguably the most rewarding hike I've ever done. There are a few areas with no tree cover, you almost feel like you're in a desert, and you'll consume most of your water in these areas. As for the rest of the trail, you're in dense tree cover. The temperature cools off dramatically, and you're gifted a little stream that runs along a good portion of the trail. This stream has many small waterfalls...I'm not sure about you, but I love listening to water flow down a mountain. After about 3.5 miles, you'll reach the falls, and any grimacing that may be on your face will instantly disappear.

For Photographers: I almost didn't make it to the falls because I kept stopping to take pictures of all the mini falls, mossy rocks, green forests with spotted light, Hood, and the water soaked rock faces. I did this hike in harsh light, around noon, but that was a bonus in the tree cover. The light wasn't very optimal when I reached Ramona Falls, though. The top part of the falls super bright, while the bottom portion was in shadow...Nothing multiple exposures won't fix. All in all, very scenic!

Pack List

  • Day Pack
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • GoPro
  • Trail Shoes
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Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

7 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

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How to Get There

3 months ago

Ramona Falls/PCT

Superb

3 months ago

5 months ago

Long, but pet friendly

This hike was a tad bit too long for a waterfall that didn't impress me as much. However, it's nice that there are a lot of adventurers who bring their dogs with them and I can tell those little furry friends love it here. You might want to check out Panther Creek Falls instead if you don't plan on spending over 3 - 4 hours here.

5 months ago

7 months ago

Stunning Hike - Risky Crossing

The whole trail was incredibly beautiful, especially the North fork that followed a small stream and volcanic cliff. We hiked in mid-May and the flowers were just starting to bloom. The falls itself is massive and stunning, and the surrounding forest is very picturesque. The log crossing options are fairly stable but still quite risky, not something I would try if there was heavy rain, ice, or major snowmelt. People have died here so be careful.

7 months ago

10 months ago

YES

This is an easy hike to the falls and very beautiful. Always crowded though. I recommend continuing on past the falls, there are lots of directions to travel past the falls, all with great beauty. I recommend this trail to everyone

10 months ago

over 1 year ago

This was a great 4hr long easy trail to do with my dog. The only issue we had was locating the trail after crossing the river (keep left and you'll find a small path marked with rocks). Elevation gain was gradual and it was fun going through three different ecosystems! Many spots for my dog to cool herself down in the water (not ideal for human swimming, though). The falls itself were beautiful!

over 1 year ago

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