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Ramona Falls Loop

Rhododendron, Oregon

4.7/5
based on 12 reviews

Details

Distance

7.17 miles

Elevation Gain

1148 ft

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Mike Hathenbruck

Seven mile loop 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!

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

This is a great hike. Get an early start and have lunch at the falls. Tremendous amounts of blown down trees to look at as well. When crossing the log over the water, don't look down and you'll be fine.

I really enjoyed this one. There’s a lot of variety along the way and I had a good time sitting by the “beach” and just watching the river go by. If you’re lucky you might spot some fish!

This is a favorite hike in the area for good reason. The trail is relatively flat with little elevation gain. There is one river crossing that can be difficult but as of last fall, there was a large log across the water that was used as a make-shift bridge. I recommend to do this hike super early in the morning or later afternoon if you plan to go on a weekend. This is also a great trail if you want to start trail running and want something a little bit easier!

Go with friends. You won't regret it!

I really enjoyed this easy hike, which I ended up doing alone. I did get a little lost right after crossing the river because I went right instead of left :). There is a rock formation leading you to the trail, so look for that! I started the hike around 8:00 am and I was the only person at the Falls, which is really beautiful. On my way back (around 10:30 am), I saw a ton of small groups heading toward the Falls, so I could tell it gets significantly more crowded in the afternoon. I highly recommend Ramona Falls if you want a relatively easy but longer hike. The waterfalls are really pretty, but you should expect to spend 3-4 hours here! You can also continue onto the Timberline Trail from the Falls or from the PCT route at this trailhead.

The views of Mt. Hood from the trail are unreal! I got a little lost at the river crossing even with a map from the ranger station - keep an eye out for the rocks forming a path and you'll be Gucci.

Most importantly: the bridge across the Sandy River is completely washed out, there are only a couple small (but relatively safe) logs to get across. Some dogs were fine, ended up having to carry across my Australian Shepard mix. If your dog is not scared like mine or can be easily carried, this is a dog friendly hike! If your dog gets easily scared or is old this isn't the hike for them. Otherwise, wonderful hike!

Superb

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.

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.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Burnt Lake and Zigzag Mountain

McNeil Point via Top Spur Trailhead

Timberline Loop Trail via the Top Spur Trail

Hike to Sandy Glacier Caves

Hike to Little Zig Zag Falls

Mirror Lake Trail