Tamanawas Falls (Oregon)

I wouldn’t call myself an experienced hardcore hiker, but I love hiking! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to do as much hiking in Oregon as I would have liked. Anybody else who wish time wasn’t always a thing? Ugh! Anyways, I did get to do a few shorter hikes when I was there. One of them was Tamanawas Falls.

The hike is approximately 4 miles long which makes it a fairly easy day hike for the whole family. The first part of the hike takes you through heavy old-growth mountain forests along clear cold spring creek.

The trail is generally shaded most of the way and gave us a nice break from the direct hot Oregon summer sun. The trail has a little detour through a large rock slide that happened in 2016, but nothing crazy. A path has been made through all of it. 

The walk through the forest is beautiful, but the main attraction is the Tamanawas Falls. Tamanawas comes from the Native American word for “friendly or guardian spirit”. It’s not a long hike, and therefor it didn’t take long before we could start to hear the roar of the waterfall, thundering out an overpowering rhythm as it leaps over 109 ft. lava cliffs in mighty bounds, to the valley below. 

When we arrived we decided to take a break in front of the waterfall and just enjoy the view. The hike is typically a popular and busy hike, but we were lucky and there weren’t too many people around.

After taking in the beauty of the fall we decided to walk behind the fall. The closer we got, the louder the roar of the water became, and I could start to feel some water from the mist splash up on me. To get behind the falls, we had to cross wet rocks with sketchy cliffs above us. If you decide to do the same please be careful.

How to get there 

Directions to Tamanawas Falls

  • From Bend, take highway 97 north for 102 miles
  • Turn right at OR 35 towards Hood River, Oregon for 15.6 miles
  • Turn right at the Sherwood Trail Parking area where the Tamanawas Falls Hike begins.

2 thoughts on “Tamanawas Falls (Oregon)

  1. Oregon is our favourite state. We (native British Columbians here in Canada) are heading there for the 3rd time in five years this summer (2019).
    We really love it for the huge variety of landscapes in such a small area. We especially like the awesome coastal scenery… the surfing, ripping up the sand dunes of Florence on ATVs, hiking to see bridges and waterfalls…
    Have you been to the Wallowas and Snake River Canyon of the northeast? The spectacular scenery there will quickly fill your camera’s memory cards.
    We’ve tried to get to Bend and the Painted Hills twice now but the smoke from the interior wildfires defeated us both times. Maybe this summer will be the charm…

    1. Oregon is absolute beautiful! I adore that state. So much beauty to discover! I can’t say I have been to either Wallowas or Snake River Canyon, but I just googled it and it looks absolutely breathtaking. I definitely need to go there next time.
      Bend is pretty amazing and the Painted Hills are so beautiful and without a doubt worth a visit. I will keep my fingers crossed that this summer will be the summer that you finally get to see it! Happy travels 🙂

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