Wahkeena Falls to [Fairy Falls] to Multnomah Falls Trail, Oregon
Legends speak of the various tribes and creatures that used to inhabit the Pacific Northwest. From monstrous sea creatures to mountainous trolls, all forms of mythic creatures have been written about in the sacred woods of Multnomah. Yet the rarest and most fascinating of these beings are the fairies. Congregating mostly around waterfalls in the high upper mountain regions these pesky winged creatures only come around if you are deemed worthy. No map can find them, no camera can capture them, but if you are lucky enough, you can catch a glimpse of their magic at work when you enter the falls. For this reason, the falls atop Multnomah have been named Fairy Falls.
When Lynn and I looked through photo blogs of Oregon before our trip we saw many pictures of the Multnomah/Fairy Falls region and we were hooked. After the long hike up the mountain and past the crowds we found the land level slightly before splitting into two paths. With a sigh of relief we approached the sign in front of us.
“I think it is the path to the right, over that rock bridge.” She said, pointing to the faded line that traveled up into the mountain.
“Are you sure that is the right trail loop?” I asked, not seeing Fairy Falls on the map.
“But look loves.” She said pointing to a label on the map. In faded tan print over a two mile section of trail the sign read “Many Waterfalls,.”
“Well, What are we waiting for then?” I said with a grin. With that she smiled excitedly and ran in front of me on a new adventure.
The path from the top of the mountain to Fairy Falls was exactly as advertised. As we hugged the mountain on our right and walked along a small curvy path around the mountain, small waterfalls began popping up all around us. We took a few detours from the path to dip our feet in the water of the more shallow waterfalls. The higher we climbed up the mountain the more dramatic the falls became. Some shorter falls with amazing power others with a more gentle fall over rocky cliffs, the waterfalls were as unique as snowflakes. We reached the ascent to the summit and the waterfalls disappeared. We stopped at the summit to look at another map and discuss our next course of action. Had we missed Fairy Falls? We had seen many waterfalls, as promised but none of them looked like Fairy Falls. Maybe there was less water there this time of year? We decided to head back down in the direction we thought the falls were in. Our confident guessing was rewarded as we turned a sharp corner and the falls materialized before us.
Living up to the hype Fairy Falls was breathtaking. Water cascaded down a natural pyramid rock formation, causing the cliff to smooth over. A few long exposure shots later and we felt satisfied that we had captured the falls and all its magic. Thinking our adventure had reached its end, we ate our lunch and packed away the camera equipment. But by putting away the tripod, I involuntarily volunteered my shoulder to become the new tripod. The magic of Fairy Falls kept on giving as the mighty river that makes the falls, created three or four smaller waterfalls on our way back down to the car. At every turn and every river crossing I would lend my shoulder to Lynn to stabilize the camera for the perfect long exposure shot. Overall, I would say that this hike is perfect for adventure seekers and waterfall lovers. Don’t let the crowds fool you! The back trails of Multnomah falls is a hidden gem worth exploring!
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