Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hiking to Wahclella Falls

Well,…hiking to Wahclella Falls had been the plan, based on information such as:

“If you were designing a landscape just for waterfalls, you would end up with something not unlike the Columbia River Gorge. Dozens of waterfalls spill from the basalt cliffs in this region. The abundance of water creates mossy natural retreats that could not be matched even if you were designing a landscape from scratch.

“…Wahclella Falls is charming,…and it is possible for a hiker to have the waterfall all to him or herself" (

So, I began the hike along Tanner Creek to the falls. It was a well-maintained trail, and I was moving at a good pace.
My pace began to slow as I became more aware of the sound of water meeting rock.
The shades of green from the trees to the moss on the rocks were made more brilliant as the sunlight played with them.
I soon slowed to a stroll as I took in the beauty of this idyllic setting.
Listening to the water at this spot stopped the stroll...and time. Tanner Creek was fast overtaking the Wahclella Falls as the desired destination.
When I resumed my walk, I equated the time it was taking me with actual distance covered and thought that I should be nearing the completion of the nine-tenths of a mile hike to the falls.
Other views and sounds only added to the time on the trail and to the belief that I had traveled a greater distance that I actually had.

But I had barely covered half of the distance when I made a sharp left turn and came upon this waterfall. As I crossed the short wooden bridge, I was close enough to the falls to reach out and touch the waters.
I thought I had reached the Wahclella Falls, so I headed back to the truck. Later that evening I would learn that this unadvertised waterfall, coursing down a rock wall to join Tanner Creek, was Munra Falls. Had I continued on I would have reached the Wahclella Falls.
So it wasn't the planned destination, but on this afternoon, the "journey" was as enjoyable as the unexpected destination.
We continued our drive along the Gorge on US 30 from Hood River, OR.

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