Last week I had an amazing experience hiking to Ramona Falls, 7 beautiful miles in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
I love hitting the trail, but often times the drive there is amazing in its own way and this particular destination was no different. A ways off of “Lolo” pass on forest service road 1825, is where you will find the trailhead for Ramona Falls, a 3.5 mile hike one-way. I loved how versatile the trail was, plenty to see and opportunities for photos. It wasn’t a difficult hike in terms of elevation (a gain of 1,100 feet over the course of the 3.5 miles), but some people might be uncomfortable with the total distance. The other thing to consider is that the bridge crossing over the Sandy River washed out a couple years back and they haven’t replaced it (and won’t be replacing it) so you have to cross the river via fallen logs. It’s a glacial river so it can be precarious, especially earlier in the season when the water is higher. Be careful!
For any locals reading, once you cross the river, just head up the bank through the trees, continue beyond the rock/sandy area and up through more trees and you’ll meet back up with the trail head, you’ll know right away that it is the right trail. I wasn’t really sure where to go, and neither did the group of six guys behind me, or the people I passed on my way back. I did figure it out after a few minutes of wandering around aimlessly.
The trail continues through more old growth forest, and it’s well shaded… The sun reaches through the trees in that beautiful way that the forest always does and in many spots there is a lush-green mossy forest floor. It was gorgeous!
You’ll cross a section of the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Timberline Trail, but you can’t miss the continuation of Ramona Falls because it’s well signed. Further up the trail Mt. Hood peaks through the tree line and the trail meanders in and out of the forest, there’s sun exposure in these areas so if you’re hiking mid day you’ll want sunglasses, hat, sunscreen etc.
At the 3.5 mile mark you’ll come to Ramona Falls. It truly is a magical place, so beautiful and quiet. The forest service is working diligently to revegetate the area around the falls. So if you visit (just the same for everywhere else) be kind to the land, stay on the trail, pack your trash out etc.
My quiet time was limited due to the group of 6 guys that I mentioned earlier who were never too far behind me, but I did have about 5 uninterrupted minutes to stand in awe of the falls and wander around the area. There is just something so powerful and inspiring about waterfalls, I just can’t get enough of them. Hopefully I’ll hike every waterfall in Oregon some time in the next year or two… I’d say I’m over halfway there already!
The trek back from the falls went by much faster, in fact I jogged a majority of it. Even if I hadn’t, I consider my hikes to cover my cardio for the day, I think 7 miles, 1,100 feet elevation gain definitely counts as both cardio and leg day! (but i was still crazy enough to go to the gym, and I paid for it for it for several days haha) The entire hike, with stops for photos/videos, trying to find the trail after crossing the river, and resting at the falls, took me about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
I can’t wait to get back out there, hopefully this Friday. I’m on hike 28 of 52 (attempting to complete the 52 Hike Challenge) and I’m a little behind so I need to step up my game! Anyone else happen to be doing the 52 Hike Challenge, what’s your experience been so far?
Where have your adventures taken you lately?
Have a great humpday, almost there… yup, I see you Friday…