Seven mile roundtrip 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!

Pack List

  • Day Pack
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • GoPro
  • Trail Shoes
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RT Distance 7 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Really Nice Fall Hike!

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.

Gorgeous AF

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.

Amazing Hike To An Amazing Waterfall

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!


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