October 2019 – Ramona Falls – Mt. Hood Wilderness

It was a beautiful weekend in October when we made our way to the Mt. Hood to tackle the Ramona Falls loop (video HERE).

The last time we went on this hike was a little more than SEVEN years ago, and we looked like children (pictorial proof below!).

Before we get too far, let’s chat about a few EXTRA important things about this hike:

  1. It’s pretty easy, HOWEVER, you do have to cross the Sandy River on logs. There is no longer a bridge to get you across. It’s not that far of a stretch to cross on the logs, nor is it terribly challenging, BUT, I would encourage you to keep your capabilities in mind as you consider whether or not to go on this hike. Also, keep in mind the capabilities of your dogs and/or children, if applicable.
  2. There were ZERO bathrooms at the trailhead and you’re an approximate 20 minute drive from Highway 26. Find a bathroom before you make the turn.
  3. Finally, this is a HUGE mushroom foraging destination. Be prepared for a few extra cars on the side of the road and a few extra folks around the trails.

If you go after October 1st, you don’t need to purchase a Recreation Pass, but through October 15th, you DO need to sign up for a Wilderness Permit. There is a station about a quarter-mile in from the trailhead. It’s for your safety, so please grab a permit as you make your way in to the forest!

The Sandy River crossing is 1.25 miles into the hike. You’ll hear the water, see the water, then cross the water. Again, it’s not a SUPER hard cross, but the current of the river can get really strong, so please be careful.

The falls are about 3.5 miles in, if you take a right at the fork (to make the lollipop loop). You’ll likely feel the cool water coming off of them before you even see them in all of their spectacular glory! The best part about these falls is that there are plenty of places to park yourself to sit and enjoy. Beware: you might get chilly sitting so close, but it’s a beautiful view!

There is a lovely bridge that takes you across the falls and onto the return loop of the hike. Full disclosure: the return trail is one of my favorites ever. The trail grade is gentle and you’re met with a gorgeous green carpet of moss next to the creek. As you cross the creek a handful of times on wide, flattened logs (with a handrail on one side), you can feel a little like you’re in a wooded version of The Shire–yes, from the Lord of the Rings. It’s pure magic back there.

AAAAAAAAAAAAND, as promised, here we were seven years ago at the falls:

And from our last hike there:

Sigh, oh youth!

Happy Hiking, friends!

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