If you love waterfalls, Oregon does not have a shortage of them. With over 200 waterfalls state wide picking a hike can be overwhelming sometimes. If you’re looking for a waterfall hike outside of Mt. Hood we highly recommend Ramona Falls! This hike is a little over 7 miles round trip and is a peaceful journey through the forest, with a beautiful view of Mt. Hood on your way in.
If you’re looking for a shorter waterfall hike outside of Mt. Hood we recommend checking out Tamanawas Falls. (You can find that blog post here!)
We did this trail mid August, but is open April – October. If you’re looking to try to do this hike in the winter prepare to add around 4.5 miles around trip since the vehicle access road to the trails in closed in the winter.
The Trail begins at the parking lot, where you will need a Northwest Forest Pass to leave in your window. You can either get one at the Zigzag ranger station (which you will pass on the way to the trail) or use your National Park pass if you have one of those. We walked about half a mile or so until we came to the wilderness permit box. Sign in here before going on to the rest of the hike.
You’re in shade cover until you reach the sandy river. This is the most difficult portion of the hike, because there is no longer a bridge to cross. You will have to use available logs to reach the other side, but I promise it’s not too difficult. Plus the view of Mt. Hood is absolutely stunning from here. There is a little bit of trail that is not shaded here so plan accordingly with sunscreen or a hat.
For the next 3 miles you’re making your way closer and closer to the falls. For a little while my brother and I weren’t sure if we would even reach it, but you eventually start making your way deeper into the woods and hear the sound of running water off in the distance.
You made it to Ranoma Falls!
After a hot day there’s nothing more satisfying then reaching the falls. Even if it’s not a hot day, they are beautiful and there’s plenty of room to walk and sit around. We packed lunch and relaxed a bit before we started our journey back.
The hike back was a little more enjoyable in my opinion. You follow the creek for quite a bit and it didn’t feel quite as long for some reason. We passed a few people hiking but since it was a weekday it was not busy at all and had a lot of the trail to ourselves.
What We Packed
With it being August we both had 3 liters of water with us before we got to the trails. There is no place to fill up at the trailhead so don’t forget your water. We also had great hiking shoes, hat, lunch and sunscreen. I recommend bringing bug replete too if hiking in the summer. There was quite a few biting flies near the falls.
- Water (Here’s the bladder we use for longer hikes)
- Hiking Boots
- Lunch (I like to pack my lunch in Stasher bags to help with creating less trash)
- Backpack, one similar to ours
- Download AllTrails so you have your route on your phone
- Trail Distance: 7.1 round trip. (I think my phone said it was a little bit longer but it’s close to 7 miles total!)
- Hike Time: Give yourself about 4-6 hours to complete the trail depending on how fast of a hiker you are.
- Elevation Gain: 980 feet
- Difficulty: Rated Moderate. It’s a slower incline, but a longer hike.
- Highlights: Ramona Falls and the View of Mt. Hood crossing the Sandy River
I loved this trail and would recommend it to anyone looking for a full day hike. We’re looking forward to explore more of this area this coming summer and hope you get a chance to get out and see Ramona Falls for yourself!
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