February 16, 2022
There's quite a few fun, family-friendly hikes in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and more specifically, right around Multnomah Falls.
We all know Multnomah Falls, probably the most iconic waterfall in all of Oregon. Our Multnomah Falls soap captures the brisk, fresh air with its invigorating blend of peppermint and tea tree. We definitely caught the intesity of this blend out there in the wild on our day trip.
Our plan for this trip was to start at Wahkeena Falls, hike the .4 miles of switch backs all the way up to the overlook. Then hike into the forest to see Fairy Falls and take a loop through the forest and back out.
My hiking party consists of me, Angela, my son, Oliver (11) and my two daughters, Madeline and Stella (7 and 5). Oliver and I love hiking, no matter the weather. And the girls, well, they take some convincing. They have been so excited to go to Fairy Falls, though, they even packed up their favorite dolls for a photoshoot. Anything more than a mile, and I have to be prepared to carry the youngest, so I definitely skipped leg day for this 3.5 mile hike.
We wanted to beat the crowds that build closer to summer, so we picked a beautiful, sunny day in late January. I, however, did not consider the wind chill and my daughters' aversions to discomfort.
Immediately, there were complaints. These usually subside as we get going, though, so we lead the way up the first little bit of the trail to see the bottom of Wahkeena Falls.
Ahh, the refreshing mist coming off this waterfall was invigorating.
It almost covered up the steady crying coming from my oldest daughter.
I had already picked up the youngest and was carrying her on my back, so I was shedding layers to help bundle her up even more, but being cold wasn't really the problem.
We continued up the switchbacks, youngest on back, my hams getting a full workout. Madeline, continued to not have fun. But she kept going.
These icicles really caught the kids' attention. So, I was sure to capture a picture.
And the constant view from the trail of the Columbia River was just breathtaking.
Or maybe it was the switchbacks + 50 pounds of solid human on my back.
We made it to the top, and all of Madeline's frustrations had reached their maximum. She refused to go any further. The hike up to the top had to have been more challenging for her than I had thought. She did a great job, so we came to an agreement. We would turn around and go back down without making it out to Fairy Falls this time, if she would try to enjoy herself.
The lookout from the top gave an absolutely stunning view of the Columbia River. Even though the hike was going to be cut short, I felt fulfilled.
As we headed down, Stella still on my back and my quads getting their turn, Madeline did enjoy herself. The idea of reprieve from the wind was enough to comfort her so she could enjoy the rest of the hike.
We'll make it out to Fairy Falls later this year.
If you're looking for a quick, fun hike that will get the blood pumping, this is a great one! I love a solid elevation change, and this one went above and beyond while still being a very walkable trail for younger feet.