This blog has us chasing waterfalls (couldn’t resist), and we can’t wait to find out which one calls to you!! Oregon has SO many epic options for your adventure elopement!! Mountain peaks, gorgeous coastline sunsets, WATERFALLS, lakes, incredible hikes, forests, and beaches, the list goes on and on. In fact, we love Oregon for eloping so much that we wrote about how and where to elope in Oregon here. Oregon waterfall elopement locations are really the best waterfall options in the whole country!
The majority of this guide is an ode to Columbia River Gorge, and we cannot wait to plan an incredible elopement adventure here. As the US’ largest National Scenic Area and one of Oregon’s seven wonders (it’s a thing!), this region is perfect for mountainous vibes, hiking to countless waterfalls (see below!), trying fantastic food, and you and your favorite person getting MARRIED! If the infamous Multnomah, Bridal Veil or Latourell falls are on your elopement dream list, look no further than this area! If you’re looking for other parts of Oregon to elope in front of a waterfall, don’t worry – we have waterfalls in Umpqua National Forest and Willamette National Forest below too!
a few quick waterfall tips:
Be ready to get a little wet and/or dirty! If this means you have your ceremony before you take epic photos in front of the waterfall, or you fully embrace the moment and marry your honey near the epic splashes. If you’re looking for the right gear for your adventure elopement, look no further than our complete elopement checklist.
Waterfalls mean crowds, and crowds mean less solo time with your elopement location. A few ways to elope without crowds: go early in the morning, plan for a weekday elopement, and let us help you find the right waterfall for you!
Less of a waterfall tip and more of a region tip: Unfortunately, fire has impacted Oregon deeply, and therefore specific trails are closed to the public. We have noted which trails are closed below, and you can check here for Columbia Gorge Trail closure, here for Umpqua National Forest closures, and here for Willamette National Forest closures.
columbia river gorge
This beauty of a waterfall is one of the most photogenic options for you and your future spouse to get married in front of. There’s no permit needed to get hitched here as long as you fall within these guidelines, making it an excellent option for eloping. Bonus feature: you can bring your pup(s) with you – just keep them on their leash(es)! Access Latourell Waterfall by hiking a moderately difficult 2.4-mile loop hike that follows along a creek, passes over dense greenery, and crosses four small wooden bridges before arriving at this fall’s two-tiered drop. Pro-tip: this trail can get very crowded. Try to plan a sunrise or sunset hike to see this beautiful waterfall with your honey! Did someone say sunset elopement adventure hike? Yaaasss please! Of all the Oregon waterfall elopement locations, this one looks straight out of a fairy tale!
While the Ambiqua Falls Trail is currently closed due to fire (as of June 2021 – check here for current updates), we’d be remiss if we didn’t include it on our list. The beautiful, adventurous falls have us dreaming of the Icelandic-looking scenery! You can even add off-roading to your itinerary – there are over 6 miles of trails in this area’s Crooked Finger OHV Trails. Once this trail opens back up, we’d love to make this adventure elopement location yours! Even though it’s one of the best Oregon waterfall elopement locations, it looks like a mini Skógafoss Waterfall in Iceland, that you’ll definitely want to go there.
Bridal Veil Falls
Ready to wear your veil with these falls behind you? (we couldn’t resist). Bridal Veil Falls‘ Overlook Trail provides half a mile of magnificent views of the Columbia River along the paved loop. These falls create an epic layered look with dramatic rock formations along the way, including Archer Mountain, Hamilton Mountain, Beacon Rock, and the famous geologic edifice known as Pillars of Hercules. Cautionary tip: Do not try to walk along the bridge over the Historic Highway to see the falls – the road is a narrow two-lane passage with no sidewalk. Enjoy the signs along the path showing you native plants that grow in the area!
Noted as one of the more interesting Oregon waterfall elopement locations, Wahclella Falls can be seen along a dog-friendly (on leash) roughly 2-mile out-and-back adventure hike. We love this hike specifically because there are soooo many dreamy spots to stop along the way to take epic photos of you and your partner! Start here at the Wahclella Falls Trailhead and follow the trail for a flat walk on a closed access road covered by cottonwoods, alders, big-leaf maples, and Douglas-firs. Around a blind curve, you’ll run smack-dab into the waterfall as you cross a bridge in complete awe – this is where preparing comes in handy as you’ll likely get a little wet, but it’ll be so worth it. Above the lower falls is a semi-hidden upper waterfall dropping into a stream. Enjoy seeing this 50-footer from a high viewpoint on the boulder field opposite the falls!
Unique in the amount of water flowing from this area, Dillon Falls is a powerful series of rapids dropping roughly 65 feet over one-third of a mile, with its tallest drop at a modest 8 feet. Enjoy beautiful hiking trails (note: trails are shared with mountain bikers), the scenic waterfall, and a riverside meadow. Great for an adventure elopement – it’s only 20 minutes away from Bend!
Panther Creek Falls
Featuring a 130-foot waterfall, Panther Creek Falls offers an easy hike and a waterfall so unique, it’s listed as one of the best waterfall hikes in the PNW. It’s one of our favorite Oregon waterfall elopement locations hands down. We genuinely love this waterfall! While you can access the viewing platform from about 450 feet from the trailhead, you can also get to the base of the falls with a bit of maneuvering – about 75 feet to the left of the viewing platform. Be careful – it is a very steep (read: dangerous) path if you’re not used to climbing or going off-trail. To reach the lower viewpoint, follow the left fork at the junction and continue for 1/3 mile past a long switchback and below a wall of cliffs to a set of steps and a couple of short switchbacks that take you to the falls. The lower viewpoint trail passes above the lower tier of Panther Creek Falls, but admire it from above, as this area is closed for safety and restoration.
Oneonta Gorge Hike
(unfortunately currently closed due to fire) This beautiful hike is full of lots of water – think hiking through water to get to the falls – and is 100% made for adventurers! The hike is roughly 5 miles round trip, and it can get crowded. We recommend choosing a weekday, planning for AMAZING photos of your elopement, and seriously considering this trail. Heads up: there are four waterfalls on Oneonta Creek, and the names have proven difficult to pin down. The lowest falls at the head of Oneonta Gorge are often called Oneonta Falls, but they are Lower Oneonta Falls. The next one, near the Trail #438 bridge, is often called Upper Oneonta Falls, Oneonta Bridge Falls, or Middle Oneonta Falls.
umpqua national forest
(closures due to fires) Another dog-friendly trail! Lemolo falls can be viewed by two approaches – north and south. The south trail drops down into the North Umpqua Canyon for a view of Lemolo Falls as it cascades 150 feet to the canyon bottom. Take the “south” trail to experience the rush of the North Umpqua River as it roars 150 feet to the canyon below. It is a steep climb back to the top, so make sure to prepare well with the shoes you wear. Several cascades can be seen from the “north” trail before reaching the beautiful view of the falls from across the canyon.
(currently closed due to fire) As one of Oregon’s most famous waterfalls, Toketee Falls offers an easy hike and incredible basalt formations for your elopement! The North Umpqua River has carved a windy gorge out of the lava flow, resulting in a waterfall of 113 feet in height – a 28-foot upper tier that plunges into a pool flanked by a deep alcove, followed by an 85-foot plunge into a large pool. Please don’t go off-trail in the closed-off territory to capture images – it is super dangerous, and many people have been injured and died by doing so.
Trestle Creek Falls
(currently closed due to fire) Grab your hiking poles and a backpack – this hike is a 4.7-mile beauty on a looped trail. What we love most about these falls/this hike: you get to see two waterfalls, and you can walk behind one of them! Heads up – the parking lot at the Trestle Creek trailhead gets busy, so starting from the Lund Campground is an excellent option and offers a slightly longer excursion. It is a national forest, so be sure to pay for a day pass.
These fairy-like dreamy waterfalls are in the middle of a majestic Douglas Fir forest. The cascade of falls is found via a short out and back walk/hike (think: 0.2 miles). There is not a lot of parking, so make sure to arrive early, and if you can, plan for a weekday elopement.
willamette national forest
(possibly closed due to fire) This 1.6 looped trail takes you into another world as you hike through open lava fields and a dense forest, providing views of two waterfalls! Pay close attention as the water cascades over the cliff and into the lava – it sinks back underground, making it appear as if the water disappears! This is a frequently visited waterfall and hike, so plan to arrive early to enjoy space as you elope.
Enjoy a gorgeous generally-easy 3.4-mile out-and-back hike to see this veiled waterfall. Note: the waterfall is reduced to a thin veil in late summer and fall, but summer wildflowers and fall colors make the hike up the creek totally worth it. It’s possible to see the falls in winter when the spray freezes over and forms a massive ice cavern in the amphitheater, but snowshoes may be required. Snowy adventure elopement, anyone? There is a $5 day-pass, and you can bring your pups on leash.
let’s do the damn thing
Did one of these Oregon waterfall elopement locations speak to you? We can’t wait to plan and capture your perfect elopement! Whether you’re looking for a two-day elopement experience (think: two 8 hour days of documentation, or mix it up and do a 12 hour day and a 4 hour day), a full day elopement experience (up to 12 hours of coverage), an 8-hour elopement experience, or a partial day elopement experience (up to 4 hours of coverage), we’ll be there every step of the way.
Let us know about your dream elopement – we can’t wait to connect with you.
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