Tamanawas Falls Hike
The first time we did the beautiful Tamanawas Falls hike on the northeast side of Mount Hood, about seven years ago, our loads were a little lighter than they were this past weekend. Back then, it was just the two of us and a black lab puppy.
I remember the hike being pleasant enough, the falls pretty and natural. For some reason, though, what really stuck in my mind from that first time was a guy who had hiked the two miles back to the falls and was taking a break on the side of the trail. On his back was a pack full of his, I don’t know, maybe one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. At the time, I was pretty impressed and glad to see that he was still hitting the trail even though he had a little one in tow. It wasn’t an easy concept for me to grasp back then, pre-kids and all.
Not too long after that, however, I became that guy myself, heaving my daughter and then my son on my back to hit the trail at places like the Salmon River, Wind Mountain, and an all-time favorite, the beach near Bandon. Fast-forward a few more years, and the cycle’s progressed even a little further. The dog’s still bounding like he was in 2005, the boy’s still on my back at 2, but his big sister is now making her way down the trail and to the falls on her own.
The hike to Tamanawas Falls is a great one. Just under two miles one way and with less than 600 feet in elevation gain, the trail pretty much just ambles along the crystalline Cold Spring Creek through a quiet and, at times, dense fir forest. A couple stout log bridges make for easy stream crossings, and the cascading creek, towering trees, and easy, scenic terrain keep the mind on what’s important out in the wild. It’s an ideal Mount Hood hike for anyone looking to get out for a quick stretch of the legs and the senses. As I’ve come to learn over the years, it’s an even more ideal hike for those who are just learning how to stretch out their little legs and enjoy a walk in the woods.