The Pacific Northwest has enough beautiful waterfalls to keep you entertained for a lifetime, but Ramona falls and the hike up to it are truly unique. This hike has a bit of everything. An incredibly impressive rock wall of waterfalls, a gorgeous up close view of Mt. Hood and enchanting dense forests. All this and just over an hour outside of Portland!
Start Point: Ramona Fall Trail Head. From Zig Zag (cutest city name ever right?) turn north onto Lolo Pass road Follow it four miles. Turn right onto Forest Road 1825 and continue 0.6 miles, cross a bridge and then continue 1.7 miles to a road junction. Keep left at the junction onto Forest Road 1825-100 and drive 0.3 mile. Take a left onto Forest Road 1825-024 to a very large parking lot.
Parking: NW Forest Pass is required for parking, but you CAN NOT buy it on sight, so make sure to pick one up in town before parking. The parking lot is huge so you should have no problem parking even on busy days.
Distance: 7 miles round trip.
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate. The hike itself is pretty flat but you must cross a fast river WITHOUT a bridge!!
Traffic: Heavily trafficked, though there were many cars in the parking lot but the trail never felt crowded.
Description: The trail is fairly well marked and stays fairly flat the entire way. Much of the trail is very very fine gravel and sand, so prepare to get dirty and have itty bitty rocks lodged in your shoes!
The only tricky part of this hike is crossing the sandy river. The bridge was washed away in 2014 and apparently they have no intention of fixing it. There are fallen trees that you can use to cross the river but be warned, the river is swift and the trees are not huge! I saw many dogs on this trail but I don’t know how they were crossing the river! I noticed the water level was higher as the day went on, probably best to hike this trail early if possible!
Once you have crossed the river you can follow the trail and the signs to Ramona falls. You will have an AMAZING view of Mt.Hood before entering the forest again! This part of the trail before the falls were honestly a bit boring but the waterfall is well worth the hike!! The falls are surrounded by trees keeping it shady so it is a great place to sit and relax for a while.
On the way back you can follow the loop trail, which I think it much more beautiful than the first part of the trail! You will follow the creek through the dense forest and when the light peeks through the trees it looks completely magical. The loop will eventually lead you back to the stunning view of Hood and the river which you will cross again to head back to the car park.
This is one of the most exciting hikes I’ve been on recently and I highly recommend it!