Latourell Falls, Oregon
Many waterfalls grace the spectacular Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in northern Oregon, but few rival little-known Latourell Falls in Guy W. Talbot State Park.
I hiked a steep but short trail to see the stunning 250-foot-high falls, formed as Latourell Creek (named for a prominent early settler) plunges over a sheer lava cliff. The cliff face is covered with vivid yellow lichens that stay bright year-round. It looks like someone splashed the cliff with paint!
This secluded little day-use park, which is part of a cluster of state parks along the Columbia Gorge, once was the Talbot family's summer estate. It's a wonderful place to picnic.
The entrance to the park is about 4-1/2 miles south of I-84 (Exit 22) on the Historic Columbia River Highway, roughly 25 miles east of downtown Portland.
To learn more, call Oregon State Parks at 1-800-551-6949.