Gorton Creek

A trail beginning in the Wyeth Campground leads to a beautiful creekside hike and two waterfalls. An added bonus is that it is not well-known and thus not crowded like most other trails in the gorge.

Emerald Falls
Emerald Falls

The trail itself actually ends at the first waterfall, a pretty ten-foot drop named Emerald Falls. After that point, we had to criss-cross the water, climbing boulders and scrambling our way up to the base of Gorton Creek Falls. To the right of that waterfall, a steep hill is covered in loose rock, and of course the guys on our trip had to climb up. The only way back down was to slide on their hineys!

 

My son at one of the drops between Emerald Falls and Gorton Creek Falls.
My son at one of the drops between Emerald Falls and Gorton Creek Falls.

SUMMARY:

My rating: Highly recommended (3 stars)
(Emerald: Waterfall – 2 stars, Trail – 3 stars, Experience – 3 stars; Gorton Creek: Waterfall – 3 stars, Trail – 3 stars, Experience – 4 stars)

Distance from Beaverton: About an hour and 15 minutes drive east

Nearest town: Cascade Locks

Nearest city: Portland

County: Hood River

Length of round-trip hike: 1.2 miles

Best season to visit: Any besides winter. Crossing the stream is necessary, so be sure to account for the current weather when planning your trip.

Things to know:

  • I’m pretty sure we had to pay a $5 fee to park at the trailhead, but I’m not finding confirmation of this anywhere else online. I suggest being prepared to pay, and if there is no fee you can treat yourself to some ice cream on the way home!
  • There are other hikes accessible from this trailhead. Click here for more details.
  • We didn’t get very crossing the stream in July. If you visit in spring, though, you should be prepared to get wet and muddy.

Consider combining this trip with:  Any of the waterfalls in the gorge. Dry Creek Falls is the closest to the west and Camp Benson Falls is the closest to the east.

Toilet / Amenities: Toilets in the campground.

How to get there:

  1. Take exit #51 off of Interstate 84.
  2. Turn right at the stop sign at the end of the off ramp and another right onto Wyeth Road (also known as Herman Creek Rd).
  3. Travel about 1/4 mile on Wyeth Road and turn left into the campground.
  4. Follow the hiking signs to find the trailhead.

Helpful websites:

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