Early Spring Waterfall Adventures at Mt Hood
Posted by Mt Hood Vacation Rentals
Mt Hood Waterfall Hikes (or Snowshoe and Cross Country Ski Treks) for Early Spring
When you visit Mt Hood in March and April, there is more to do than downhill skiing and tubing. Consider a waterfall hike. Depending upon the snow levels, you may need snowshoes or cross country skis; no one wants to post hole up to their knees. If trekking through snow is more than you want to do, wait a few weeks to visit these beautiful waterfalls; they are worth visiting during the summer and fall, too. However, the beauty of these waterfalls is magnified when surrounded by snow and ice.
Have you ever wondered why waterfalls are so popular? Besides their beauty, there is something scientific and magical about waterfalls that attract people. It is something that you cannot see, touch or taste, but you can feel it: negative ions. Negative ions are actually a really positive thing. Negative ions are created when the surface tension of water is broken, such as when water is falling over a cliff or dam or rock wall. Inhaling the negative ions increases the oxygen in your brain and increases serotonin levels which leads to an elevated mood, increased mental awareness, and stress relief. The amount of negative ions in moving water like waterfalls in the forest is magnified thousands of times compared to the still air in your home. So, are you ready to plan your next waterfall hike?
The trailhead to Tamanawas Falls is on the east slope of Mount Hood and follows the Cold Spring Creek surrounded by large Douglas fir, cedar and larch trees. The falls are 100 feet high and 40 feet wide. The trail is a short, out-and-back 1 mile in each direction, making it accessible to hikers of most ages and abilities. While this is very popular during the summer months (you will be rewarded with a cooling mist coming off the waterfalls), the beauty of the frozen falls surrounded by snow cannot be beaten during the spring months. Of course, you will want to be prepared for snowy conditions and wear your winter boots, coats, hats and gloves. You can find more information about Tamanawas Falls at the Mt Hood National Forest website.
Little Zigzag Falls
Little Zigzag Falls is the reward at the end of a slightly uphill, meandering trail that follows Little Zigzag Creek. You will access this trailhead at the end of the Kiwanis Camp Road about halfway between Rhododendron and Government Camp. This easy trail is very popular during the summer months for families with small children, however, not everyone thinks to visit Little Zigzag Falls during the spring when there is still snow surrounding the falls. You can find more information about Little Zigzag Falls at the Mt Hood National Forest website.
White River Falls
White River Falls is a scenic destination if you are thinking of taking a drive to see the sights while visiting Mt Hood. The White River Falls are about a one-hour drive each way from the Villages of Mt Hood. You will pass through the scenic forest into the high desert area with expansive views and juniper trees. White River Falls is in White River State Park in Wasco County. During the summer months, this is a favorite picnic spot, but you will find the park fairly deserted during the spring. You can find more information about White River Falls at the Oregon State Park website.
Tips for Hiking to Waterfalls in the Snow
Here are a couple of things to remember when you are making early spring treks to waterfalls:
- If you are planning a hike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski trek to a waterfall in the early spring, there is a good chance that the roads leading to the trailhead may have some snow or ice on them. Be prepared with a four-wheel-drive vehicle with chains or snow tires.
- There may also be snow or ice on the trail so dress accordingly. Wear winter snow boots if the snow is not too deep or if it is packed down; no sneakers or light shoes. If the snow is deep use snowshoes or cross-country skis.
- Wear your winter snow play clothes. This means warm sweaters and water-proof coats, gloves, and hats.
- Bring your phone or a camera to take some really cool photos.
Find Your Mt. Hood Vacation Rental!
Mt Hood Vacation Rentals are located in the Villages of Brightwood, Marmot, Welches, Zigzag, Rhododendron and Government Camp, so stay for a couple of days and enjoy the waterfalls. For reservations, enter your travel dates here to find the perfect vacation rental or call a Vacation Planner at 888-424-9168.