Three reasons the Columbia gorge has the best paddling in Oregon:
- It's close to Washington
- The rivers flow from high on the plateau, dropping steeply, often dramatically, into the Columbia through temperate rain forest.
- It has the highest concentration of waterfalls in the Northwest.
Many well known waterfalls lie only minutes off I-84, making them easily accessible while others sit in deep, claustrophobic gorges accessible only by kayak. These are the gorges of dreams and nightmares, depending on your tolerance for being locked in to a sheer walled canyon, likely full of big waterfalls.
Three reasons Bridal Veil Falls is one of the best waterfalls in the gorge:
-It is minutes off I-84, actually visible from the freeway.
-It is neither nightmarish nor in an inaccessible gorge. It is actually incredibly beautiful and has a 100 meter trail to the base.
-It has two dreamy tiers of kayaking goodness, except the upper tier is a little less dreamy than the bottom.
Bridal Veil Falls.
Cody Howard giving scale to the falls.
Cool shot of Cody by Ron Hope of Portland.
Things just fall into place sometimes, plans rolling along and even gaining momentum toward the ultimate goal. A goal of mine for quite some time has been to take a peek at Butte Creek falls near Scotts Mills, OR. Turns out, it actually is as big as everybody had been saying.
Height estimations are notoriously dubious, especially when the falls are in the 'quite tall' category. I don't know if this stands up to the 85 foot claims, but it's definitely not the 65' I was expecting to see.
Photos: Aaron Courter
This photo: Scott Waidelich