When you think of waterfalls near Mount Hood then the iconic Multnomah Falls is one that always pops up but the Ramona Falls hike is also one to not miss when thinking about exploring the Mount Hood area.
We haven’t seen this many waterfalls since we lived in New Zealand and we miss that place more than ever! So thanks for that, Oregon. We appreciate all the amazing waterfalls near Portland. We’ve had the chance to see quite a few now and we’re excited to share all of them with you.
In our opinion when it comes to the United States, Oregon is the land of the waterfalls. It seems like wherever you go you find a beautiful hike with a cascading waterfall and an amazing viewpoint.
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Everything you need to know about Ramona Falls
Ramona Falls Trail peaked our interest since it was on the way from Portland to Bend and we really wanted to do a waterfall hike near Portland before we left the area. Mt Hood alone has tons and once we saw the pictures for Ramona Falls it was a no brainer to do this one.
It’s a very well kept trail and easy to find your way since a portion of the hike is on the famous Pacific Crest Trail. (A famous hike from the southern tip of California right up to the most northern point of Oregon). So once you’ve finished hiking Ramona Falls trail you can say you’ve hiked a portion of the PCT as well!
Practical information about Ramona Falls
Distance: 13.3 km return / 8.2 miles return
Elevation: 334 m / 1095 ft. elevation gain
Type: Lollipop loop trail
Length: 2.5 – 3.5 hours
Rating: 4 stars
Fee: $5 for a National Forest Day Pass or included if you have an America the Beautiful Pass.
Here’s a picture at the Ramona Falls trailhead
Ramona Falls hike brief description
Ramona Falls isn’t a difficult hike by any means. It has a bit of elevation gain throughout the trail but the path is very easy to follow and well maintained.
We do want to give you a heads up though, there is a little river crossing which you have to cross if you want to do this loop trail. It is nothing crazy though, so don’t stress over it (like Jo did before we got there.)
The river runs a little fast but there are a few big trees that are used as a path to cross the river. We wouldn’t recommend this hike to all of you if we thought it would be too dangerous. But we saw people of all ages doing the hike and it only took a few seconds to cross the river.
You will notice that it is a pretty busy trail as you’ll come across day hikers doing the loop trail and also PCT hikers (you’ll notice them, they will have huge backpacks and look like they’ve been hiking for months.)
The hike is an 13 km or 8 mile loop track where you will have portions of the hike where you can take your time and take some awesome photos. Make sure to stop throughout the hike and take some shots because there are a few great viewpoints of Mt Hood.
Ramona Falls is the beauty that everyone goes to see but there are also many other breathtaking spots along the hike. We went in summer but if you’re lucky enough to go in fall you will see some amazing colours in the trees. Just another reason why we have to visit Oregon again (hopefully Jo agrees).
We would recommend going earlier in the day though as the parking lot might can get full. It’s also nice to have Ramona Falls to yourself to take some photos.
Ramona Falls is a loop trail but most people will take a break around the halfway point where Ramona Falls is located. The waterfall is in the middle of the forest so it’s nice and shaded. But the majority of the hike is quite exposed so maybe bring a few layers you can switch from.
Ramona Falls is an enjoyable hike with rewarding views, especially if you’re looking for a hike with a waterfall. The trail changes quite a few times from being out in the open where you’ll get marvellous views of Mount Hood and streams from beginning to end.
You get into the forest basically right away until the river crossing. From there the trail gets more dense and lush and this is where you’ll come in contact with Ramona.
You’ll feel like you’re getting deeper and deeper into the forest. From there you’ll follow this quiet little stream that will run parallel with the path before finally returning back onto the same path you started on. This is why it’s called a lollipop loop!
Hiking Tip: Look up the trail on AllTrails before starting your hike 🗺️. You can find important trail information such as recent wildlife sights and trail closures. Check out the free version here or get a 7-day free trial of AllTrails Pro here.
Camping in Mt Hood National Park
There are numerous camping options in Mt Hood. With lots of simple campsites just for tenting to full on powered campsites for RVs and trailers. So you have endless of opportunities for places to stay. Mt Hood is definitely one of the best places to camp in the state with all the hiking and outdoor activities right in front of you.
We chose a few campsites that are relatively close to Ramona Falls and in the Mt Hood area so you can explore this beautiful National Park.
Lost Creek Campground
You will actually drive right past Lost Creek Campground on your way to Ramona Falls. There are a few spots and it’s all tents so you should be able to squeeze your tent in even if it’s a little packed.
Just incase you need the directions to the campsite from the trailhead we got you covered. If you really have to you could probably boon dock in the area as well. Just make sure to have your National Parks pass handy if anyone asks.
McNeil Campground is another campground that isn’t too far away and perfect if you need somewhere to pitch a tent for a night or two in Mt Hood.
It’s a 6 minute drive to the trailhead so you could even just leave your vehicle at the campground and go by foot to the hike. You’ll be surrounded by nature anyways so why not walk! Both campsites mentioned are roughly $20 a night
How to get to the Ramona Falls hike
From anywhere in Portland
- It should take just over an hour from anywhere in Portland to Ramona Falls if the traffic isn’t too bad.
- Directions can be found here.
Anywhere in Hood River
- If you’re camping in Hood River or coming from there then it should take just over an hour to get to the trailhead.
- Directions can be found here.
From anywhere in Bend
- It’s a bit of a longer drive from Bend but it shouldn’t take any longer then 2.5 hours to get there.
- Directions can be found here.
Before you go hike Ramona Falls
Since you are gaining a lot of elevation from Portland to Ramona Falls it’s definitely worth ensuring that you’re fully prepared for any kind of weather.
Also, look into getting an America The Beautiful pass if you haven’t already. It’s basically a discount card for all the National Parks in the country.
Check the weather
No matter where you hike, you should always check the weather before you go. The area near Mount Hood can have quick weather changes and you don’t want to get stuck on the trail when the weather is getting bad.
It never hurts to be a little over prepared with some extra layers and clothes. You can see the weather for the Mount Hood area here to give you an idea on what to pack for your trip.
Wear hiking shoes
Almost everywhere we hiked in Oregon we wore proper hiking shoes. There are the few viewpoint trails that are short and sweet where you don’t really need them but on the longer hikes they really so come in handy.
For this hike in specific there are some sections where the trail gets quite rocky with gravel so a pair of hiking shoes is nice to have. Over such a distance and in the mountains it’s so nice having the right shoes.
Also good trail shoes are awesome to wear if you don’t like big and bulky hiking shoes for these kind of trails.
Leave no trace
I’m sure most of us follow the hikers code but we felt there was so much trash along this hike. So please guys If you pack it in, pack it out. Don’t be afraid to remind strangers too if you see them leaving garbage on the trail.
When you go hiking (and do other outdoor adventure activities), always remember to follow the 7 principles of leaving no trace.
- Plan ahead and prepare.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find.
- Minimize campfire impacts.
- Respect wildlife.
- Be considerate of others.
What to bring on the Ramona Falls hike
You’re in the mountains, so be prepared for any type of weather!
Packing list for Ramona Falls:
- Water! Like we said, we always fill up our LifeStraw bottles before hikes and even during them when we can. This is one of the easiest ways to waste less and the LifeStraw bottles are great because with their filters you can fill them anywhere!
- Sunscreen is definitely essential especially during the warm sunny summer months in Oregon (we know there’s only a few of those months a year). For the first half of the hike you’ll be exposed to the sun and sunstroke is a real thing so come prepared with sunscreen and lots of water.
- A power bank is always nice to have on a hike! You don’t want a dead phone halfway through a hike. Especially if you’re in a different state or country that you’re not too familiar with.
- Bring some lunch to eat at the waterfall viewpoint. It’s also a nice rest stop since it’s near the halfway point of the hike.
- If you have weak knees or don’t want to bang your knees up, you might want to bring hiking poles. There isn’t much elevation on this specific trail but the hiking poles are still nice to have.
- Also this is a great list of hiking gear that you may need on a hike!
You may also like…
- The Best Mountain Biking Adventure in Oregon
- Latourell Falls – Gorgeous Waterfall Hike near Portland
- Tamanawas Falls – Easy Waterfall Hike in Mt Hood
- Multnomah Falls- Iconic Waterfall near Portland
- The Best Gift Ideas for Hikers in 2022
Other useful info about hiking Ramona Falls
- We highly recommend checking out Hood River. It’s an awesome outdoorsy town just an hour away from Portland that is absolutely worth checking out and spending a day exploring.
- If you have multiple days in the area, Tamanawas Falls is another amazing day hike in Mt Hood!
- Looking for adventurous mountain biking? Then this is the place to go.
- If you want to see a bunch of waterfalls and iconic landmarks around the Columbia River Gorge. Check out this trip!!
We hope you enjoy this hike as much as we did! If you find any other awesome waterfall hikes near Portland then please let us know. Enjoy and stay safe out there!