Ramona Falls is one of the premier attractions of Mt. Hood National Park Oregon. The site features magnificent cascades that rush down from the mountainside of Mount Hood. The falls flow from the top and through a rock wall that rises up to 120 feet.
It is truly a picturesque waterfall worthy of being on photos and postcards. But before you are enticed to marvel at Ramona up close, you should know that it is not going to be easy. Visiting Ramona Falls means you need to hike a seven-mile trail that takes you to an elevation of more than 1000 feet. But don’t get discouraged! The combination of this very scenic hike and the sight of the magnificent falls are more than enough reason to take on the Ramona Falls Trail.
Ramona Falls Trail is open from the last week of April through October. It starts from the south, passing through the gorgeous Ramona Falls. The trail then heads north before going back to the trailhead and completing a loop. This loop trail is actually officially part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Completing the trail usually takes four and a half hours. Even though the total distance is not that long, it still takes time to complete due to the rising elevation of the trail.
Speed hikers can definitely finish the entire hike in less than three hours. But Ramona Falls is not the kind of place that you want to be in a hurry leaving. Allocate a couple of hours in enjoying the falls and relaxing next to it, and of course, get some great photos. Expect that the northern leg of the trail will be more scenic than the southern leg because it features a lush green landscape that surrounds Ramona Creek. You will also encounter towering cliffs before going south again towards the trailhead.
The Ramona Falls Trail is a favorite among day-hikers from Portland, which is the main gateway to the falls. Seasoned hikers who are taking on nearby routes like the Timberlaine Trail and Yocum Ridge, usually make it a point to stop by Ramona Falls. Some of them often choose to camp nearby the site. But even with the big number of visitors coming to Ramona, it still remains a must-see, especially if you are a nature lover and outdoor enthusiast. But before you hike away, make sure to consult with the local park authorities so that they can advise you about the route and the varying conditions especially the crossing of the river on foot.
As mentioned, it is possible to camp overnight near the vicinity of the falls. From Ramona Falls, there are two trails that lead you to designated campgrounds. One of them goes Northwest, while the other to the West. The West trail leads to a number of paths that bring you to various campsites. This is the reason most people choose this particular trail. The Northwest trail goes along Ramon Creek, which offers several nice and serene places to camp. The great thing about these campsites is that they have enough space to accommodate a big crowd, especially during busy summer weekends.
You will need to acquire a National Forest Recreation Day Pass at $5.00 or an annual pass before embarking on a Ramona Falls hiking adventure. Details regarding the passes are available at the Mt. Hood National Forest Service website.