Distance: 5 miles roundtrip
Elevation gain: 900 ft.
Location: Mount Hood National Forest
This is a short loop hike through forest and meadows to two waterfalls in the Hood River Meadows ski resort area.
Starting the loop at the Elk Meadows and Sahalie Falls trailhead, the trail goes through forest and climbs steadily for the first 1-1/2 miles, alternating through open areas and forest. Soon, the trail turns west and goes under the ski lifts for Hood River Meadows. At this point, the meadows have several streams running through them, although they were all dry on the day we were there. Instead, we were treated to fall colors in the meadows. At the top of the meadows, Mount Hood peeks over the ridge line. The trail enters the forest again and heads towards the Umbrella Falls spur trail. At the sign for Sahalie Falls, continue straight for 0.3 miles to Umbrella Falls. Then turn back and take the trail towards Sahalie Falls. You’ll see several side trails, but these only provide a glimpse of the waterfall. You’ll also see a bridge and a road, which is the old highway. To get to this, you can either scramble down the side trail, or return to the main trail as it heads back to the original trailhead. Before it gets there, it crosses the old highway at a great viewpoint of the meadows with Mount Hood looming above. You can walk back on the old highway for 0.7 miles to the bridge viewpoint for Sahalie waterfall. Instead, we walked back to the car and drove to the waterfall.