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Best Waterfalls to Elope at Near Portland

Alright y'all it's time to talk elopements. Specifically waterfall elopements.

I love a good waterfall elopement in Oregon and with so many options to choose from, I’ve put together a list of the best waterfall elopement locations near Portland. If you’re getting married soon and want to tie the knot after a short hike to a scenic, picturesque backdrop, you’re in the right place.

Distance from Portland: 40 minutes

To kick things off we’ll start with Latourell Falls, a 250-foot plunge waterfall that drops straight down from an overhanging base cliff. Latourell is accessible from the Historic Columbia River Highway with just a 2.4-mile loop trail with views of both the upper and lower falls. The hike itself is pretty simple and the area has plenty of roaming space, so this location is an ideal one if you plan on inviting your friends and family to your elopement. There are only about 5 minutes of walking downhill as the falls are near sea level. The beautiful rock formations and impressive height are honestly the main highlights of Latourell Falls for couples looking for an Oregon elopement location. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take the trail past the falls and explore the deep Oregon woods, with me there to photograph!

Distance from Portland: 30 minutes

Next up we’ve got Bridal Veil Falls, a two-tiered waterfall located off the Historic Columbia River Highway (off the Bridal Veil Exit). There’s a ½ mile out-and-back hike that’s fairly easy but can get steep along the way, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear before heading down. The upper falls drop around 60-70 feet down, while the lower falls drop slightly higher at 50-60 feet, totaling about 120 feet tall. True to its name Bridal Veil Falls resembles a delicate veil with water gracefully flowing over a rounded, moss-covered basalt cliff. Truly a stunning location for your Oregon elopement.

Distance from Portland: 40 minutes

Wahkeena Falls is a 242-foot waterfall in the gorge with a spacious picnic area nearby that you could absolutely host your post-elopement celebration. You can get to the falls via the Wahkeena Trailhead and a .2-mile path that leads to the base. This trail connects to plenty of other scenic routes that you could take if you want to extend your Oregon elopement adventure. At Wahkeena, the water doesn’t plunge directly into the ground - instead, it’s more of cascading flow-type vibe that would provide such an epic backdrop for your ceremony. Keep in mind that parking at the trailhead can fill up quickly on the weekends, so either get there early or plan a weekday elopement.

Distance from Portland: 35 minutes

This waterfall is a lot lesser known than most others on this list, but it’s still such an enchanting location in the Gorge! Fairy Falls is about 20 feet high with a 1-mile hike that’s moderately difficult due to the incline. It’s not the most extravagant waterfall in Oregon, but it certainly is a great, secluded spot for your intimate elopement. You can get to Fairy Falls via the Wahkeena Trailhead for easy access.

Distance from Portland: 35 minutes

Multnomah Falls is one of THE most popular and iconic waterfalls in all of Oregon. It’s actually the most visited national recreation site in the state… most likely because it is the tallest waterfall you‘ll be able to find. At 610 feet high, the upper fall plunges at around 540 feet while the lower fall drops at 70 feet. The area is fed by underground springs from Larch Mountain and cascades down a steep, basalt cliff, free flowing all year round. The hike to get to the top is about 2.2 miles out-and-back, but be careful as it can get a little steep in some places.

Keep in mind that Multnomah Falls can get pretty busy, especially on the weekends in the spring and summer. If you aren’t planning an off-season or weekday elopement, then I’d recommend stopping here for portraits and having your ceremony at one of the nearby falls mentioned above.

Distance from Portland: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Ramona Falls is a bit farther from Portland than the other falls we've talked about, but still totally worth the drive. It’s located in the Mount Hood Wilderness on the western side of the summit, so you will have to obtain a Northwest Forest Pass to park at the trailhead. Once you get there, there’s a 7-mile (round trip) looped trail that winds through dense old-growth forests and crosses the Sandy River. I recommend being cautious while getting here during the summer when the water flow is higher than usual. The waterfall itself is 120 feet tall, consisting of a wall of cascading tiers. You will have to purchase a Northwest Forest Pass when you visit Ramona Falls.

Distance from Portland: 45 minutes

Last, but not least on our list is Punch Bowl Falls located along Eagle Creek in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. This 35-foot waterfall cascades into a large basin that, you guessed it, resembles a punchbowl. There are such scenic views of the gorge, the nearby basalt cliffs, and several other waterfalls on your way there. The hike is just under 4 miles round trip (out-and-back), but be cautious as it gets pretty narrow at times with steep drop-offs. To park at the trailhead, you’ll need a Northwest Forest Pass.

Ready to Elope At One of These Waterfalls Near Portland, Oregon?

If any of these waterfalls caught your eye, or if you're looking for a Portland elopement photographer for another location, I would love to chat with you and help you plan your epic PNW elopement! To get the ball rolling, you can inquire via my contact form and I’ll get back to you ASAP.


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