Hike 21
The Mt. Hood National Forest
Ramona Falls Hike
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Map of the Ramona Falls Hike

Length: 7.1 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 1000' gain
Season: Spring thru Fall
Difficulty:   Difficult (due to stream crossing)
Permit:   NW Forest Pass Required
GPS:   N45 23.2176 W121 49.9326
Latitude:   45.38696
Longitude:   -121.83221


 Click for PDF Topo Map of this Hike 

Ramona Falls is historically one of the most popular hikes in the Mt Hood National Forest. The loop hike is a great option in that it offers more variety. After you leave the parking lot at the trail head, the trail wanders along the Sandy River for nearly a mile before reaching Sandy river. The bridge (see third photo) that used to be supplied by the forest service to cross the swift water no longer exists. This leaves you to your own resources to cross the always muddy and deep swift water. Due to the high volume of water, this is quite difficult and dangerous, if not impassible.

If you manage to successfully ford the river, you will come to an intersection where the loop trail returns. Again, like all loop trails, you have the option of which way to complete the loop. This description will follow the trail counterclockwise, which means continue on straight ahead instead of turning to the left.

The trail parallels the Sandy River, but only rarely gives you a glimpse of it. You also begin to gain elevation. In season this part of the hike is lush and green with lots of Rhododendrons. At about the 2.8 mile mark you will come to the junction of the Pacific Crest Trail #2000 and the cutoff trail to the falls. Bear left at this point and walk about a half mile to the falls. Be very careful to stay on the trail at the falls due to the very fragile environment.

After you take all the photos you can afford, cross the little wooden bridge to begin you journey back. Immediately, you will face the intersection of the trail to Yocum Ridge and the route back to your car. Bear left, and follow this quaint little trail along the little stream that forms Ramona Falls. As you hike along this trail you will have many opportunities to enjoy little waterfalls and cascades, and lots of flowers in the right season.

When you come to the intersection of Trail #784, bear to the left again, and you will complete the loop part of Trail #797 after crossing the little stream that created Ramona Falls. From this point, just follow the trail back across the Sandy River and on to the parking lot and trail head where you began the hike.

Ramona Falls
How to get there:

 Click for PDF Directions Map of this Hike 

Before deciding to hike this now potentially impassible trail, it is recommended that you check with the  Zig Zag Ranger Station or review that latest news on the  USDA Forest Service web page.

Follow US Highway 26 through Welches to Zig Zag. Turn north (left) onto the Lolo Pass Road (road 18) at Zig Zag (across Hwy 26 from Zig Zag Pizza). Follow the road for 4 miles. Turn east (right) onto Road 1825 and continue for .6 miles. Turn right across a bridge over the Sandy River and continue another 1.7 miles to the junction to Lost Creek Campground. Bear left, do not follow the road to the campground, but instead follow Road 100 approximately .3 miles to a large parking area. The trailhead is located on the east side of this parking area. This is the trailhead for both Ramona Falls and Yocum Ridge.

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