Upper McCord Creek Falls sits above the beautiful Elowah Falls and is accessed by a nice, but very much uphill, trail to a beautiful set of two parallel falls. What sets this waterfall apart is the fact that it has two separate cascades with a moss covered rock section in the middle. Also, since it is hard to get down to the falls, this is an awesome one to photograph without many people in it, which is rare in the Columbia River Gorge. Here is all the information.
- 2 miles or 3 miles with Elowah Falls
- 700 feet of elevation
- Trailhead location: 62100 NE Frontage Rd, Cascade Locks, OR 97014
Heading east on Highway 84, you will take Exit 35 and proceed onto Frontage Road. This road parallels the freeway, and in about 4 miles you will see the small parking area for the trailhead, right before getting back on the highway. There is a small parking lot, but if it is full, there is street parking as well.
After parking, you will leave from the same trailhead that goes to Elowah Falls. If you have the time you need to do that one as well, you can read more about it here.
The trail immediately heads up and it will go up pretty much all the way to the waterfall.
The muddy switchbacks sit under a canopy of green trees with moss covered branches. The trail is beautiful, and after about a half mile it will reach a split where the trail to Elowah Falls breaks off. From here you will head right and continue up the set of switchbacks.
Eventually, the trail crosses a series of old pipes, and you will start to break out from the tree level and get some views of the gorge behind you.
Heading on will take you to the trail carved out of a large rock wall. This part can be a little sketchy if you are afraid of heights, but it is impressive to photograph.
As you hug the rock wall, be sure to look down into the canyon below you where you can see Elowah Falls from above.
This is an impressive way to see the second largest waterfall in the gorge so don’t miss it.
After you leave the rock wall, you will be back in the forest and will be about 2 minutes from the waterfall.
The trail goes around the right side of the falls and gives you many different angles looking down on it.
The hillside is overgrown, so there isn’t any real way down to the base, which is OK since the views of the falls from here are breathtaking. I walked all around it but didn’t continue along the trail as I was not sure where else it went.
After hanging out for a while, I started the downhill hike back to the trailhead. Be sure to check out Elowah Falls if you have a chance when doing this hike as it is an impressive waterfall to see from the base. Let me know what you think of this hike in the comments.