Hiking in the Columbia River Gorge can at times be frustrating thanks to the draw of large crowds on nice weekends and the recent boom in outdoor recreation. Trailhead parking lots are at capacity and solitude has become a rare event. If you try hard enough though and know where to look you can still find a sliver of peace and quite in the middle of the bustling Gorge.
Mist Falls is one of those little “secrets” of the Gorge that nearly everyone has seen or driven by but most people don’t think twice about stopping and really enjoying it. The Falls is located right next to Wahkeena Falls but because it is not easily accessible and does not have a huge water flow it is overlooked. The “trailhead” is just a small pullout that can really only handle about 4 cars at most and there is no signage or visible trail making it hard to find.
If you are able to find the start to Mist Falls then you really just need to follow the worn foot path straight up the hill as it climbs a loose rock fall where you will take two steps forward and slide one back. There is a slightly precarious section of this little scramble where you could fall and get very injured so if you do this be careful. In less than a quarter of a mile you will be greeted with Mist Falls most likely blowing in the wind.
On your way back down at the bottom of the trail look east towards Wahkeena Falls and you will see the old chimney from the original Multnomah Lodge. This is a very cool little piece of history that very few visitors of the Columbia River Gorge notice but nearly everyone drives right by.