June 6, 2019 – Wahkeena-Multnomah Falls Loop
This area was burned by the Eagle Creek Fire of September 2017. The trails above the waterfalls were closed for over a year, then have been reopened and closed periodically since fall 2018. Instability along the trail, falling trees and sliding slopes have been valiantly repaired by our intrepid trail keepers. The trails were open today. We hiked up Wahkeena Creek and down Multnomah Creek. Much of the understory removed by fire has returned as lush greenery. It was a beautiful hike on a beautiful day, and there were sooo many flowers!!! Of course, by the time we circled back around to Multnomah Falls there were also sooo many people, but most don’t go above the Benson Bridge. I enjoyed my first foray back onto these trails. (Hike #26 for 2019, 5 miles, 1600 feet)
The trail continues up Wahkeena Creek beyond Fairy Falls and onto the ridge between the drainages:
The next section of trail, along the upper ridgecrest, has always felt very special to me – a quiet flat trail in the deep forest, high on a steep ridge above the river – immensely peaceful and idyllic. My first time through after the fire was trepidatious, but the trail retains it’s magical quality. Despite the scorched trees and more open view, the feeling of peace remains. These trees will all come down at someday. Today I marvel at the explosion of flowers the extra sunlight has nurtured.
A couple of comparisons from a June 2014 Hike:
From here, the trail crosses a couple of flowery drainages before heading down to Multnomah Creek:
The trail passes several waterfalls along Multnomah Creek:
A side spur leads out to the viewpoint at the top of Multnomah Falls (where the crowds of people begin):
A dozen or so paved switchbacks lead down to the trailhead. Lots of people and flowers along the way:
One thought on “Wahkeena-Multnomah Loop After the Fire – A Glorious Wildflower Explosion Amidst the Blackened Trees…”
That is far prettier than I had imagined it would be after the fires. Snags can be so depressing but those, with their black trunks and vertical lines have a certain appeal. I am glad to see the area recovering.
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