Distance: 4.1 miles
Difficulty: Dirty Boots
Directions: From Portland, take Interstate 84 east to Highway 26 past Government Camp, then veer onto Highway 35 north. Drive 12 miles to a large turnout and parking area on the left for the Elk Meadows and Sahalie Falls trailhead.
The 4-mile loop hike to Umbrella Falls is a Northwest summertime classic. Along the trail, expect to see a ton of wildflowers—beargrass, lupine and paintbrush—along with the occasional tantalizing view of Mount Hood. Umbrella Falls lives up to its name visually and is a great spot for a midhike snack and/or beer.
Not too far into the hike, the path carves through a set of alpine wildflower meadows beneath the Hood River Express chairlifts. The trail ducks back into the woods before arriving at Umbrella Falls, its water spills gently and widely over multicolored bedrock into a very serviceable swimming hole. Another cascade, Sahalie Falls, can be viewed from a bridge near the end of the loop that used to be part of the old Mount Hood Highway.