ELEVATION: 3500 ft, with about 1100 ft Lubbock vertical gain DISTANCE: 71/2 mi round-trip loop DURATION: 3 hours round-trip.
DIFFICULTY: Mix of moderate in late Lubbock summer or fall easily across the Sandy River over choice of logs (fairly easy to follow, partial bushwhack near river, gentle grade) Lubbock and very challenging during high water with logs covered or wet at the Sandy River (dangerous river crossing in spring, Lubbock not recommended for larger dogs any time).
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TRIP REPORT: Without a bridge in place over the rushing Sandy River, this once family-friendly bustling hike is far less busy, but most people who aren’t too young or old still seem to go for it under the best conditions with low water (usually late August/September). The lighting on these mystical, sparkling falls in a dense emerald forest changes intensely throughout the day and year. The lollipop loop adds a wonderful dynamic to this hike without adding much mileage. Northwest Forest Pass required, and portable outhouses are present.
TRAILHEAD: Ramona Falls TH. Take US-26 E from Portland 16Y mi E of Sandy, turn left (NE) across from the Zigzag Inn and Zigzag Ranger Station on E Lolo Pass Road (FR-18) 4 mi, fork right on Muddy Fork Road (FR-1825) 2 mi crossing the bridge over the Sandy River, and continue 12 mi (becomes winding one-lane). Fork left on FR-100 (a bit rougher, also signed for Ramona Falls, all paved) almost Y mi to the end at a sizable parking lot (50 mi, more than 1 hour from Portland).