Hole-in-the-Wall Falls

September 12, 2019


Photographer: Rebecca Roush
Summary Author: Rebecca Roush

Hole-in-the-Wall Falls is one of many waterfalls on the Oregon side of the Columbia River in the Columbia River National Scenic Area (CRNSA). However, it’s the only waterfall in the CRNSA that’s man-made. All of the others were formed by the scouring effects of the glacial floods during the last ice age epoch.

This man-made waterfall is the result of the Oregon Department of Transportation's (ODOT) efforts in the 1930s and 1940s to save the original Columbia River Highway (now in many parts a non-motorized trail) from flooding by nearby Warren Creek.

ODOT engineers decided that the best way to maintain the scenic two-lane highway was to divert Warren Creek through a man-made tunnel blasted through the basalt and diverting the creek through what is now known as Hole-in-the-Wall Falls. Photo taken August 28, 2019.