Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Dalton Creek and Dalton Falls, Oregon"
Includes ... Dalton Creek ... Dalton Falls ... Dalton Point ... Foxglove Falls ... Foxglove Trail ...
Image, 2006, Columbia River Gorge, as seen from Crown Point, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River Gorge, looking upstream, as seen from Vista House, Crown Point, Oregon. Looking at the Historic Columbia River Highway in the foreground and Youngs Creek (Shepperds Dell) on the lower right. Sand Island is in the middle ground with Dalton Point jutting into the Columbia. Phoca Rock is just visible on the left and Beacon Rock is in the background. Image taken October 21, 2006.

Dalton Creek and Dalton Falls ...
Dalton Creek and Dalton Falls are relatively unknown and lie east of Coopey Falls and Angels Rest and west of Wahkeena Falls and Mist Falls. See "Northwest Waterfall Survey" information below.

"W. Dalton" ...
Robert A. Habersham's 1889 Multnomah County map shows "W. Dalton" residing in T1N R5E Section 14. Metsker Map's 1927 map for T1N R5E shows Section 14 under the ownership of "Columbia Highlands Co.".

Geographic Names Information Systems Database ...
The U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database lists "Dalton Creek", "Dalton Point", "Dalton Point Boat Ramp", and "Dalton Point State Recreation Site". "Dalton Falls" is not listed.

The lat/long given in the GNIS entry for "Dalton Creek" appears to be in error as plotting it (July 2015) puts the "mouth" of Dalton Creek near the head of Young Creek.

Early newspaper articles and travel magazines about the Columbia River Highway do mention "Dalton Falls".

Dalton Point ...

From the "Northwest Waterfall Survey" Database ...
According to the Bryan Swan of "Northwest Waterfall Survey" database (July 2015):

"Dalton Falls is - as far as we know - the only historically named ephemeral waterfall on the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge. We've known about this waterfall's existence for dozens of years, hidden somewhere between Coopey and Mist Falls, but it wasn't until recently that we were clued in on its specific location. However, with further research and scouting it appears the waterfall which we originally thought was Dalton Falls may not actually be the real Dalton Falls. Our initial conclusion was that Dalton Falls occurs along the unmarked drainage one ravine west of Mist Creek, which is actually further east than we suspected it would be. However, given that this waterfall is highly seasonal and rather difficult to see from the Historic Columbia River Highway, it would seem an odd choice to give a name to. More recently Oregon waterfall hunter Zack Forsyth has explored the next perennial stream to the west and found it to harbor a significant waterfall that we now suspect may be the real Dalton Falls as the placement lines up with the maps which marked Dalton Falls as just east of Angels Rest. Until we do some further on-site investigation, this will remain an uncertainty."

Dalton Falls in 1915 ...

Image, Columbia River Gorge map, Morning Oregonian, January 1, 1915, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Detail, NEWSPAPER map/sketch, Columbia Gorge, "Morning Oregonian", January 1, 1915. The "Morning Oregonian", January 1, 1915, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspaper Archives, University of Oregon Libraries website, 2015.

Dalton Falls is shown in the drainage immediately east (left) of Coopey Falls and Angels Rest.

Foxglove Falls, Foxglove Trail, and Foxglove Way ...
Current Columbia River Gorge hiking names call the drainage just east of Angels Rest and the associated trails crossing the creek and heading towards Devil's Rest, "Foxglove". Quite possibly this is the old Dalton Creek drainage.

"Foxglove Falls:    This unofficially named waterfall cascades down the ravine to the immediate east of Angel's Rest in the Columbia Gorge. The falls are not acessible by any trail and access is both difficult and dnagerous." [Swan, "NorthwestWaterfallSurvey.com" website]

Angels Rest - Devil's Rest Loop Hike:

"The hike to Angelís Rest is on a winding trail (#415). It starts at about river level and quickly climbs up through trees and then over boulders before rising to a bluff above the river. From the top, youíll get a spectacular 270 degree view of the Gorge, including many landmarks like Beacon Rock and Silver Star Mountain.

Continuing on from Angelís Rest, you will switchback up the main trail of this hike, and in 0.25 mile come to a junction. Instead of going left on Foxglove Way, head up the hill. In about a mile, you will come to a second junction, this time with Foxglove Trail, where you will continue straight ahead. From the sign reading ďDevilís RestĒ, the destination is about 0.4 mile off. Just before the summit, there is a second sign marking the west end of the Devilís Rest Trail (#420C), an official Forest Service trail. Go east onto the Devilís Rest Trail, and on the left come to a side trail just before a survey marker. The side trail leads to a viewpoint showing Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainer, Mount Adams, Skamania Island and the Washington side of the Columbia River.

Get back on the main trail, and head east past another viewpoint. The trail winds along the top of the ridge, then switchbacks to a junction with 2 other trails. From here, the Wahkeena Trail (#420) leads east to Multnomah Falls. In about 0.5 mile, you will reach a junction with the Angelís Rest Trail (#415). Go left (west) on the Angelís Rest Trail. You will pass Wahkeena Springs before climbing another 0.5 mile. When the trail levels out, cross Mist Creek, and pass the lower junction with Foxglove Trail. In 2 miles, you will return to Angelís Rest/Foxglove Trail junction. Follow the Angelís Rest Trail past Angelís Rest and down the hill."

Source:    Friends of the Columbia Gorge website, 2015.

Early References to Dalton Falls

  • 1914, "The Sunday Oregonian", March 1, 1914
  • 1915, "The Morning Oregonian", January 1, 1915
  • 1915, Sunset Magazine
  • 1916, Travel Magazine
  • 1916, H.H. Riddell, "The Lesser Waterfalls Along the Columbia"

1914, "The Sunday Oregonian" ...

"Ten beautiful waterfalls, four of which are not visible from the railroad or wagon road, will be brought to view with the completion, expected not later than next August, of the Columbia Highway from Portland to Hood River. The new highway, which is being built of enduring material and on the best scientific lines, will pass close to the foot of Dalton Falls over an artistic arched bridge. This waterfall, 30 miles from Portland, cannot be seen at present from any road. Many other wonders will be brought to view by the new road, among them the recently discovered Sphinx, whose majestic stone features cover 500 feet of cliff."

Source:    "The Sunday Oregonian", March 1, 1914, Historic Oregon Newspapers archives, Univeristy of Oregon Libraries, 2015.

1915, "The Morning Oregonian" ...

Image, Columbia River Gorge map, Morning Oregonian, January 1, 1915, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Detail, NEWSPAPER map/sketch, Columbia Gorge, "Morning Oregonian", January 1, 1915. The "Morning Oregonian", January 1, 1915, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspaper Archives, University of Oregon Libraries website, 2015.

Dalton Falls is shown in the drainage immediately east (left) of Coopey Falls and Angels Rest.

1915, Sunset Magazine ...
Through the Columbia River Gorge by Auto

"... A long high concrete bridge is crossed at Latourelle Falls -- but it is impossible to describe all the waterfalls, twenty-one named and twenty-two unnamed in a distance of twenty-five miles. Shepard's Dell, with another high arched bridge, overlooking a waterfall and a grand sweep of river, is a playground of the giants among great basaltic pillars. Then come Bridal Veil Falls, Coopey Falls, Fort Rock, Dalton Falls, Mist Falls, Gordon Falls, the roadway alternating at a low level near the water's edge, then high on the hanging side of a cliff. Multnomah Falls, called "Queen of American Waterfalls," with a double drop of eight hundred and fifty feet, is a pausing place for everybody. Near Oneonta Gorge, where great cliffs almost smother a vigorous stream, a short tunnel is traversed. Horsetail Falls is an introduction to Cathedral Point and the much-pictured St. Peter's Dome. The gorge narrows. Salmon fish-wheels are seen. At Bonneville you will probably pause again to visit the largest fish hatchery in the world, and to inspect the petrified logs, some of them two hundred feet long. ..."

Source:    Randall R. Howard, 1915, "Through the Columbia River Gorge by Auto", IN: Sunset Magazine.

1916, Travel Magazine ...
The Columbia River Highway

"... From Crown Point the highway spirals downward on a 5 per cent grade, in triple figure 8, and enters the district which has given it the title, "The Road of the Falling Waters." In 10 miles travel 11 spell-binding waterfalls are passed, the highest being Multnomah Falls, second highest in the United States. Latourell Falls, Sheppard's Dell, Bridal Veil, Coopey Falls, Dalton Falls, Mist Falls, Wahkana Falls, Benson Park and Multnomah Falls, Oneonta Gorge, where a subteranean stream sends air blasts along the rocks; Horsetail Falls, Cathedral Point, St. Peter's Dome pass in quick succession and the traveler is at Bonneville, where he can inspect the greatest fish hatchery in the world. ..."

Source:    "Travel Magazine", April 1916

1916, H.H. Riddell, "The Lesser Waterfalls Along the Columbia" ...
The Lesser Waterfalls Along the Columbia

"... Just west of Angels Rest a small creek drops over a precipice forming Coopey falls. It is a pleasing sight, especially when the stream is flowing bank-full after a storm. A half mile to the east, Dalton creek comes down from the heights in a succession of abrupt falls, invisible from the river or road, but well worth the effort necessary to see them. ..."

Source:    H.H. Riddell, 1916, "The Lesser Waterfalls Along the Columbia", IN: Mazama, vol.5.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 2, 1805 ...

Columbia River GorgeReturn to

*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

  • Historic Oregon Newspapers archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2015;\
  • Howard, R.R., 1915, "Through the Columbia River Gorge by Auto", IN: "Sunset Magazine";
  • Riddell, H.H., 1916, "The Lesser Waterfalls Along the Columbia", IN: Mazama, vol.5;
  • Swan, B., "waterfallsnorthwest.com" website, 2015;
  • "Travel Magazine", April 1916;
  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database, 2015;

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
July 2015