Shepperd’s Dell Falls, in the Columbia River Gorge along the historic highway. Many people drive right on by, not realizing a beautiful waterfall lies just beneath the bridge. When other spots are crowded, especially on a weekend with beautiful weather, one can almost always stop here and enjoy a few moments of solitude.
The land where the falls resides was given to the City of Portland by George Shepperd, the original landowner, as a memorial to his late wife in 1915. They were named in her honor. The land later became part of the Oregon State Park system in the Columbia Gorge.
Unfortunately, someone has taken it upon themselves to add their own art to that of Mother Nature. I really wavered on posting this picture, as I don’t want to promote graffiti in natural places in any way. However, I think this brings awareness to what is becoming a HUGE problem in places that are so well loved. The stone work here dates back to the building of the highway, almost 100 years ago. So not only did this person mar the natural beauty of the place, but they also desecrated history. This has been done recently, as I have pictures from this same spot almost exactly a year earlier and the graffiti was not present. (This picture was taken just a few weeks ago.)
Fortunately, more people are realizing this, and actually calling people out they catch in the act. There was recently a story that went viral about someone doing just that at Tumalo Falls in Central Oregon, which has brought a TON of awareness to this issue.
Want to visit this spot of natural beauty yourself? Oregon State Parks has all the information you need to plan your stop here, which can easily be done in conjunction with a day trip to the other waterfalls of the Gorge. It’s an easy walk down from the highway on a paved path, so you don’t have to be in peak physical shape to see this beauty.