Wallalute Falls

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Wallalute Falls is a large waterfall located on Compass Creek on the north slopes of Mount Hood in the Hood River County, Oregon, at an elevation of 4,879 feet (1,487 m). For many years maps have mislabeled the location of Wallalute Falls locating it on the Eliot Branch of the West Fork Hood River, one canyon over from Compass Creek[1] where it is still labeled on maps today. Historical documentation in Jack Grauer's book "A Complete History of Mt Hood" however provides 1890s era photos of two waterfalls located in this area, one labeled Wallalute and one labeled "Strawnahans" (a misspelling of the name Stranahan, a local pioneer of the era Oscar Stranahan) where only "Strawnahans" falls is a photographic match to the actual waterfall located on the Eliot Branch visible from the Cloud Cap road at a place called Inspiration Point.[2]

Photos published on Internet hiking forum Portlandhikers.org in 2011 have provided the first modern documented photographs of the large falls located on Compass Creek. According to Jack Grauers book, the original name of the falls on the Eliot Branch is "Strawnahans" Falls but the photograph captioned "Wallalute" Falls had no modern photographic match. Photographs taken during the 2011 exploration of Compass Creek provided an exact match of the largest waterfall located on Compass Creek to the 1890s era photograph labeled Wallalute Falls proving a misnaming of the maps has occurred.

The name Wallalute is a local Native American name meaning "strong water" and chosen as the name for the large falls on Compass Creek by local pioneer Ann Lang.[2]

The actual height of Wallalute Falls on Compass Creek is yet unknown. There is another smaller waterfall just downstream of the original Wallalute historically named Canon Balls Falls located adjacent to a place referenced as "Adam's Hole". Shortly after 2011 explorations of Compass Creek canyon, lightning strike ignited a large forest fire called The Dollar Lake Fire that burned most of this canyon.


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wallalute Falls". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Grauer, Jack (1975). Mt Hood A Complete History. 

Coordinates: 45°24′41″N 121°39′23″W / 45.411418°N 121.656282°W / 45.411418; -121.656282