If there's one hike I always take people on in the Columbia River Gorge, even if we have limited time, it's the hike past Ponytail Falls to the scenic overlook. Not only does it take you behind a waterfall, but if you keep climbing, it also takes you to one of my favorite views in the Gorge.
On the way up, you'll sneak peeks across the river through the trees, but it's nothing compared to the view at the end, I promise.
One of my favorite parts of the hike is this one stretch of trail though the forest where the trees look like moss-covered spiders or witches hands reaching out to grab you. It's the weirdest, creepiest little area, but I love it so much.
The worst part of the hike is heading away from the view and back down the same trail, although you can continue up to Triple Falls if you're not quite ready to be done. I did that hike on my first trip to the Gorge, and I definitely recommend it. If you're ready to head back to the car and check out the waterfalls close to the scenic, highway, though, you can head back the way you came. Look at the bright side: at least you get to walk behind Ponytail Falls again!