Finding Valhalla

valhalla, gorge

photos by John Waller and Ben Canales of Uncage the Soul Productions


The combined efforts of an expedition crew and filmmakers trekked and progressed deep into an untamed, undiscovered portion of Mt. Jefferson Wilderness. The unchartered territory—a pristine slot canyon named Valhalla Canyon, a gem of natural wonder—took three scouting missions to investigate Oregon’s new Shangri-la.

OPB showcased the Oregon Field Guide documentary, Discovering Valhalla: Oregon’s Hidden Gorge. Uncage the Soul Productions, a full-serve production company based in Portland, also completed a short narrative, “Valhalla,” which appears on the OPB website as well.

Named Valhalla after a grand hall from Norse mythology, a helicopter pilot on wildfire watch discovered by happenstance the half-mile gorge in 2010. Valhalla Canyon has waterfalls and narrow canyon walls that can reach up to 100-feet high. Only expert climbers and mountaineers should tackle this geographic wonder. In a world dissected and accounted for by Google maps, it’s surprising an unknown slot canyon of this magnitude wasn’t discovered until now.

The Forest Service has not announced if it will build a trail to Valhalla. This is an arduous and extreme hike. Please take all precautions before attempting.

Watch the special from Oregon Field Guide.

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