Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s tallest waterfall at 620 feet and one of the state’s top natural landmarks and attractions. This magnificent waterfall is fed from Larch Mountain and is made even more picturesque by the Benson Bridge that spans the fall.
For a close up view of the waterfall, you can walk up a short, moderately steep path to Benson Bridge which spans Multnomah Falls first tier. From here you can gaze up and see the top tier’s full 542-foot drop and look down at the second tier’s 69-foot fall. The bridge provides some great photo opportunities although it is quite difficult to get the entire fall in the one shot.
Best times to visit Multnomah Falls
Unlike most other waterfalls, Multnomah does not dry up in summer. This is because an underground spring and snow melt feed the falls throughout the year ensuring that you will not be disappointed when you visit. Winter can be a very beautiful time to visit because when the temperatures are cold enough, the cliffs and waterfall itself are covered in snow and ice which makes for stunning and dramatic photo’s.
Facilities at Multnomah Falls
You can visit Multnomah Falls Lodge which is a historic building located at the base of the falls. Inside the lodge is an information center, restaurant and gift store selling all sorts of Oregon related items such as yummy jams and locally produced honey. If you plan to explore the Columbia Gorge further, be sure to pick up travel guides and hiking trail information from here before you leave.
Hiking at Multnomah Falls
If you have time, you can hike up another mile to the top of Multnomah Falls where you can peer over the edge of the cliff and not only see the falls cascading from above but see spectacular views of the Columbia River and the rest of the gorge too. The path to the top is of course steep and can be slick so be careful.
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Getting to Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls is located just off the I-84 and is about a 30 minute drive from Portland. You need to take exit 31 which is oddly on the left hand side of the road and very easy to miss if you’re not expecting this. The ramp will take you to a parking lot which gets full quite quickly on weekends. From the parking lot there is a walkway that will take you under the highway and to the Multnomah Falls viewing area.
Tours From Portland to Multnomah Falls
You can organize a tour from Portland to visit Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge if you do not have a vehicle or will not be renting one. We recommend a combined tour that will take you to see other highlights in the area such as Mt Hood and the Hood River for wine tasting.
Turn your day trip into a weekend away
There are many other attractions nearby including other beautiful waterfalls. Highlights in the area include hiking trails, fish hatcheries, and Bonneville Dam to name a few. Why not turn your day trip into a weekend away and explore the Columbia River Gorge further? You can stay close to Multnomah Falls in either Cascade Locks or Hood River but if you would prefer to camp see this article on our Guide to the Columbia River Gorge.