Multnomah Falls

June 2008

State: Oregon

Location: Columbia River Gorge

Height: 630

Crest: 20?

Water Source: Multnomah Creek

Waypoint: 45.57611N 122.11417W

Summary: Multnomah Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest. It is extremely easy to visit, and very popular, but provides opportunities for adventure as well. One of the highlights of the Columbia River Gorge, which is a great destination for any waterfall enthusiast.

Multnomah Falls is the grandest of the many waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. At 630 feet it is one of the higher, year round waterfalls that can be easily visited. It is often claimed to be the second or third highest year round waterfall in the United States, but this is not correct. There are many taller waterfalls hidden away in remote places. But this is perhaps the most easily visited 600+ foot waterfall in the country.

The falls consists of a two drops. The first is a 542 plunge down a sheer cliff. The water falls long enough that it breaks up considerably before hitting the bottom. The second drop is 69 feet high, and would be an impressive waterfall all by its lonesome elsewhere. A bridge crosses the creek above the lower falls, giving you a nice vantage point of the upper drop and a chance to feel the spray of the falls.

The waterfall is easily seen from the parking area. This is a very civilized waterfall. You can find a snack shop, gift shop, ice cream, restrooms and all your tourist needs at the falls. You will also find a lot of people. It is a popular spot for wedding photos.

If you are looking for some adventure, you can hike the trail up to the top of the falls. Most people go only as far as the bridge over the lower falls, but the trail continues and slowly climbs up the cliff on a series of switch backs, gaining at least 600 feet in elevation. The trail leads to a viewing platform at the brink of the falls. The look down is quite impressive, but not for the faint of heart. There is also a small cascade just above the big drop.

The trails continue upstream, passing several small falls, Weisendanger Falls, and Ecola Falls. The trail loops around to Wahkeena Falls, a mile to the west. The total length of the loop is 6 miles.

Multnomah Falls is located along the Historic Columbia River Highway. There is also a parking lot accessible from exit 31 on I-84.

Nearby Falls

There are a lot of waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. Weisendanger Falls and Ecola Falls are upstream. Wahkeena Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Latourell Falls are all within 6 miles to the east. Triple Falls, Horsetail Falls and more are to the west.

Photo Gallery

View from Parking Lot

View from brink

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 29-Dec-2009 15:26:43 MST.

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