Multnomah Falls, Oregon
Updated: Jun 16, 2020
The majestic 620 ft Multomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge is a must see when visiting Portland, Oregon. Its’ beauty attracts millions of visitors each year. Grand views of the waterfall can be seen whether you are hiking to the top of the falls or stopping elsewhere along the trail.
Fun: ⭐⭐⭐ (out of 5)
Difficulty: Very Easy Easy MODERATE Hard Very Hard
(ranges from very easy to hard depending on how far you go on the trail)
Distance: 0.1 to 2 miles, depending on how far you go
Elevation Gain: Flat to 800 ft, depending on how far you go
Terrain: Paved trail, bridges
Time: 30 to 90 minutes
When to Go: Spring, Summer, Fall. Early morning or late evening if you want to avoid crowds.
THINGS TO BRING
Good walking shoes
Stroller if needed
Multnomah Falls was our first stop coming into the Portland Oregon after a full day of driving. We drove by at sunset and there were only a few other cars parked in the lot. You can see the waterfall from the interstate and parking lot but the better views along the trail. We viewed the falls from the parking lot as we were all exhausted and wanted to get the hotel.
We visited Multnomah Falls again a couple days later with a little more energy and sunlight.
We arrived around 4 pm near the end of the July and the parking lot was about 75% full. The main parking lot is in between the East and Westbound Interstate 84. You access the lot by the left sided exit 31 going either direction. We almost missed this exit so be aware as you get close. Once you park you will need to walk through a tunnel under east bound I-84 to get to the trailhead.
If you visit at a time where the parking lot is full you can drive to exit 25 to Rooster Rock State Park and take a free shuttle to Multnomah Falls. Rooster Rock does charge a $5 day use fee upon entrance into the park.
There is a small visitor’s center, bathrooms, restaurant and snack bar located at the trailhead.
You can see Multnomah Falls from the trailhead or you can get closer by following the paved trail. This trail is steep and can get crowded. I recommend visiting in the morning before 10am or in the late evening if you want to visit at a time with less people.
Just a short walk from the trailhead you will come to the famous views of the falls and the Multnomah Falls Bridge(Benson Bridge). Wait your turn to get an awesome picture in front of the falls.
Continue upward following a few switchbacks to get to the Benson Bridge. On the bridge you can get a closer view of the upper and lower falls.
This is where we turned around making our hike 0.4 miles round trip. You can continue to the top of the falls for a total of 2 miles of hiking or make an even longer hike by connecting to the Wahkeena trail.
This is a super touristy location but we were glad we took the time to see this beautiful waterfall.
PROS & CONS
Beautiful scenery and waterfall
Good for all skill levels and ages
Can be crowded
Steep 1 mile to get to the top of the falls
Multnomah Falls is located along the Columbia River Gorge 30 minutes east of Portland. It is directly off of Interstate 84. Simply put “Multnomah Falls” into your GPS device or phone to get you to the right location. You can also follow my map below.
OTHER NEARBY ADVENTURES
Portland (30 minutes)
Other hikes in the Columbia River Gorge
All Trails: Multnomah Falls Trail
Hi, I'm Corrine! I'm an outdoor enthusiast, mother of four, wife, nurse and runner. I believe God gave us this beautiful earth to explore, enjoy and protect.
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