Multnomah Falls, The Tallest In Oregon

multnomah falls oregon

We have been in Portland for 5 months now and last Sunday, we finally made it to Multnomah Falls.

Multnomah Falls is a waterfall on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, located east of Troutdale, between Corbett and Dodson, along the Historic Columbia River Highway. The falls drops in two major steps, split into an upper falls of 542 feet (165 m) and a lower falls of 69 feet (21 m), with a gradual 9 foot (3 m) drop in elevation between the two, so the total height of the waterfall is conventionally given as 620 feet (189 m). (source)

Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall out of 77 in the state of Oregon.

During the Summer, it attracts large crowds. And during the Fall foliage, the autumn colors provide a stunning backdrop to the Falls.

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Benson Footbridge

Last month, a falling rock damaged a portion of the bridge walkway and concrete railing, leading the Forest Service to close the bridge until repairs are made.

But usually, the footbridge is open allowing you to hike to the top of the falls. It’s 1.2 miles and gains about 600 feet in elevation. The trail leads to a platform at the top of the upper falls where you can get a bird’s-eye view of the Columbia Gorge. Once you’re at the top of the falls, you can also take the six-mile Wahkeena Loop Trail, or continue on to the top of Larch Mountain to extend your colorful hike.

It was icy and rainy when we decided to meet the Falls but we both really enjoyed the visit. There were quite a few visitors there too in spite the weather, so I can’t imagine how it is during crowded times.

You will find blurriness in the pictures, some of it on purpose and some of it caused by the rain which kept getting my lens wet.

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There is a lodge at the bottom of the Falls where you can have some food and drink, but a friend told us that it was a touristy lodge and to go to Cascade Locks instead, a town about 12 miles East of the Falls to have some apparently amazing soft-serve ice cream. It was cloudy and rainy, and our right hands were freezing from holding umbrellas, but we went to Cascades Locks to find some soft serve ice cream anyway.

This tip is probably especially helpful during spring and summer when the temperatures are warmer and the crowds are larger.

We arrived to Cascade Locks and we had no directions or the name of the place that our friend recommended but we stopped at a place where it seemed like it could be. As we were going in, a man was coming out with two cones of very tall soft serve ice cream; he looked at me and tells me with a bit of concern, “this is the small size”. I can’t imagine what large would look like!

We ordered a burger, a fish sandwich, some tater tots and two chocolate shakes which were basically soft serve ice cream in a cup. I can’t say it’s the most amazing ice cream I’ve ever had, but it was pretty good and my fish sandwich was yummy too. It was about $20 for everything.

If you decide to go, once you are in Cascades Locks just drive straight and the place is past the Shell gas station on the left and it looks like this:

soft serve ice cream food place cascade locks oregon

On the way back, we decided to cross the Bridge of the Gods and drive back on the Washington State side. We saw some pretty amazing views in this scenic route. 

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