They say this place attracts one million visitors every year and in 2013 we were part of the statistics. And I am not surprised that this many people visit Multonomah Falls along the Columbia River Gorge; it really is a sight to behold.
The Oregon side of the gorge is said to have around 77 waterfalls and Multnomah Falls should be the grandest of them all.
When we were planning a drive to the Columbia River Gorge that lies between Oregon and Washington states, Multnomah Falls turned out to be right on top of our list of attractions along the gorge. Why? That’s not difficult to see.
(A cellphone pic.)
Multnomah Falls is the second tallest perennial waterfall in the United States (the first being Yosemite Falls). It doesn’t hurt that it is uniquely picturesque because it falls in two parts, that being the result of a massive flood and constant erosion. Adding to the dramatic effect of the scene is a striking architectural feature — a concrete bridge aesthetically placed in between the two segments of the waterfall.
Some Multnomah Fall Facts:
- Multnomah Falls is said to be 620 ft
- The upper falls is over 540 ft
- And the lower drop, around 70ft.
The bridge in between was built in 1914 and is called the Benson Arch Bridge. An information board at the waterfalls says the original bridge was one made of wood and when that collapsed, the concrete one was built.
|The walk to the bridge.|
Whatever other points of interest we missed on the way, this one we weren’t going to skip. So our GPS Navigation system was set for Multnomah Falls Lodge, a handsome looking stone building off Columbia River Highway. The moment I set eyes on the structure, I fell in love with it. Unfortunately we couldn’t go in as it was Thanksgiving Day and the restaurant — my excuse to see the lodge — was closed. Completing the postcard-type man-made beauty was that breathtaking two-tier-waterfall in the background. We walked around the front of the lodge and went towards the waterfall.
After taking in the cascades and a few pictures of the upper and lower falls and the bridge in between, we did a .2 mile hike up to the bridge. You can actually go all the way up to the upper fall, which is only a mile’s hike, but I was too pregnant to do the walk all the way up so we just made do with the half the distance.
From the bridge I got to see the pool that the first leg of the Falls dropped to and from where the second falls began. From there, I could also got a bird’s eye view of the Columbia River as it flowed past the area.
I’ve taken loads of pictures of this waterfall but I know that even if I hadn’t, the way this two-tiered-beauty looked is never going to fade from my memory.
|The upper fall making a pool before its second fall|
|The lower fall making a splash.|
|After the double-fall, the Multnomah Creek hurrying to the Columbia River|
|The view from the bridge.|
If you want to visit Multnomah Waterfalls:
- You might want to set Multnomah Lodge as your destination on your navigation system. The lodge is at 50000 E Historic Columbia River Highway. (Just off Interstate – 84)
- It is on the Oregon side of the gorge.
- The exit to be taken – Exit 28/Bridal Veil Exit
- The access to the waterfall is on the right side of Multnomah Falls Lodge (You should be able to find food, restrooms and souvenirs at the lodge)
- If you are going in Autumn or in the Winter, make sure you are dressed for cold weather.
- There is ample parking space in front of the lodge.
Some waterfall 101 if you are interested HERE
If you missed the post on the scenic dive through Columbia River Gorge,
you’ll find it here —