A two-tiered beauty called Multnomah Falls

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...
Multnomah Falls in Oregon

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.

Multnomah Falls in Oregon
Multnomah Falls
(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.

Benson Arch Bridge and Multnomah Falls in Oregon

The Bridge

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 Waterfall

The walk to the bridge at Multnomah Falls

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.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

The upper fall making a pool before its second fall
Multnomah Falls in Oregon
The lower fall making a splash.
Multnomah Falls in Oregon
After the double-fall, the Multnomah Creek hurrying to the Columbia River
Multnomah Falls in Oregon
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 —

One mighty river gorge, two scenic routes and umpteen vistas

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45 Comments on this post.
  • Shweta Dave
    8 January 2015 at 11:47 am

    Lovely pictures, looks surreal and thank you for sharing additional information as well 🙂

    • dNambiar
      8 January 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks Shweta.
      One of the best waterfalls I've seen.
      You're welcome. Thank YOU. 🙂

  • magiceye
    8 January 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Beautifully captured and informative narration

    • dNambiar
      8 January 2015 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you so much, Magiceye.

  • Indrani
    9 January 2015 at 4:52 am

    Both waterfall and bridge are beautiful.
    So well taken.

    • dNambiar
      9 January 2015 at 11:38 am

      Aren't they!?
      I thought they looked great together.

      Thank you so much, Indrani. 🙂

  • Renuka
    9 January 2015 at 5:01 am

    It's a perfect example of natural and man-made beauty! 🙂 Truly spectacular!

    • dNambiar
      9 January 2015 at 11:39 am

      You bet. 🙂
      It was such a gorgeous sight.

      Thank you Renuka for dropping in.

  • Prasad Np
    9 January 2015 at 6:02 am

    Beautiful… now we know what they mean by picture perfect…..and those statistics are a great way to tell a story

    • dNambiar
      9 January 2015 at 11:43 am

      Gosh Yes! that WAS a perfect picture.

      Really? Thank you DesiTraveler. 🙂 But really, that's a sight that several millions should see every single year.

  • R Niranjan Das
    9 January 2015 at 6:24 am

    Wow! This looks majestic. Wonderful captures, Divya.

    • dNambiar
      9 January 2015 at 11:44 am

      The sight of this waterfall and that bridge in between gave me so much joy.
      Thank a ton, Nomad.

  • Bikram
    9 January 2015 at 10:33 am

    WOWWOWO.. beautiful.. nature at its best for sure


    • dNambiar
      9 January 2015 at 11:47 am

      Oh yeah, really.
      So this goes into the list of things to see in US? 😉

      Thank you for visiting, Bikram.
      How's the monthlong blogging coming along? All the best. 🙂

  • Rajesh
    9 January 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Beautiful. This looks similar to Doodhsagar Falls in India.

    • dNambiar
      10 January 2015 at 2:45 am

      With those railway tracks that run across the falls, right?
      I haven't been there yet. Someday…!!

      Thank you, Rajesh.

  • Meghana Hassan
    9 January 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Amazing Divya..
    Rajesh, I was reminded of Doodhsagar too..

    • dNambiar
      10 January 2015 at 2:45 am

      Isn't it?
      Thanks Meghana.
      And welcome here. 🙂

  • mumbaiiteanu
    9 January 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Awesome pics of this waterfall. Never seen one so beautiful.
    I'd love to visit some day.

    • dNambiar
      10 January 2015 at 2:48 am

      It really is a sight to behold. You should go see it.
      It looks better than it does in the picture, really. 🙂

      Thank you and Welcome here.

  • Shrinidhi Hande
    10 January 2015 at 1:45 am

    They copied it from our Doodhsagar 🙂

    • dNambiar
      10 January 2015 at 2:51 am

      The Benson Arch Bridge reminds you of the railway bridge that runs across the Doodsagar Waterfall, huh? 🙂
      I'd like to see Doodsagar sometime; I'll wait till baby no. 2 is a little bigger — to do that trek.
      Have a good weekend, Shrinidhi. 🙂

  • Ramakant Pradhan
    10 January 2015 at 8:10 am

    I had seen its pictures in postcards but never got a chance to visit. Your pictures are again making me ache for another US visit. Maybe, it's time I plan one!

    • dNambiar
      11 January 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Hey Ramakant, long time.

      This is a fabulous place. You will love it. I remember seeing some waterfall pictures on your blog. Multnomah Falls will be a great photo -op for you. I'm already looking forward to the pics. 🙂

      Happy New Year to you. Here's wishing you lots of travel ( a US trip included).

  • umashankar
    11 January 2015 at 7:57 am

    Thanks to your powerful presentation, I am going to add Multnomah Falls in my wishlist right after the Yosemite. Those are well-framed pictures, the bridge has immensely romantic appeal. The walk to the bridge is brilliant too

    • dNambiar
      11 January 2015 at 2:15 pm

      USP, you won't regret adding this to that list. This sight made me so, so happy.

      I really wish you could visit US soon. Believe me, I can't wait to read what you'll have to write, especially about SF, which I'm sure you won't miss. You've already painted such perfect pictures with words, that too without visiting the city! My salutes!!

      Thank you USP for your kind words and your support. 🙂

  • sunaina serna ahluwalia
    11 January 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Super pics and a very interesting read!

    • dNambiar
      11 January 2015 at 2:16 pm

      Thank you, Sunaina.
      Love your beach photoes!

  • Rahul Bhatia
    12 January 2015 at 7:04 am

    Have seen multi tier beauties in your posts Divya so the two tier one is not surprizing:) Have a lovely year ahead!

    • dNambiar
      13 January 2015 at 10:56 am

      You probably saw that in the post on the scenic drive through Columbia River Gorge. It's the same one.
      I had more pictures on it and quite a bit to write about too; so I thought it deserved a whole new post.
      I love this waterfall!
      Thank you Mr. Bhatia. You too. And happy travels.

  • joshidaniel.com
    12 January 2015 at 7:53 am

    that looks great and beautiful 🙂

    • dNambiar
      13 January 2015 at 10:56 am

      Doesn't it!
      It's has a charm of its own.

      Thank for visiting, Joshi. 🙂

    13 January 2015 at 5:05 am

    Happy New Year . There's a SurPrize for you. Will you please check my Melbourne Menu and provide me with your Name and Email. Thanks.

    • dNambiar
      13 January 2015 at 10:57 am

      Thanks a ton, Sujata.
      Sorry about the confusion. Hope you got my id.

      Thanks again. 🙂

  • Maniparna Sengupta Majumder
    13 January 2015 at 7:21 am

    Amazing waterfall!…Looks even more wonderful in your pictures… 🙂

    • dNambiar
      13 January 2015 at 10:59 am

      It really is.
      I think I'll pass on the credit to the waterfall. 🙂

      Thank you, Maniparna. And welcome here.
      Your 'shadow' picture is amazing. 🙂

  • Kokila Gupta
    13 January 2015 at 7:54 am

    Its beautiful and awe-inspiring… its looking mighty in images, in reality it must be humbling and breathtaking ! Great clicks and info D 🙂

    • dNambiar
      13 January 2015 at 11:01 am

      Yes. Both — Humbling and breathtaking.
      I really fell in love with this one.

      Thanks you so much, Kokila. 🙂

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      Thesis writing service? No, thank you. 😀

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