LENGTH: 0.5 MILES RT
ELEVATION GAIN: 150 FT
When researching different things to do near Portland I found so many fun activities! Oregon has so much to offer and the choices were hard to make, but Multnomah Falls was only a 45 minute drive from the AirBnB. And everyone online raved about its splendor. I had to see it for myself!
When we pulled into the parking lot, I realized there were two parking lot options. We were at the lot right across the street from the Lodge. The other lot is a short walk that goes beneath the Union Pacific rail and I-84.
Facing the Gift Shop, which doesn’t open until 8am, there are restrooms to the right. They were open at 7am when we arrived. The gift shop had a lot of Multnomah items so we made sure to stop in before leaving for the day.
Facing the Lodge, the entrance to the trail is to the left. There was a board posted with a map of all the trails. Many of them were closed for the season.
There was one other couple there at that time with us. They took their pictures and headed back to their car. Then it was our turn. I
ran jogged up the trail. This trail may be too steep for some elderly waterfall enthusiasts, so you’ll be happy to know there are benches along the way. Or maybe you like sitting on a bench to just view the waterfall peacefully. That works too!
We would never have been able to capture these shots in solitude if it weren’t for waking up as early as we did. Can you see me smack in the middle of Benson Bridge?!
I know, I know, it’s hard to see me but I’m there! Here’s a close up…
From the bridge the view behind you is very green. To the right you can see the waterfall runoff heading downstream. The further parking lot is also visible. And the three guys down there eventually ended up flying their drones around. Insert eyeroll…
The trail will continue to climb all the way to a viewing platform at the top of the waterfall. However, we were not prepared for how cold the weather would be. The clothing we had was not waterproof and the mist from the waterfall made it feel even colder. Here’s a picture taken from the camera at the moment Tony and I both decided it was a good idea to go back to the car. Neither of us felt like hiking this trail was worth getting sick.
So with a new lesson learned about coping with waterfall hikes (although truthfully I feel like this has happened to me on several occasions now, cue Iceland) we walked back to the car. Here’s the bridge on our way down.
We stood at the base observing the waterfall one more time. Ignoring the three drones hovering around.
By the time we’d finished buying little souvenirs and sat in the car there were already a dozen cars in the lot. So if you want the waterfall to yourself it is well worth the early wake up call.
As we drove west on the Historic Columbia River Highway we came across two other waterfalls:
Latourell was a quick walk to either the base of the falls or the lookout where this picture is taken from. We chose the lookout because the mist didn’t reach us all the way up there lol. It was a perfect combination of fog, waterfall, and cold air to remind us we were standing somewhere in the beautiful pacific northwest.
There are miles upon miles of hiking to do in this area. And this early in the morning, plenty of solitude and parking. Come early and come prepared. You won’t be disappointed.
No water, no life. No blue, no greenSylvia Earle