Multnomah Falls is among the most iconic and picturesque of the many cascades decorating the tributaries that flow into the Columbia River. Icy water drops majestically from its rocky summit, which is 611 feet (186 meters) high. Leave your car in the parking lot beside the highway and walk along the scenic trail for 5 minutes to see the waterfall in all its glory.
Feel the wind and the cool spray of water on your face, bringing you closer to the touch of nature. Capture photos of the chute and the majestic peak, which can be seen from the highway. The water level is consistent year-round, boosted by melted snow, rainwater and an underground spring.
The waterfall consists of two tiers, which can both be seen from a lovely viewing platform carved out from an opening between rock faces. Gaze up at the rushing water and admire the sheer size of this impressive natural formation. Climb up the scenic trail leading to Benson Bridge, which is level with the waterfall’s lower tier, for a closer view. The bridge is close enough to be covered in mist and hovers over a daunting 69-foot (21-meter) drop.
Bring snacks and drinks to enjoy a picnic against the background sound of roaring water. Visit the Multnomah Falls Lodge, which dates back to 1925 and offers spectacular views of the falls and the Columbia Gorge. The lodge has a souvenir shop and a restaurant serving local cuisine. Pick up trail maps and brochures relating to the surrounding forests and rivers from the lodge’s information center. According to Native American folklore, the falls was crafted to win the love of a youthful princess who needed a secluded place in which to bathe.
Multnomah Falls is beside the Oregon-Washington state line on the southern flank of the vast Columbia River. It is about 3 miles (5 kilometers) east of Bridal Veil and its state park. Drive northeast from the town, passing the Wahkeena Falls, to reach the site. Visit nearby cascades, such as Lower Oneonta Falls and Horsetail Falls.