Multnomah Falls is Oregon's tallest waterfall and it's also the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States. While at its best during winter and spring, this magnificent sight is spectacular to see any time of year.
Fed by the crystal clear water of underground springs originating in Larch Mountain, Multnomah Falls divides into two distinct sections as it crashes to the ground. The much taller upper falls is thinner and longer while the lower section is wider and stronger. There is a fairly easy, short hiking trail up to Benson Bridge. In 1914, Simon Benson, then owner of the falls, replaced the existing log bridge with this much wider and safer bridge, crafted by Italian stone masons. Whether looking upward to the top of the falls, or downward over the lower half of the falls visitors can thoroughly enjoy great views of the Columbia River and of the falls themselves.
For the more adventuresome visitor, there is a hiking trail to the top of the waterfall. This hike is long and strenuous. It's a mile long and is made up strictly of several switchbacks heading upwards at a forty-five degree angle most of the way. There are several resting points, and the view at the top is very much worth the effort.
Hiking Tips: When you start out from the parking area, you'll pass a historic 1925 stone lodge, a good place to pick up a map or a quick ice cream cone. Walk to the left of the lodge, straight toward the falls to find the paved trail switchbacking up to a stone bridge between the two segments of Multnomah Falls' long cascade.
The classic hike here follows a paved 1.1-mile path to the top of the falls. But you can beat the crowds and see half a dozen extra waterfalls if you have the energy for a longer loop to Wahkeena Falls.
OREGON AND WASHINGTON GUIDE
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