Multnomah Falls Things to Do

  • Benson Bridge
    Benson Bridge
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    Ponytail Falls
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    Middle Oneonta Falls
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Most Recent Things to Do in Multnomah Falls

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    Horsetail Falls

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Nov 22, 2007

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    Heading east past Multnomah, this set of falls is again marked by a parking area and is easily accessed along the road. It gets its name from the way the rocks enclose around the upper end of the falls, making them look like a horse's tail. The falls are just over 175 feet - yet another set that's too high to capture with a regular camera :)

    Horsetail Falls

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    Multnomah Falls

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Nov 22, 2007

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    The highlight of the area...don't worry, you can't miss it. There's a specific exit off of I-84 for the falls, but if you're on the scenic drive, you'll know you've hit it when you hit the wall of traffic and people. There's a number of decent sized parking lots, but they can fill up quickly. Once you're situated, take your time to see the falls from the various vantage points. There's a gift shop/snack bar/restrooms, leading to a wide path that ends at the base of the falls, where you'll see the classic shot of the two tiers of the falls as well as the Benson bridge. You can then take a short hike up to the bridge, which crosses over the lower cascade of the waterfall. The two tiers combine to be a nearly 620 foot waterfall, and it is definitely a sight to behold!

    Multnomah Falls

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    Wahkeena Falls

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Nov 22, 2007

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    Depending on where you get off the highway, this could be one of the first falls you see as you approach Multnomah (it's about half a mile west of there). Park at the base of the falls and take a short, yet somewhat steep uphill hike to a bridge that crosses over the falls. The falls themselves are a little under 250 feet high, but they come down in several tiers. You'll get a very clear look at the bottom portion of the falls from the stone bridge.

    Wahkeena Falls

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    Latourell Falls

    by GuthrieColin Updated Jun 7, 2007

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    This waterfall is the first encountered when traveling the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway from Troutdale. This first stop is one of the best waterfalls anywhere. It is very scenic although you will likely not be alone while viewing this waterfall. The yellow/green lichen that hangs on the cliff face adds to the overall scene. At 249 feet (75 m) this waterfall appears taller to me than Elowah Falls further down SR-30 even though Elowah is sited as being 40 feet (12 m) taller. In any case, the comparisons between these two very similar waterfalls are interesting.
    Latourell Falls is accessible by a very short trail from the parking lot to the base of the falls. One important note is that their are two trails leaving the parking area. One will be a short downhill stroll to the base of the falls. That trail is to the far right of the parking area and is somewhat hidden.
    The other trail will be a .8 mile (1.2 km) uphill hike to upper Latourell Falls which will allow you some obscured views of Latourell falls but not reach the base. The unfortunate thing is that this is the trail which is more noticeable and their is no sign to differentiate the two hikes. I saw several visitors start hiking up this trail only to find that they were hoping for the other one.

    Latourell Falls Latourell Falls Near the Bridge Latourell Falls
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    Shepperds Dell Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written May 12, 2007

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    Just a mile from Bridal Veil Falls is Shepperds Dell Falls. This may be one of the most unfortunate locations for a mid range waterfall. Lying between Bridal Veil Falls and Latourell Falls most waterfalls would suffer from neglect.
    Shepperds Dell Falls is a respectable 250 foot (76 m) waterfall, however it is done in as many as 5 different tiers. To further this inaccessibility the upper portions of the falls are completely obscured by vegetation. Despite all these factors, if the falls were more visible I am certain that they would draw much more attention and the trail to the brink of the lower tiers is very short.

    Shepperds Dell From Bridge Shepperds Dell Falls Shepperds Dell Trailview
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    Horsetail Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written May 12, 2007

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    Horsetail Falls is another example of a waterfall that looks much less impressive in photos. This is certainly the most accessible waterfall along the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway SR 30. While driving from Multnomah Falls this waterfall will suddenly appear as you round a bend in the road and the surprise will certainly catch you off guard.
    The waterfall is not 50 feet (15 m) from the side of the road and thunders it's way 176 feet (53 m) down a cliff face into a large pool. Unlike many falls in the area this waterfall is visible from all angles which will allow you to really appreciate its grandeur.

    Horsetail Falls Horsetail Falls and People Horsetail Falls Left Horsetail Falls Right
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    Multnomah Falls

    by GuthrieColin Updated May 11, 2007

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    The falls are a charming sight and are visible even from I-84 on your way to the site. There is a small bridge between the two falls and it lends for a surreal spectacle reminiscent of a "Lord of the Rings" village.
    Following the 1.5 mile (2 km) trail toward the top of the falls you will cross the bridge and have a better view of the upper falls. The trail is fairly steep and takes around 30 minutes walking time to reach the top.
    I was fairly disappointed in the lack of a better vantage point of the falls from the top. The view is merely of the Columbia Gorge below. However it does allow you to gain perspective of how far down the water actually falls (620 feet or 188 m).
    After you have viewed the falls to your contentment a visitors center is available at the base for you to purchase souvenirs and learn more about the falls and the Native American inhabitants. Their is also a restaurant which is located on the second floor of the lodge just above the gift shop.

    Multnomah Falls View from the bottom Multnomah Falls People for Scale
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    Wahneena Falls

    by GuthrieColin Written May 11, 2007

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    At just half a mile (.8km) from the famous Multnomah Falls, Wahkeena Falls receives much less attention. It is not as tall or as accessible, but at 242 ft (73 m) it is no small waterfall. The surrounding canyon and vegetation is less visited and thus more scenic than the area around Multnomah.
    I believe that the main reason that Wahkeena Falls is less well known is that one must access it by hiking or driving along Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway SR 30. Also getting a full view of Wahkeena falls is not possible due to vegetation and the angle of the falls. From the parking lot, however, a short trail ascends approximately .2 miles (350 m) to a bridge just beneath the falls.
    Like many waterfalls in the area Wahkeena Falls was named by the Mazamas (an outdoor recreation club) in 1915. The name Wahkeena is a Yakima Indian word meaning “most beautiful.”

    Wahkeena Falls Wahkeena Falls Wahkeena Falls Bridge Wahkeena Falls From Trail
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    Multnomah Falls

    by goingsolo Updated May 30, 2006

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    There is a short but steep trail (approx 1 mile) which leads to a viewing platform at the top of the falls. The trail is pretty popular and was packed on the weekend summer's day when I visited, which made the steady uphill grind resemble rush hour on a freeway and made for a time-consuming one mile.

    In late May, the falls were a less popular destination as a late season cold front made for a soggy and chilly day. It was a better day for a speedier walk up to the top, but rain made the path slippery and the cool spray from the falls was impossible to dsitinguish from the cool and steady rainfall and was far less welcome than on a summer's day.

    The falls themselves cascade 620 feet straight down and are pretty impressive. These are the second highest year round falls in the United States. Multnomah Falls plummet from Multnomah Creek, a stream which flows from Larch Mountain and is fed from natural springs, snowmelt and rain.

    En route, you can catch glimpses of the nearby Columbia River.

    Multnomah Falls Multnomah Falls Multnomah Falls Multnomah Falls Multnomah Falls
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    Horsetail Falls

    by goingsolo Written May 30, 2006

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    Another pitstop and a different sight to behold. The falls, although impressive, do get a bit repetitive after a while. Unless the sight of falling water really excites you, your best bet is to pick one or two of the trails . Multnomah is easy because its visible from the road and parking lot. If time permits, pick one of the others,stretch your legs for a bit, and enjoy the view and the cool spray of water.

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    Oneota Falls

    by goingsolo Written May 30, 2006

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    Multnomah is the most known, and most popular, but there are numerous falls in the area. There are separate trailheads along the byway, or you can hike from Multnomah to any of the other less towering cascades. Oneota Falls is another destination, less popular than the granddaddy of falls, which means a chance for a bit of solitude on a summer's hiking day.

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    Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Sep 11, 2004

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    Some of the best views in all of the Columbia River Gorge may be seen from the Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint, also sometimes called Chanticleer Point. It is a perfect spot from which to begin your exploration of the Columbia River Gorge. Perhaps more photographs are taken from this spot than anywhere else in the Columbia River Gorge.

    There are no facilities here except a parking area and two viewing platforms, with informative exhibits. There is no fee at this "must stop" for photographers and sightseers.

    View from PWF State Scenic Viewpoint
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    Ponytail Falls

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Sep 8, 2004

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    Ponytail Falls, also known as Upper Horsetail Falls, is reached by a .4 mile (one way) footpath which leads up from the base of Horsetail Falls. The trail is moderately steep but well graded and offers some good views of the Columbia River Gorge. The pathway leads around completely behind the 100-foot Ponytail Falls, and continues on up Larch Mountain for those who wish a longer hike.

    When we were at Ponytail Falls a group of young people were swimming in the deep plunge pool beneath the falls. It was a bit cool, and reminded me of some of the Tennessee waterfalls where I used to swim when I was younger.

    Ponytail Falls
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    Horsetail Falls

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Sep 8, 2004

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    Continuing east on U.S. Hwy. 30, just 2.5 miles from Multnomah Falls, you will see Horsetail Falls. It is at a turnout right on the highway and no hiking is required to reach it. There is a small parking lot and a picnic area, but no other facilities.

    Horsetail Falls , near Ainsworth State Park, drops 176 feet off the northeast side of Larch Mountain into a cool crystal clear plunge pool. Those who dare may take a swim or go wading here.

    Horsetail Falls
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    Wahkeena Falls

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Sep 7, 2004

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    Wahkeena Falls is a spectacular series of several smaller cascades and falls with a total drop of 242 feet. It is known as a "tier falls," with many seperate falls that can be viewed all at once. We took a very pleasant short hike up to and across Wahkeena near it's mid-way point. Here a small footbridge led us across the 15-foot face of the falls, amidst rocks covered with moss and ferns. Only a couple of the tiers can be seen in this photo.

    Wahkeena means "most beautiful" in the Yakima Indian language.

    Stephen at Wahkeena Falls
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