Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s tallest waterfall at 620 feet (189 meters) and one of the state’s top natural landmarks. The falls are made up of two waterfalls fed from Larch Mountain and are recognizable for their setting tucked into sheer rock faces. The cascades are made more fairytale-like by the Benson Bridge, which spans the top of the lower falls and provides great photo ops.
Multnomah Falls is a popular and easy destination for half-day and full-day tours from Portland. In addition to time at the falls, half-day tours often also include visits to the Columbia River Gorge, the Vista House at Crown Point, or other falls in the area. Full-day tours might stop at Mt. Hood for a well-rounded look at the beauty of northwestern Oregon or at area wineries for afternoon tastings.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Parts of the path that lead to the lower waterfall are wheelchair accessible; there is an elevator to the restaurant.
- A US Forest Service information center is open seven days a week.
- The Multnomah Falls Lodge at the base of the falls hosts a restaurant, snack bar, gift shop, and restrooms. Pick up hiking trail maps here.
- Make sure to wear sturdy walking shoes and bring a layer, whether you plan to hike or not; spray and mist can make surfaces slippery and cooler than nearby areas.
- Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash.
How to Get There
Located along the Historic Columbia River Highway, just across the Columbia River from Washington state, and 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Portland, the falls are a heavily visited attraction. If driving from Portland, head east on Interstate 84 and take exit 31 to the parking lot (which fills up often). For a more scenic route, take exit 28 and drive the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway. To avoid traffic and navigation issues, take a guided bus tour from Portland.
When to Get There
Multnomah Falls is open year-round, with the most impressive water flow in winter and spring. To avoid large crowds, go early in the morning, midweek, or on rainy days. Know that on warm days in spring, summer, and fall, there will be crowds.
Other Waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
While Multnomah Falls is definitely the grand dame, it’s not the only waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area or along the Historic Columbia River Highway. On the drive between Portland and the gorge, stop off at Wahkeena Falls, Latourell Falls, Horsetail Falls, or Bridal Veil Falls for more opportunities to take in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Select day tours to Multnomah Falls also stop at additional waterfalls on the route.