Multnomah Falls Trail Waterfall hike Portland Oregon Columbia River Gorge

At 620 feet, Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon, and one of the tallest year-round waterfalls in the United States. The waterfall is grand, beautiful, and easy to reach, making it one of Oregon’s most popular outdoor attractions. Located in the Columbia River Gorge on the Washington – Oregon border, 30 miles east of Portland, Multnomah Falls offers something for hikers of all abilities. Whether you walk to the base of the falls, hike 0.2 miles to a scenic footbridge, one mile to the top of the falls, or 6.8 miles to the summit of Larch Mountain, your visit to Multnomah Falls will be memorable.

Follow the walkway from the parking area at the center of Interstate 84, passing alongside a calm stretch of Multnomah Creek to the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge. Here you will find a restaurant, gift shop, and visitor center – all the things you would expect in a heavily touristed area. Continue up the walkway to the left of the lodge toward the waterfall itself. The alluring waterfall resides in a lush canyon shaded by firs, cedars, maples, and alders. Multnomah Falls is split in two tiers. The upper tier is 542 feet tall, while the lower tier is just 69 feet. A picturesque footbridge straddles the two tiers, providing an intimate experience of the waterfall.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon
Multnomah Falls

To reach Benson Bridge, continue up the paved walkway. In less than 0.2 miles you will arrive at the short but memorable bridge spanning a gap in the canyon above the lower tier. Here you will get an even better perspective of the upper sliver-cord tier of Multnomah Falls. Moss and ferns line the vertical rock wall, adding Oregon charm to this must-see waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge.

Beyond the bridge, the trail continues another 0.8 miles up to the brink of Multnomah Falls. The trail does not end there. Hikers may continue another 5.8 miles to Larch Mountain. Springs beneath Larch Mountain feed Multnomah Falls, and from atop the mount, hikers achieve a panoramic view of surrounding volcanic peaks.

Assess your ambition and enjoy. No fee or permit is required and dogs are allowed on leashes. To the footbridge and back is 0.4 miles, to the top of the falls is a 2-mile roundtrip hike, and to the top of Larch Mountain is 13.6-miles round trip. Even if you do not wish to hike a great distance, do not miss Multnomah Falls. It is a magnificent sight.

The base of upper Multnomah Falls
The base of upper Multnomah Falls

To get to the trailhead: Take Interstate 84 to exit 31 (30 miles east of Portland). The exit is well marked for Multnomah Falls. After parking, walk south to the waterfall.

Trailhead address: 50000 East Historic Columbia River Highway, Bridal Veil, OR 97010
Trailhead coordinates: 45.577786, -122.117642 (45° 34′ 40.02″N 122° 07′ 03.51″W)

Use the map below to view the trail and get directions:

View Columbia River Gorge in a larger map

Multnomah FallsMultnomah FallsMultnomah FallsUpper Multnomah FallsMultnomah FallsMultnomah FallsMultnomah FallsMultnomah FallsMultnomah Falls

These photos were taken in September of 2011. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
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This 2-mile visits a sublime waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge.
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Distance: 2 miles – Elevation change: 650 feet

5 Comments on Multnomah Falls in Oregon

  1. Kayla Ward says:

    How long is the actual hike? Like hour wise.

    • hikespeak says:

      If you set aside an hour, you will have plenty of time to hike up to the bride above the lower tier of the waterfall. You will need more time to go further. Finding parking can take as long as walking to the waterfall on busy days…

  2. catherine says:

    I overheard someone saying that the bridge is not open right now. Is this true?

  3. BearNWolf says:

    This is a steep hike, but about an hour long. When we went, the falls were closed at the top, so we didn’t get to see the view down into the pool; however, the hike was still worth it to see the river along the top. Our 5 year old made the trail with less effort than we did.

  4. Icktae Pang says:

    I’m thinking of going to Multnomah falls during New Years week. The thing that concerns me is the weather. Does anyone know what weather is like during this time of year?

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