Multnomah Falls is the most visited recreation site in the Pacific Northwest with 2 million stopping each year to take in the views! It features the 2nd highest waterfall in the United States.
Fed by underground springs from Larch Mountain, the flow over the falls varies, usually it's highest during winter and spring. Multnomah Falls offers one of the best places in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area to study geology exposed by floods. Five flows of Yakima basalt are visible in the falls' cliff face.
Facilities: The visitor information area within the lodge is jointly staffed by Friends of Multnomah Falls and the U.S. Forest Service. Books and detailed maps of the Columbia River Gorge & Pacific Northwest, and Northwest Forest Passes are available for purchase onsite. Free trail maps of the area are available as well as free brochures about Multnomah Falls in multiple languages.
In the Multnomah Falls Historic Lodge, there is a restaurant, bar, and snack bar. The Multnomah Falls Recreation Area is maintained regularly and there are plenty of bathrooms available for visitors. The visitor center, restaurant and facilities are fully accessible.
Hiking: The 1.2 mile trail to the top of Multnomah Falls is a steep trail of switch backs climbing approximately 600 feet to the top of the falls. Leaving from the visitor center it climbs to cross the historic Benson Bridge. From the bridge those seeking a more rigorous experience can continue to the top of the cliff and take a short spur trail to a small viewing area at the very top of the falls. Hikers up for a longer climb can continue on Larch Mountain Trail for six miles to the top of Larch Mountain.
Watch the video below to gain a sense of what the experience of visiting Multnomah Falls Lodge and Recreation Area is like:
At a Glance
6/1/2016: Expect large crowds and traffic delays on weekends. Consider riding the shuttle service: http://columbiagorgeexpress.com/schedule-tickets
Visitor Center: 7 days/week. 9-5.
Stay on the trail at all times.
Make sure that pets are on a leash and in control at all times.
Do not litter or throw coins into the creek.
Extinguish and properly dispose of cigarette butts.
Please do not disturn spawning fish in Multnomah Creek.
Forest Service manages recreation area and visitor center. Concessionaire operates the Lodge.
From Portland, OR: Travel east on Interstate 84 to exit #31, Multnomah Falls. Park and walk south, underneath the interstate and railroad tracks to the Lodge and Visitor Center.
The site can also be accessed by off exit #28, Bridal Veil 3 miles before the Multnomah Falls exit. Accessing the site from this exit offers opportunities to hike other falls in the area, such as Wahkeena and Horsetail.
From Cascade Locks, OR: Travel west on Interstate 84 to exit #35, Ainsworth State Park. Follow the Historic Highway west 4 miles to the site's parking area.
Parking: There is accessible parking available in both the upper (Old Columbia River Gorge Highway) and lower (off Interstate 84) parking lots. Paths leading to the Visitor Center from both parking lots are paved. There are some slight inclines along the path from the parking lots to the visitor center and around the falls viewing area.