Multnomah Falls: Oregon’s Most Popular Waterfall

Though it was hard to break away from downtown Portland’s foodie haven, I needed something else to do besides stuffing my face all day. Bonus if it will burn any of the thousands of excess ingested calories. So, we headed out of town for a short half-day, waterfall hiking trip.

Multnomah Falls is a 611 foot cascading waterfall, with hiking trails to the top, just 40 minutes from downtown Portland. A road trip here is one of the top things to do in Portland, Oregon!

The Most Popular Waterfall in Oregon: Multnomah Falls

We left the hotel mid morning and quickly hit up Voodoo Doughnuts for the Old Dirty Bastard donut. Much needed energy. We didn’t want to arrive too late in the afternoon when the tourists were bound to be in abundance. But, thinking there was plenty of time, we opted to take the, slightly longer, scenic Old Historic Road in order to enhance our already beautiful drive.

When we arrived, parking was scarce. Damn. Should have skipped the donut. But, we were able to sneak into one of the last spots and headed toward the chateau-esque entry.

There are a few different paths to the waterfall, at several different levels, the easiest being a viewpoint right at the bottom. That wouldn’t burn off any donuts. Or the fattening pigeon dinner that I ate last night.

We decided to see the waterfall from the most popular location, the midpoint Multnomah Falls bridge, a short and relatively easy .2 mile walk. Maybe that pigeon was actually low fat, surely the donut was not.

We headed uphill along with dozens of other people who were toting cameras, strollers, dogs and backpacks. Bumping a few of them along the way.

Turns out Multnomah Falls is breathtaking from every angle. Every foot of the six hundred and eleven.

Even the one I had to giraffe stretch my neck above the crowds to see.

After spending a significant amount of time gawking, we head back downhill, against traffic.

It was difficult to reach a Zen-like state amongst the dozens of chattering tourists, but if they weren’t there my mind would have been at peace just listening to the running water.

We started the 35 miles back to Portland talking about the awe-inspiring waterfall views and that quickly turned into a discussion about where to eat for lunch. It somehow always comes back around to food.

Where is the best waterfall you have ever seen?

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15 thoughts on “Multnomah Falls: Oregon’s Most Popular Waterfall”

  1. I agree, parking was terrible at Multnomah Falls!  I easily drove around the lot at least 5x before finding a spot.  Niagara Falls is still my fave….even though it was filled with people…I loved the little boat that takes you close to the falls.  

  2. Akaka falls in Hawaii…..well obviously I cannot discredit Niagra falls – but that's one of those things- its so close that it's hokey! I'm adding this one to my list!!!

  3. What a beautiful waterfall.  I don't have this on my bucket list, but I may have to add it.  everywhere that I travel I seem to find a waterfall if there is one around.  Someday I will get to Portland, and Multnomah Falls will have to be part of that trip.
    I love your writing style and pictures.  You are as adventurous as I would like to be.  Your travel and food experiences are great!  You have inspired me to cross a few more things off my own bucket list.  I think I'll be back to visit your site a lot!  Thanks

    • I do hope you make it to the Portland area one day, it is absolutely beautiful. I am fascinated by waterfalls, so try to seek them out when traveling, but Multnomah waterfall was amongst one of the best I’ve seen…so far :)

      PS. Thanks for all the kind words.

  4. I enjoyed reading about your visit and seeing your photos especially since I was just at Multnomah a couple weeks ago! Definitely the most impressive waterfall I've seen but I haven't seen many. I didn't have a car but after several recommendations to go see these falls, it was definitely worth the rental.

  5. Hey. Do you write about Niagara Falls anywhere? I love living so close by. It is my favourite place, even with all the tourists. I always manage to find a spot at the rail and then I am in awe and don’t notice the hoards anymore. I love waterfalls because they are so powerful and the most natural of our world’s resources. I will hopefully visit other waterfalls around the world, but will remain truly fascinated, captivated, and in love with my Niagara Falls until my dying day. I checked off the Maid of the Mist boat ride off of my list last year finally, after being afraid of boats most of my life and barely remembering my first ride as a child. I hope to write about that on my new Bucket List section of my blog I am working on now. I started one, but you have inspired me to take it much farther than I probably would have if I hadn’t found your site.


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