Know Before You Go
Before you head out, check with USFS for the most up-to-date information on alerts, conditions and trail closures.
Oregon is a state where water regularly flows down from on high. Multnomah Falls — all 620 feet (189 m) — stands above the rest as Oregon’s tallest waterfall.
Getting to Multnomah Falls
Located just 30 miles (48 km) east of downtown Portland along the Historic Columbia River Highway, the two-drop cascade attracts visitors of all types and ages with paved trails and wheelchair-accessible viewing platforms. Steep hiking trails lead all the way to the top and the upper falls. Fed by rainwater and snowmelt, the beautiful waterfall’s steady stream runs year-round, making it a year-round attraction. The highest volume of water is in winter and spring. Also, in the height of winter, the waterfall sometimes freezes partially.
As Oregon’s most-visited site, it is often crowded, especially on summer weekends, when the Multnomah Falls parking lot frequently fills up. Make a plan days in advance, and remember, a timed use permit is required daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. To get the most out of your visit, we recommend visiting during less busy times (midweek, early mornings), taking a shuttle or taking a guided tour.
Trails and Viewpoints
The lower-level viewing platform is not only a great place to enjoy the view; it’s perfect for catching your breath before forging ahead to the top. Alternatively, you can return to the Multnomah Falls Lodge below, where an elevator can take visitors to the upper viewing area. The lodge was built in 1925 and provides excellent views. It is home to a restaurant, a gift shop, an espresso and snack bar, and the U.S. Forest Service interpretive center.
Whether you climb to the top for spectacular views or peer up from the bottom, dress warmly and wear shoes with traction. The waterfall’s spray makes the entire area cool and slick. Dressing for the water also means you’re already prepared for rainy weather if storm clouds happen to roll into the Columbia River Gorge during your visit.
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