Multnomah Falls has the weighty distinction of being the most popular natural attraction in Oregon. In Crater Lake’s defense, it’s probably only because it’s the closest natural wonder to Portland, but that doesn’t mean the falls are worth a pass.
Multnomah Falls boasts the second highest year-round waterfall in the nation, with a total of a 620 foot drop between two falls – 542 feet and 69 feet, with 9 feet between them. Not surprisingly, the falls are the heaviest on the spring, as more snow runs of nearby Larch Mountain. However, there is something to come for during all the seasons, be it the fall foliage, winter icicles or summer warmth that’s conducive to hiking.
There are a number of paths circulating the falls, including a steep walk up to the top that is entirely paved, but not for the faint of heart. The Multnomah Falls Lodge includes a gift shop, bathrooms and horrid restaurant that should be avoided.
The falls are easily accessible off exit 33 on I-84, east of Portland, or on the Columbia River Highway. Expect a 40-minute drive from Portland on the freeway, or an hour if you go via the highway.