***Author’s Note: Update to the article, “How to Get to Multnomah Falls Hike:” The devastating Eagle Creek fire closed this hike for about two years, but luckily ~ Multnomah Falls re-opened in Spring 2019, & is once again open to visitors.

How to Get to Multnomah Falls Hike!

Along with towering Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls is one of Oregon’s most iconic images.  Visitors from all over the world come to see these staggeringly tall falls.  As you’d expect, Multnomah Falls is on most people’s bucket lists, which makes it one of Oregon’s most crowded & popular hikes.  In this post, I’ll tell you exactly how to get to Multnomah Falls hike ~ & if it’s worth the crowds or not!

How to Get to Multnomah Falls Hike, Great Oregon Hikes, Girl Who Travels the World

View from the top of Multnomah Falls.

Is it Worth It?

So, let’s get right to it: is it worth it?  My take: you’ve got to do the hike at least once ~ but as an Oregon resident, it’s not my choice for a repeat hike unless you enjoy crowds (which I don’t).  It’s also not my favorite hike for dogs, as it’s just too hectic.  But, don’t let me dissuade you from going!  Especially if you’re visiting Oregon , you need to at least drive by the Falls.  Getting to the top requires a bit more effort, but you’ll be rewarded with views like the one above…

How to Get to Multnomah Falls Hike!

Multnomah Falls

Directions to Multnomah Falls

Directions from Downtown Portland

Distance from Portland: 30 miles

  • Take I-84 East for 26 miles
  • Take Exit 28 toward Bridal Veil, Historic Columbia River Hwy
  • Continue Straight on E. Historic Columbia River Hwy
  • In 3.6 miles, Prepare to Park in Multnomah Falls Parking Lot
  • Park car & head towards Multnomah Falls Trailhead

Multnomah Falls Hike Info

  • Starting Point: Multnomah Falls Lodge/Trailhead
  • Total Hike Distance: 2.4 miles round-trip
  • Hike Type: Out-and-back
  • Difficulty: Moderate, steep at end, on paved road
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 870 feet
  • Pet-friendly: On leash only
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Good for Trail-Running: No, too many people
  • Crowded: Yes, very
  • Best Time to Go: Give it a try in winter & miss some of the crowds
  • All Seasons? Yes

Multnomah Falls Hike Photos

 In winter, the falls are as spectacular as in summer (take a look at the photo below), when they look like a thundering frozen column surrounded by wintry landscape.  The falls are visible from the highway, & after parking in the large parking lot, a quick walk takes you to the base of the falls, next to Multnomah Falls Lodge.  From there, you’ll see that there are really three falls: upper, main, & lower falls.  You’ll also see Benson Bridge, which is just a quick, 0.2 mile walk on a paved road.  

Completing the entire trail is a bit longer & quite a bit steeper, but only 2.4 miles round-trip ~ with 11 switchbacks & a turn-off for Larch Mountain hike.  Crowds thin out slightly as you get higher, so you’ll be able to get some great shots of the falls.  But the best part?  Heading back down for a refreshment at the lodge ~ or in winter, a Spanish Coffee.  

How to Get to Multnomah Falls Hike, Great Oregon Hikes, Girl Who Travels the World

It’s worth the drive to see Multnomah Falls in winter.

How to Get to Multnomah Falls Hike, Great Oregon Hikes, Girl Who Travels the World

Magnificent.

How to Get to Multnomah Falls Hike, Great Oregon Hikes, Girl Who Travels the World

The first part of Multnomah Falls hike is a gentle incline, then gets steeper as you go.

 

Where to Stay & Drink!

The best place to grab a drink after hiking is the Multnomah Falls Lodge.  Built in 1925, it has loads of historic charm, good coffee, & all kinds of adult beverages.  If you’d rather get on the road, stop at the classic Oregon hotel, McMenamins Edgefield.  It’s located right off I-84, has a spa, golf course, several restaurants, a brewery, huge porch, & plenty of Oregon quirkiness.  In the summer, there’s no better place to be ~ they host large concerts on their lawn nearly every weekend.  

Great Hikes Nearby!

If Multnomah Falls is too crowded, try Angel’s Rest, Horsetail Falls, or Wahkeena Falls.  If it’s summertime & you want to cool down, Oneonta Gorge or Horsetail will do the trick.  For serious hikers wanting a longer, more challenging climb ~ take the turn-off for Larch Mountain. 

For a more complete list of Columbia River Gorge hikes ~ click here.  

How to Get to Multnomah Falls Hike!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on how to get to Multnomah Falls hike.  Have you been to Multnomah Falls?  What are your favorite & least favorite things about this hike ~ & did you take your dog? 

Happy Adventuring! 

xoxo Noelia 

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