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 incredibly tall falls….620 feet, to be exact.  As you’d expect, this waterfall is on most people’s bucket lists, which makes it one of Oregon’s most crowded & popular hikes.  Here, I’ll tell you exactly how to get to the Multnomah Falls hike ~ & if it’s worth the crowds or not!

**Author’s Note: Article updated as of December 2022.

Guide to Hiking Multnomah Falls in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

Gorgeous Multnomah Falls: an Oregon landmark.

So….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 crowded. 

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 ones below…

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 Info & Photos

 In winter, the falls are as spectacular as in summer (just 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, & the lower falls.  You’ll also see Benson Bridge, which is just a quick, 0.2 mile walk on a paved road.  

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.

Guide to Hiking Multnomah Falls in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

The falls are also stunning in fall, surrounded by bright yellow foliage.

How to Get to Mulltnomah Falls Hike

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

Guide to Hiking Multnomah Falls in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World

A great view of Benson Bridge.

Completing the entire trail is longer & quite a bit steeper, but only 2.4 miles round-trip ~ with 11 switchbacks & a turn-off for the Larch Mountain hike.  Crowds thin out slightly as you get higher, so you’ll be able to get some great shots of the falls. 

How to Get to Multnomah Falls Hike

View from the top of Multnomah Falls.

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


But the best part?  Heading back down for a refreshment at the cozy Multnomah Falls Lodge.  In the winter, I love having a warm Spanish Coffee here….  

Where to Stay & Drink

The best place to grab a quick drink after hiking is Multnomah Falls Lodge.  Built in 1925, it has loads of historic charm, good coffee, & all kinds of adult beverages.   

But if you’d rather get on the road, stop at the classic Oregon hotel, McMenamins Edgefield.  It’s located right off of I-84 on the way back to Portland, has a spa, golf course, several restaurants, brewery, huge porch, & plenty of Oregon quirkiness.  In the summer, there’s no better spot ~ & they host big concerts on their outdoor 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 swimming in Horsetail Falls’ pool will do the trick.  For serious hikers wanting a longer, more challenging climb ~ take the turn-off for Larch Mountain, from the Multnomah Falls trail. 

Guide to Hiking Multnomah Falls

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on Multnomah Falls!   If you’re headed back to Portland, check out some of the city’s best brunch spots, or this guide to enjoying Washington Park.  

xoxo Noelia 

Read Next: How to Get to Horsetail Falls Hike

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Guide to Hiking Multnomah Falls in Oregon, Girl Who Travels the World