Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls
Full view of both tiers
Location Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Coordinates 45°34′33″N 122°06′55″W / 45.5759516°N 122.1153641°W / 45.5759516; -122.1153641Coordinates: 45°34′33″N 122°06′55″W / 45.5759516°N 122.1153641°W / 45.5759516; -122.1153641
Type Tiered
Elevation 627 ft (191 m)
Total height 620 ft (189 m)
Number of drops 2
Longest drop 542 ft (165 m)
Watercourse Multnomah Creek
Average flow rate 150 cu ft/s (4.2 m3/s)
World height ranking 434

Multnomah Falls is a waterfall on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, located east of Troutdale, between Corbett and Dodson, along the Historic Columbia River Highway. The falls drops in two major steps, split into an upper falls of 542 feet (165 m) and a lower falls of 69 feet (21 m), with a gradual 9 foot (3 m) drop in elevation between the two, so the total height of the waterfall is conventionally given as 620 feet (189 m). Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the State of Oregon. It is credited by a sign at the site of the falls as the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States but that claim is debated among waterfall experts. [1]

The Multnomah Creek Bridge on the Historic Columbia River Highway.
Colorized picture of the waterfall before the footbridge was added

Underground springs from Larch Mountain are the year-round source of water for the waterfall, augmented by spring runoff from the mountain's snowpack and rainwater during the other seasons.

A foot trail leads to Benson Footbridge, a 45-foot (14 m)-long footbridge that allows visitors to cross 105 feet (32 m) above the lower cascade. The trail continues to a platform at the top of the upper falls where visitors get a bird's-eye view of the Columbia Gorge and also of "Little Multnomah", a small cascade slightly upstream from the "upper" falls, which is not visible from ground level. The footbridge is named after Simon Benson, who had the bridge built in 1914.[2]

Benson soon gave Portland land that included most of the falls as well as nearby Wahkeena Falls. The Oregon-Washington Railroad and Navigation Company gave Portland land at the base of Multnomah Falls contingent upon their agreement to build a lodge at the site. A few years later architect A.E. Doyle, who designed the Meier & Frank Building, was commissioned by the city to design the lodge, which was completed in 1925.[3] The lodge is now on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]

In contrast to other falls along the Gorge, the Multnomah area is also reachable via a stretch of I-84 east of Troutdale, Oregon. The rest area and tunnel under the road (as well as the Union Pacific Railroad tracks) allow Interstate travelers from either direction to stop and visit the falls.

In 1995, a 400 ton boulder fell 225 feet (69 m) from the face of the waterfall into the pool above Benson Bridge. It caused a 70-foot (21 m) splash of water and gravel to wash over the footbridge, which in turn caused minor injuries to a wedding party that happened to be on it for photos at the time.[4]

Multnomah Falls Lodge and Footpath
Location: Bridal Veil, Oregon, vicinity[5]
Nearest city: Cascade Locks, Oregon
Coordinates: 45°34′33″N 122°06′55″W / 45.5759516°N 122.1153641°W / 45.5759516; -122.1153641Coordinates: 45°34′33″N 122°06′55″W / 45.5759516°N 122.1153641°W / 45.5759516; -122.1153641
Built: 1915[5]
Architect: A.E. Doyle[3]
Governing body: United States Forest Service
NRHP Reference#: 81000512[5]
Added to NRHP: April 22, 1981[5]


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Wahkeena Falls — Infobox Waterfall name = Wahkeena Falls caption = location = Multnomah Falls, Oregon latitude = longitude = coordinates = elevation = 560 feet (170 m) type = Tiered height = 242 feet (72 m) width = height longest = average width = number drops =… …   Wikipedia

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