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Multnomah Falls
   Multnomah County, Oregon

[ Physical Makeup ]  [ Pictures ]  [ Maps ]  [ Update History ]

Widely advertised as the 4th tallest waterfall in the United States (which it is not, more later), and named in virtually every World Book and Almanac under the "tallest waterfalls of the world" section, Multnomah Falls is the undisputed best waterfall in Oregon. The falls are usually cited as dropping 611 feet, 542 feet in the upper and 69 feet in the lower tier. This is close enough, but to argue semantics, there is a small cascade between the two and a 10 foot fall immediately above the main drop which is sometimes called Little Multnomah Falls (it really shouldn't be considered a separate fall), which would bring the total height of the series to about 630 feet. Either way, its near impossible to visit this waterfall and not let your jaw hang a little in awe of the sheer size of the fall. As far as the claim that Multnomah Falls is the 4th tallest in the US, this is flat out wrong. Its also often said to be the second tallest perennial waterfall in the nation, also a false statement (see the Articles link above for more information). This is more than likely due to poor research having been done in the past in regard to the tallest waterfalls in the nation and perhaps a little of an attempt to secure a 'claim to fame' for Oregon. In any case, take a stroll to the Benson bridge for an unforgettable view of the best falls in Oregon, or grab some (good) coffee in the restaurant and be off to explore the waterfalls above Multnomah.

HISTORY AND NAMING INFORMATION

  • Multnomah Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.

The first whites to see Multnomah Falls were those among the Lewis and Clark expedition as they floated down the Columbia River. It isn't known exactly who named the falls, but the name has been in use since at least 1860, and according to "Oregon Geographic Names" its theorized that one S.G. Reed may have named the falls to popularize it as an attraction on Steamboat tours of the Columbia Gorge.

LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS

easy access

Drive east from Portland on I-84 to the Multnomah Falls exit (Exit 31) and proceed under the highway to the lodge and falls, or take the Scenic Highway from Troutdale, and proceed 1/2 mile east from Wahkeena Falls to the parking area. The falls are signed profusely so you shouldn't have any trouble locating it.

Latitude

45.57579 N

Longitude

-122.11500 W

Elevation

670 feet

USGS Quadrangle

Multnomah Falls 7 1/2"

Online USGS Topographic maps on Terraserver

Aerial Photographs: Terraserver | Flash Earth

Download KML

Open this location in Google Earth

OTHER NEARBY WATERFALLS

Name

Distance

Shady Creek Falls

0.242 miles

Dutchman Falls

0.458 miles

Wiesendanger Falls

0.578 miles

Ecola Falls

0.628 miles

Little Necktie Falls

0.951 miles

Fairy Falls

0.952 miles

Wahkeena Falls

0.96 miles

Mist Falls

1.375 miles

Dalton Falls

1.665 miles

Waespe Falls

2.776 miles

 

 

See all waterfalls in Multnomah County

See all Waterfalls within the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon

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Magnitude

67.31

IWC

3.3  (Class 4)

RATING

89.37 %

 

Photo of Multnomah Falls

[ View Pictures ]

 

PHYSICAL MAKEUP

Height

635 feet

Tallest Drop

542 feet

Num. Drops

3

AVG. Width

10 feet

Pitch

90 degrees

Run

100 feet

Primary Form

Tiered Plunges

 

Watershed

Columbia River (Snake River to Portland)

Stream

Multnomah Creek

AVG. Volume

150.0 cfs

Source

Springs

Seasonality

12 months

Best Flows

Year Round

 
 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Search for Multnomah Falls on Google

Information on this waterfall at the World Waterfall Database

Search for more pictures at:
Flickr | PBase | Webshots | Smugmug

       
 

UPDATE HISTORY

Mar 22, 2013

Edited basic information about this waterfall

 
 
 
 
 

 

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