“Multnomah Falls”, Columbia River Gorge
Located on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge Natural Scenic Area, Multnomah Falls is the most visited Natural recreation site in the Pacific Northwest. Over 2,000,000 people per year visit this magnificent waterfall and the charming Multnomah Falls Lodge. The falls are composed of two distinct drops. The large upper drop of 542 feet and the smaller lower drop of 69 feet combined with a gradual 9 foot loss of elevation in-between the two drops make for a total waterfall height of a whopping 627 feet, making it the second tallest permanent waterfall in the United States, Behind Yosemite falls in Yosemite National Park.
The two large drops, location within a natural basalt amphitheater, and the Benson Bridge in the middle of the image make for an elegant natural composition and a fantastic stopping point when traveling along Highway 84 through the Columbia River Gorge. Because of its “touristy” location, much of the beauty of the Falls can be overlooked. On spring and fall mornings, before visitors arrive, the falls can be resplendent. In my fine art photograph of Multnomah Falls, spring bud break gives a verdant glow to the big leaf maples which flank Oregon’s most iconic waterfall. A well maintained, paved trail leads from the Lodge area to the Benson Bridge seen in the photo above. From the bridge, the rugged but beautiful, Larch Mountain Trail courses to the top of Multnomah Falls via 11 different switchbacks. At the top of the falls is an overlook platform that peers down onto Multnomah Falls , parking lots and trails below. The more intrepid hikers can loop together countless shuttle or loop hikes. Off of the Larch Mountain trail is a short spur trail to Sherrard Point which offers sweeping views of the Columbia River, Mt St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Jefferson.