Hiking Project Logo

Multnomah Falls Out and Back

Intermediate
  4.3 ( 12 ) Favorite

Trail

2.7 mile 4.3 kilometer loop
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 868' 265 m
Descent: -868' -264 m
High: 739' 225 m
Low: 63' 19 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 47% (25°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by David Hitchcock

A trail to the top of Multnomah Falls with stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge.

David Hitchcock

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall

The trails around Multnomah Falls are open year round from 9 am-5 pm, 7 days a week.

Overview

The paved route is easy to follow, making for a scenic trip that won't soon be forgotten.

Description

Parking for the trail can be found in the various parking lots along Highway 30 and Interstate 84 (exit 31) around the falls. The Multnomah Falls Trailhead is located to the left of the Multnomah Falls Lodge and gift shop.

The trail climbs gently along a wide paved trail to a viewpoint where you can see Benson Bridge and the upper and lower falls. This is a popular area for people to take photos. The trail continues to climb uphill to the right as it makes its way toward the footbridge. If you look up the hill to the right, you can see a small cascade that works its way underneath a small wooden bridge that the trail crosses before it passes some wire mesh that prevents rocks and logs from falling into the trail.

At roughly 0.25 miles, the trail crosses Benson Bridge, giving you great views of the upper falls. After enjoying the view and getting past all the people taking selfies on the bridge, the trail begins to climb in earnest. Leaving the crowds behind, the paved trail begins to climb a series of switchbacks to the top of the falls. After the first couple of switchbacks, there is a bench that sits on a cliff edge that provides an obscured view of the falls. As the trail continues to climb through the woods, views of the Columbia River Gorge begin to open up, allowing for great views during your hike.

There are moss-covered rocks and trees along the trail as it climbs through the forest toward the top of the falls. There are sections where the trail narrows some, so be mindful of people coming back down the trail to their cars. Around 1.1 miles, the trail finally stops climbing and begins to descend toward Multnomah Creek. The Larch Mountain Trail (#441) breaks off to the left as the Multnomah Falls Overlook Spur breaks back to the right and descends a couple of small switchbacks until finally coming to stone staircase that descends to a wooden platform that sits above the precipice. Take time to enjoy the views of the creek and the Columbia River Gorge, even if it is a little obscured. Looking down, you can see the lodge and footbridge far below.

Once you have enjoyed the view and taken your photos, you can continue exploring the area via the Larch Mountain Trail or return back down the trail to your car.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, History & Background

Contacts

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

Jun 24, 2019
Ana Ibáñez
Jun 10, 2019
Carl Landis
Jul 28, 2018
Marcus Bowen
Swtadw
May 27, 2018
Ruby Zheng
May 10, 2018
Abi AM
Dec 30, 2017
Heather Price
Aug 25, 2017
Zaby Khan
Aug 6, 2017
Rick Busino

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 12 votes

#1773

Overall
  4.3 from 12 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#46

in Oregon

#1,773

Overall
57 Views Last Month
1,010 Since Nov 21, 2016
Intermediate

0%
33%
42%
25%
0%
0%

Photos

Multnomah Falls - 620ft of raw water power...
Jan 22, 2016 near Bridal…, OR
Mutnomah
Mar 20, 2019 near Bridal…, OR
Multnomah Falls from below.
Jan 22, 2016 near Bridal…, OR
Moss-covered trees and rocks on the hillside above the trail.
Nov 27, 2016 near Bridal…, OR
A view of the Upper and Lower portions of Multnomah Falls.
Nov 27, 2016 near Bridal…, OR
View up toward Multnomah Falls
Aug 19, 2016 near Bridal…, OR

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking