Multnomah Falls Travel Guide

Last Updated: October 12, 2021

I’m Taylor from Multnomah Falls and visiting in the Fall and Winter is my favorite time of year. Dress warm and use this guide to make the most of your time in this breathtaking waterfall corridor. Get tips on the best hikes, can’t miss activities, and what to avoid to have the best experience in the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area on the Nation’s First Scenic Byway.

Have a blast touring the waterfall corridor on an E Bike

More waterfalls, volcano viewpoints, bridge of the gods

A five minute hike, a backpacking route, and the best options in between

Follow a route and see what you can. Whether you have an hour or a day there’s an option for you.

How to go without a ticket and ticket info

As of Sep, 19 2021 tickets are no longer required. Travelers who arrive by bike never need tickets, you can rent electric bikes here and see many waterfalls including Multnomah without a ticket. Bike rentals start at $40.

You can also arrive outside of the 9am to 6pm hours without a ticket and this is the best time to go anyway. The sunsets and sunrises are beautiful!

From Memorial Day to Labor Day tickets are required to enter Multnomah Falls. You choose a time and have that entire hour to enter. Once in, you may stay at Multnomah Falls as long as you wish. These will go on sale in May of 2022.

At Multnomah Falls, this is what you can choose from:

  • Grab warm food or drinks and use the restrooms.
  • Go see the other falls in the area by renting an Electric Bike
  • Hike 4.8 miles up a challenging 1540′ and do the loop in the map below. (Closed for repairs through Nov ’21)
  • Hike 2.5 miles roundtrip up a steep switchback trail, climbing up 800′ to the top of the falls.
  • (Closed for repairs through Nov ’21)
  • Hike 1/4 mile roundtrip to the bridge for a better view of the falls.
Map of Hiking Trails at Multnomah Falls

Points of Interest

More waterfalls, volcano viewpoints, bridge of the gods

  • Do what Julie’s family did and ride an Electric Bike to 7 waterfalls
  • Take a hike under a hanging waterfall cave, simply go to Horsetail Falls and take the .8 mile round trip hike up to Upper Horsetail Falls.
  • Dip your feet in and take a swim at Horsetail Falls a popular swimming hole.
  • Tour the Country’s First Scenic Byway which runs from Troutdale to the Dalles. I’d recommend leaving I-84 at exit 18 from Portland and driving the Byway to Ainsworth State Park at Exit 35 from 1-84 (works in reverse if coming from Hood River)
  • Stand under a 250′ tall waterfall and feel the powerful energy of Latourell Falls near Mile 26 of the Scenic Byway
  • On the way back to Portland stop at the most epic viewpoint, the Crown Point Vista House
  • See old growth trees and 2 waterfalls on a beautiful and moderate 2.5 mile nature hike from Latourelll Falls

Must See Waterfalls

  • Multnomah Falls
  • Latourell Falls, 5 miles east on the historic highway and 1/4 mile easy hike.
  • Bridal Veil Falls, 3 miles east on the historic highway and a 2/3 mile moderate hike.
  • Pony Tail Falls, 2 miles west on then historic highway and a .8 mile tough hike

Falls Creek Falls? Not in the corridor, 53 minutes away is my favorite falls in the area. A remarkably easy 3.5 mile hike to the most beautiful waterfall around. I recommend hiking Falls Creek and riding electric bikes on the scenic highway through the waterfall corridor near Multnomah Falls

Itineraries

Decide how much time you have and follow a prebuilt route to see it all

1 Hour or Less Itinerary

To make the most of your short time take a walk passing two beautiful waterfalls while cruising along mostly paved paths through scenic forests full of old growth, burn, and birds.

1-2 Hour Itinerary

You have a few options to choose from:

Rent an Electric Bike

  1. Rent an electric bike and see 3-4 waterfalls from the country’s first scenic byway.
  2. Hike to the Top of Multnomah Falls and back down 2.2 miles roundtrip this is a steep hike that takes up to two hours. Most people complete the hike in 90 minutes. (Closed through Nov ’21 for repairs)
  3. Drive from exit 28 to exit 35 (or in reverse) and see 7 miles of the historic highway by car. Expect delays as the road is windy, slow, and full of cyclists and tourists taking their time.
    1. If you try this at a peak time you will spend more time looking for parking than anything else. Go when it’s raining or early or late in the day.
    2. Simply stop at each of the well labeled state parks on the route and follow the signs to the waterfalls. There are 4 to see and a 5th you can hike to. That’s Ponytail falls which you hike to from Horsetail Falls.

2-4 Hour Itinerary

  • Do the 5 mile moderate hike shown below and see 6 waterfalls and sweeping gorge views. Simply keep going past the top of Multnomah Falls, visit epic viewpoints and waterfalls, and make right turns to get back to your car. (Closed through Nov ’21 for repairs)
  • Drive from exit 18 to exit 35 (or in reverse) and see 17 miles of the historic highway by car.
    1. If you try this at a peak time you will spend more time looking for parking than anything else. Go when it’s raining or early or late in the day.
    2. Here are the stops to make:
      1. Troutdale, cute old town with great coffee.
      2. Farm Stands! Excellent food and farm products. Don’t miss the Corbett Country Market for the last gas.
      3. Womens Forum, viewpoint
      4. Crown Point Vista House, viewpoint
      5. Latourell Falls
      6. Bridal Veil Falls
      7. Wahkeena Falls
      8. Multnomah Falls
      9. Horsetail Falls

Full Day Itinerary

The dream! To have a full day in waterfall alley. Here’s how I’d do it from Portland, it works in reverse just as well if you’re coming from Hood River.

Start from exit 18 off 1-84 and drive along the Sandy River to Corbett Country Market for gas and fresh hot local snacks.

Continue to some farm stands that you’ll spot along the road. After the stands enjoy what you got at the women’s forum and crown point vista house.

Pack a lunch from the market, the farm stands, or. if coming from Hood river in Cascade Locks.

Carry on down to Latourell Falls where you’ll do a 2.5 mile easy hike to spot native species, old growth cedar and fir, and two waterfalls.

Get on your bikes and ride! Meet your ebike rental and ride to the relaxing and peaceful scenic highway to the rest of the waterfalls. If you didn’t bring lunch get some at the lodge. Pizza and hot dogs are available easily there too.

Return to your car and go get dinner!

McMenamins Edgefield if going to Portland. and Gorges Beer Co if going to Hood River from Portland

Car Free Itinerary

Be wary of ride share, there are typically only 1 way trips to the falls and no drivers to take you home.

If you’re arriving car free you’ll take the CAT bus to the main Multnomah Falls parking lot.

Car Free 1 hour or less

  • You have time to see Multnomah Falls, hike to the bridge, turn around and take the trail to Wahkeena Falls and take the trail back to the bus stop.

Car Free 2-4 hours

  • Walk to Multnomah then pickup an e bike from E-Bike Multnomah Falls (click here for reservations) for $40 to tour waterfalls on the scenic highway for an hour and a half.
  • Do this 5 mile moderate hike and see 6 waterfalls and sweeping gorge views.

Things to Avoid

  • Do not try to park at any of the Multnomah Falls lots off 1-84 or Hwy 30 during peak hours. Grab an electric bike or take a school bus shuttle or trolley style shuttle instead
  • Do not go in the middle of the day, near sunrise and sunset is best for crowds and views.
  • Do not bring a wide or long vehicle on hwy 30, anything longer than 35′ is banned and the lanes are only 8′ in sections as it’s a historic scenic highway.
  • Do not count on any gas, restaurants, or facilities in the area. The only concession of any kind is the Multnomah Falls Lodge where parking is challenging if not impossible.

Best Short Hikes

1. Latourell Falls Loop, starting from a 250 foot cascading beauty a beautiful path follows a bubbling creek to a waterfall in the hills. I love the old growth cedar and Douglas fir on these easy 1 hour hike.

2. Upper Horsetail Falls, simply park at Horsetail falls and walk up the switchback to a beautiful overhanging waterfall. The path actually cuts underneath the basalt cliff waterfall for about 100 yards. Easily done in 45 minutes.

3. Angels Rest, a bit longer and harder without any waterfalls this 2-3 hour hike climbs to a beautiful precipice with the best gorge views you can get in the area.

Best Day Hikes

1. Up for 5 hours of tough hiking? It’s worth it to climb from Multnomah Falls to Sherrard Point. Many waterfalls along the picturesque trail and views of 5 volcanos from the top! One volcano per hour of hiking with bonus waterfalls. Can’t beat that!

2. Simply hike to the top of Multnomah Falls and make right turns til you get back to the parking lot and you’ll complete a beautiful 2-3 hour waterfall hiking loop through Wahkeena Falls.

3. Beat the crowds to 4 waterfalls and the only way to access epic Oneonta Gorge by hiking up from horsetail falls and once again making rights till you get back to the road. Expect 2-3 hours but allow time to explore on this one.