A short half hour drive outside of Portland will put you in the Columbia River Gorge. The canyon is extensive, and there is lots of hiking all around the area, both on the Oregon and Washington sides of the gorge. Since I only had a few days in the Portland area, I didn’t want to do any extensive hiking. But just off the highway is a beautiful waterfall visited by thousands of people every year — Multnomah Falls.
You can see the falls from the parking lot, but if you walk up the short paved path, you’ll get a much more impressive full view of the falls. Multnomah has an upper and lower falls with a bridge that crosses over the two. The upper falls are much longer, nearly 550 feet, while the lower falls are about 70 feet, making this the tallest waterfall in Oregon.
It’s really easy to walk right up to the falls and the bridge. The path is full paved and isn’t strenuous, so it’s great place for a family outing. There are lots of tourists there, so expect a bit of a crowd. Surrounding the paths are Oregon’s beautiful mossy forest and trees, so it’s quite beautiful.
Once up to the bridge, you can continue on for a little bit loner walk. Hanna and I continued up the trail which leads to top of the upper falls. There are 11 switchbacks, and it takes about 45 minutes to walk up. The overlook itself isn’t impressive because you can’t really see the falls well. I did, however, enjoy a nice view of the Columbia river and gorge. Although it was only a short uphill walk, it was nice to get outside on a beautiful afternoon day and spend some time in nature.