Multnomah Wahkeena Trail

Multnomah Wahkeena Trail

Wherever we travel to we try to imagine ourselves living in that place. At the end of the day, we always ultimately decide that Laguna Beach can’t be beat. We joke that in SoCal, the thing you can always count on are sunny days. That lack of precipitation is reflected in our brownish and not-so-pretty landscape. The Pacific Northwest, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. The amount of rain this region gets creates this lush scenery that is a feast for sore eyes. Not only is everything big and green, but waterfalls are aplenty. Half an hour east of Portland is the Columbia River Gorge. Thanks to the number of waterfalls in this region, Interstate 84 that runs through the area is also know as the Waterfall Corridor. Today, we went waterfall hopping.

The Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s famed waterfall. It is the tallest in the state, and a distant fifth in the country (3 of the top 4 are in Yosemite National Park in California and all are over 1,500 ft), plunging down 620 ft. What it lacks in height is made up for in beauty.

An early morning view of Multnomah Falls

The park is instituting a timed permit reservation starting May 24 through the summer, so we managed to dodge the hassle of trying to secure a permit. The crowd was thin when we got there, and even thinner past Benson Bridge. We were practically hiking alone on the 4.5-mile Multnomah Wahkeena trail loop.

One can choose to start the loop trail at either the Multnomah or Wahkeena trailhead. I opted to start and end at the Multnomah trailhead just so that I can marvel at the waterfall twice.
A view of Vancouver, WA across the Columbia River.
One mile and eleven switchbacks later we reached the top of the falls.
A glimpse of Benson Bridge while looking straight down the waterfall.
The next half mile is a beautiful hike along the stream
The loop trail has a total of 5 waterfalls. This is waterfall #2 – Wiesendanger falls.
Waterfall #3 – Ecola falls
Past the Larch Mt/Wahkeena junction is through the burnt section, the result of the massive 2017 Eagle Creek fire.
Fairy falls (#4) is my favorite.
Waterfall #5 – Wahkeena falls
By the time we got back to the Multnomah trailhead, the sun was out and we got to see Multnomah in different lighting.

Before heading back to Portland, we made a quick stop at the Bridal veil falls.

This is a short half-mile trek through unbelievably green vegetation.
Just like a bridal veil.

After our time in the park, I had briefly entertained the idea of living in Portland. However, the traffic back into town quickly squashed that consideration. There’s a reason why we don’t live in LA.

Back in Portland, we hit up Birriera PDX. I strongly recommend this food truck if you ever find yourself in the area.
Amazing to find such good tacos this far north from Mexico.

2 thoughts on “Multnomah Wahkeena Trail

  1. Now this is interesting to read for two reasons. When we finish this trip to Egypt & Tunisia, we’re home in England for three weeks but then we’re off for a month long road trip around California. Also, we have some very good friends who are based in Oregon and we have an open invitation to stay with them… both destinations are very much on our radar currently

    Liked by 1 person

    1. California and Oregon are both beautiful in their own way, if you guys are going to fly all the way here from England then visiting both states would be a good idea. Actually, if you can extend your time here on the West coast, and if you’re interested in hiking and National Parks, then I would recommend adding on southern Utah and Northern Arizona. Although, I would caution that the National Parks will be zoos over the summer 😬


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