Multnomah Falls - Franklin Ridge Loop
Western Gorge, Oregon
Bridge over Multnomah Creek on the trail to Franklin Ridge. (photographer: Debbie Asakawa)
Hike Details
Type:
Loop
Distance:
11 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:
3400 feet
Difficulty:
Expert
Trail Features
Family Friendly:
No
Restrooms:
Yes
Trailhead Pass:
No
Trail Details
WildflowersWaterfallWaterfallBeautiful Views
COVID-19 advisory from our partner Ready, Set, GOrge! (readysetgorge.com): 

Increased visitation puts increased pressure on the Gorge’s limited resources.  If you’re planning a trip to our region, please help keep our communities safe by following CDC and local health guidelines and respecting the requests of individual businesses. Please plan before you go and always have a Plan B in case your destination is too crowded or closed. When recreating on trails, maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other hikers and bikers.

Fire Impacts

This trail was impacted by the 2017 Eagle Creek fire. We encourage hikers to be extra alert when hiking in burned areas in the Gorge. Falling trees, landslides, and debris flows are more likely in the burned areas because of unstable soil due to less vegetation to hold it in place.
 



Creating a World-Class Trekking Network Encircling the Gorge

Learn more about the initiative to create a 200-mile loop trail network in the Gorge.

On the Trail

This challenging loop climbs steeply past many waterfalls in the Multnomah Creek watershed, crosses Franklin Ridge, and then descends past more waterfalls along beautiful Oneonta Creek. Mileage is 11 miles, with 3,400 feet of elevation gain (and loss).

Permits & Pets

The U.S. Forest Service administers this site. No permits are required. Dogs must be on leash.

Trail Notes

  • From Multnomah Falls Lodge, walk to the overlook below the lower tier of Multnomah Falls, which drops 69 feet. Then follow the paved trail (Larch Mountain Trail/Trail 441) up to the Benson Bridge.
  • Beyond the bridge, the trail switchbacks steeply uphill. In 1.1 miles, turn right onto a spur trail that leads to a wooden overlook at the top of the upper falls. (The total drop is 620 feet: 69 in the lower falls, 9 feet between the falls, and 542 feet for the upper falls.)
  • From the falls overlook, come back to Trail 441 and turn right, leaving most of the crowds at Multnomah Falls behind. Immediately cross a bridge over Multnomah Creek. Walk the creek’s west bank, passing a series of small waterfalls. Cross back over the creek to the east bank and continue on Trail 441.
  • At 2.7 miles from the start, turn left onto the Franklin Ridge Trail (Trail 427). Keep on it 4 miles, and then turn left onto Oneonta Trail (Trail 424). Follow it past Triple Falls and Upper Oneonta Falls.
  • At Lower Oneonta Falls (mile 8.5 of this loop), either keep left to walk Gorge Trail 400 back west to the start, for a total of 11 miles and 3,400 feet of elevation gain (and loss). Or, at Lower Oneonta Falls, go right on Horsetail Falls Trail (Trail 438). Pass Ponytail and Horsetail Falls, and end the hike at the Historic Highway, for a total of 9.7 miles and 3,400 feet of gain (and loss). This one-way option works if you have a car shuttle.
  • Please always stay on the trail and clean your boots before and after you hike. Hikers are a common vector for spreading invasive seeds.
  • Restrooms are available in Multnomah Falls Lodge’s lower level.

Post-Hike Explorations

Depending on the direction of travel, brewpubs in Cascade Locks (14 miles east of Multnomah Falls) or Troutdale (18 miles west) are the nearest end-of-day places to refuel and review the day’s photos.

Other Hikes from This Trailhead



Directions & Travel Tips

East- or westbound I-84, get in the left lane to take exit 31/Multnomah Falls. Park in the large lot between I-84’s east- and westbound lanes, and walk under the freeway and on the paved walkway along Multnomah Creek to Multnomah Falls Lodge. Restrooms are in its lower level.

To approach Multnomah Falls from the Historic Columbia River Highway (not recommended during busy seasons, as traffic can slow to a crawl), if westbound on I-84, take exit 35/Ainsworth and drive 4 miles west on the Historic Highway to the lodge. Parking is very limited along the Historic Highway. Eastbound on I-84, take exit 28/Bridal Veil and drive 3 miles east on the Historic Highway to Multnomah Falls.

Car-Free Travel

The Columbia Gorge Express shuttle stops at this location. Click here for schedule and fare information.