Multnomah Falls
Western Gorge, Oregon
Multnomah Falls (photographer: Micheal Drewry)
alert Trail Alert, Sep 17, 2021: From U.S. Forest Service, Sept. 14, 2021 — Work to repair a section of Larch Mountain Trail #441 near Multnomah Falls will begin Sept. 20 and is anticipated to take 4-5 weeks. During this time, the section of trail beyond Benson Bridge will be closed to public access. There will also be intermittent closures of the entire trail, including Benson Bridge, while contractors mobilize equipment and supplies. The Historic Lodge, including the restaurant and gift shop, will remain open during construction.

This emergency trail repair is needed because tension cracks have developed along approximately 100 feet of the Larch Mountain Trail just beyond Benson Bridge, leading to slope instability and the potential for failure.

Prior to the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017, this section of trail did not show any signs of failure. The current instability is likely the result of post-fire effects including significant changes in vegetation leading to increased ground water flow through the rock mass on which the trail was built. Increased groundwater flow and extreme temperature events have led to cracking within the rock mass supporting the trail.
Hike Details
Type:
Out and back
Distance:
2.6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:
700 feet
Difficulty:
Easy
Trail Features
Family Friendly:
Yes
Restrooms:
Yes
Trailhead Pass:
No
Trail Details
WaterfallWaterfallBeautiful Views

In an effort to reduce summer congestion at Multnomah Falls, starting July 20, 2021, the U.S. Forest Service will required timed ticket reservations between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Read more about the reservation system and go here to obtain a ticket.




This trail begins at Multnomah Falls trailhead and climbs 0.2 mile to the Benson Bridge, built in 1914 by one of the builders of the old highway. Beyond the bridge, the asphalt trail switchbacks up steeply for another mile to a ridge crest. Look for Columbia River views as you ascend. From the top, the trail drops slightly to a junction with a trail labeled "viewpoint". The asphalt follows the side path to the Multnomah Falls Upper Viewpoint, where a balcony sits at the lip of the falls looking down on the lodge and creek below.
 
History
Lumber baron and philanthropist Simon Benson donated the land that the falls sit upon and funded the construction of the iconic Benson Bridge in front of Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon and the Columbia Gorge's most recognizable natural landmark. Benson's generosity later helped citizens work with timber companies in the 1940s and 1950s to secure protection of some of the Gorge's most iconic waterfalls.


Directions & Travel Tips

Multnomah Falls Trailhead:  From the west on I-84 take Exit #31/Multnomah Falls. Park in the parking lot and walk under the footbridge to Multnomah Falls Lodge. From the east on I-84, take Exit #35 toward Historic Hwy/Ainsworth State Park. Continue west for 4 miles on the Historic Hwy until you reach the parking area. Alternatively from the east or west, take I-84 to Exit #28/Bridal Veil and drive east on the Historic Columbia River Highway to the Multnomah Falls Lodge parking area.