Multnomah Falls Facts: Here's Everything You Need To Know | Kidadl


Multnomah Falls Facts: Here's Everything You Need To Know

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Multnomah Falls, the tallest and most famous waterfall in Oregon, is truly a sight to behold.

Dropping from a height of 620 ft (189 m) in two separate sections, Multnomah Falls attracts two million visitors from every corner of the world, making it one of the most-visited tourist sites in North America. Aside from its geological significance and aesthetic beauty, the site serves as a significant recreation hub, providing tourists with several things to enjoy.

You can visit these falls at any time of year because each season produces a different stunning setting around the area. For example, in autumn, there are fewer people, and the falls are lower, so you may appreciate the beauty in peace. As the winter snow melts, the waterfall reaches its maximum volume in the spring. The flowers in the area are also blooming, adding to the beauty of the setting. The summer season is the busiest time for visitors to Multnomah Falls.

Location Of Multnomah Falls

The towering cliffs that form the Columbia Gorge set the picturesque backdrop of the stunning Multnomah Falls.

  • The Multnomah Falls are located between the towns of Corbett and Dodson in Oregon on Multnomah Creek in the Columbia River Gorge.
  • The Multnomah Falls are accessible from Interstate 84 and Columbia River Highway.
  • The area consists of the Multnomah Falls, the Benson Footbridge, and the Multnomah Falls Lodge.
  • The Multnomah Falls Lodge is a historic building that includes a restaurant and gift shop. You can access all hiking information from here.
  • Visitors can reach Benson Bridge by walking up a paved trail and can traverse this bridge 105 ft (32 m) above the lower waterfall.
  • The trail leads to the top of the upper falls, from which tourists can view the Columbia River Gorge and the lower cascade, also known as 'Little Multnomah.'
  • The distance between Portland to Multnomah Falls via Interstate 84 is roughly 30 mi (48 km). This is the shortest route, which will take approximately 30 minutes.
  • Take Interstate 84 to the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway for a more scenic drive. This path will take about 45 minutes to get to the falls.
  • Take the Troutdale exit off Interstate 84 and follow the signs for Scenic Loop Drive for an even more picturesque journey. It will take you to the old Columbia River Highway, a National Historic Landmark. This path offers breathtaking views of Mount Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, and other well-known waterfalls.
  • If you do not want to drive to the falls, you can take one of three shuttles: the Sasquatch Shuttle (access to Horsetail Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Angel's Rest, and more), the Grayline Trolley (hop-on, hop-off service), or the Columbia Gorge Express (city-bus route).
  • Multnomah Falls is 93.2 mi (150 km) from the Oregon coast.
  • Once you have reached the falls, there are numerous things you can do. For instance, you can hike, dine, learn about the history of the falls and the lodge.
  • Pets are also allowed at the site.

History Of Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls, which graces the Columbia River Gorge, is almost 15,000 years old. We can owe its existence and shape to the Missoula Floods that occurred in the late Pleistocene era.

  • Geologically, the Missoula floods led to the formation of the Multnomah falls at the end of a hanging valley 15,000 years ago.
  • Native American folklore explains that Multnomah Falls was formed in order to win the love of a princess who desired a secret bathing place. As per another legend, Multnomah Falls was the spot where a tribal princess hurled herself into the rocks below to save her tribe from a dreadful disease.
  • The Benson Bridge is named after Simon Benson, the owner of these falls in the 1900s and a famous businessman in Portland.
  • The Simon Benson bridge was built in 1914 by Italian stonemasons.
  • The falls were donated by Simon Benson to the City of Portland, which later transferred ownership to the United States Forest Service.
  • A.E. Doyle designed the Multnomah Falls Lodge in 1925 to provide a rest and refreshment stop for motorists on the Columbia River Highway.
  • The construction of the lodge cost USD 40,000.
  • The Multnomah Falls Lodge was constructed in the Cascadian architectural style with timber and every sort of rock found in the Columbia River Gorge.
  • In 1981, the Multnomah Falls Lodge and its surrounding trails were added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The construction of the lodge cost USD 40,000

Geology Of Multnomah Falls

About 15,000 years ago, the catastrophic flood that raced across Idaho, Oregon, and Washington toward the Pacific Ocean led to the formation of Oregon's tallest waterfall.

  • The Missoula Floods were caused by the recurrent breach of a 2000 ft (609 m) tall ice dam that formed Lake Missoula, a glacial lake.
  • Lake Missoula was bigger than the combined size of Lakes Erie and Ontario.
  • The lake water flowed at 80.77 mph (130 kph), with a power comparable to 60 Amazon Rivers and flooded eastern Washington, present-day Oregon, Eugene, and beyond.
  • Geologists believe the flooding and ice dam reformation cycle lasted an average of 55 years, with evidence of at least 25 large floods.
  • Multnomah Falls is fueled by rainfall, spring snowmelt, and underground springs that originate on Larch Mountain. Since the falls do not rely on a single source of water supply, they carry water all year.
  • Six flows of Grande Ronde Basalt may be seen in the fall's rock face, indicating more than 400,000 years of geological history.
  • Multnomah Falls is the most visited natural recreation spot in the United States' Pacific Northwest region.

Length Of Multnomah Falls 

The most remarkable feature of the Multnomah Falls is the mind-blowing height that makes it one of the tallest waterfalls in the United States and the world.

  • Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon at 620 ft (189 m) in height.
  • The World Waterfall Database lists Multnomah Falls as the 156th tallest waterfall in the United States.
  • It is the 434th tallest waterfall in the world.
  • Multnomah Falls is believed to be the second-highest perennial waterfall in the United States.
  • The Multnomah Falls is divided into two sections. The upper falls plunge from a height of 542 ft (165 m), while the lower falls fall from a height of 69 ft (21 m).
  • There is a 9 ft (2.7 m) elevation drop between the two drops.
Written By
Akshita Rana

<p>With a Master's in Management from the University of Manchester and a degree in Business Management from St. Xavier's, Jaipur, India, Akshita has worked as a content writer in the education sector. She previously collaborated with a school and an education company to improve their content, showcasing her skills in writing and education. Akshita is multilingual and enjoys photography, poetry, and art in her free time, which allows her to bring a creative touch to her work as a writer at Kidadl.</p>

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