This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and purchase an item, I will receive a small commission. For more info, please see my disclosure page in the drop-down menu above.
March is kicking my fanny.
It’s been cold and windy with morning dustings of snow and I am in desperate need of spring and a little adventure. Spring Break and a change of scenery is coming up but in the meantime, I thought I’d share a fun little mini-adventure my family took last summer in Oregon.
If you have ever driven through the Columbia Gorge, you have driven right past this sweet gem…
Multnomah Falls is a 611 foot waterfall on I-84, about 30 minutes outside of Portland. Everything in the gorge is beautiful but these falls are absolutely breathtaking.
According to legend, the falls were created for a native princess to have a secret place to bathe. I can’t imagine bathing in that frigid water, but more power to her! I’ll just enjoy it for the view, and man what a view it is! Between rain water, snow melt, and an underground spring, Multnomah Falls runs all year long. I’ve only walked around it in the summer but I’m sure it’s just as incredible in any season.
There is a walking path that takes you up the green follage covered mountainside and over a really neat old bridge.
Benson’s Bridge is a really cool piece of architecture in itself and gives a killer view to the lower falls. My kids loved walking across it. There were a bunch of tourists that day, so we didn’t get fabulous photos but it was well worth it anyway. As for the tourists plan on quite a few. You can even bring pets if they are on a leash.
The trail to the lookout is fun for kids. It’s twisty and there is a lot to see. My girls loved climbing through the trees and watching for animals along the way. They did a great job crafting the rock walls and steps along the path, something pretty around every corner and there are multiple places to take photos.
There is another waterfall just up the frontage road called Wahkeena Falls. It’s definitely smaller but a lot quieter and less crowded too. If you stop at Multnomah, you should plan on Wahkeena too. I thought I took some pics there, but I can’t find them. So, use your imagination and picture a gorgeous 240 waterfall surrounded by trees with a pretty little wading pool and lovely stone steps at the bottom. It’s cute, I’m telling you.
What can I say?
I have a thing for waterfalls, they just make me happy.
Why we love Multnomah Falls:
- It’s right off the road and easy to get to which makes it the perfect break on a long car ride. The kids can hit the potty, stretch their legs, and you get a break from the constant “She’s breathing my air!” and “This is the trip that never ends” sung in rounds. Don’t even act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.
- You don’t need to pay an entry fee or buy a pass
- It’s a quick, easy hike for kids
What to bring:
- A jacket. The waterfalls puts up this beautiful mist and it’s really cold. We were there in the middle of the summer and it was chilly.
- Water and snacks. They have a really pretty restaurant in the lodge at the base of the falls, but it was WAY out of our family budget. There was a guy selling candied nuts that looked delicious and I heard they have an ice cream stand sometimes also, but for our family of 6 (including 2 big men) it just makes more sense to bring our own.
- Camera. I wish I would have had my big camera to take some good pics, but my phone did fine. This place is stunning and you’ll come home with way too many photos. Seriously, bring a camera!
Oh, and once you are done exploring the falls and head back down to the car. There is one last little spot for little ones that I have to tell you about. If your kids love critters, there were a bunch of bugs and animal life in the little river under the roadway near the parking lot. My 8 year old could have waded in there and tried to catch things for hours. I’m not sure what that is like the rest of the year, but in the summer it was teaming with life.
For directions to the falls and more info, go HERE.
You have to stop because you’ll love it, I just know it!
Looking for adventures to take as a family?
Check out more of our Magpie Adventures and stay tuned, summer is coming and we’ve got big plans!
Do you have a favorite little stop right off the highway?
I’d love to hear about it!