Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls

Whatever time you spend at the Columbia Gorge will not be enough; you will wish for more and plan future visits even as you are leaving.

According to the visitcolumbiarivergorge website, “Just taking a drive through the Columbia River Gorge is an experience in itself as you will be in awe of this spectacular geological wonder. The Columbia River is the second largest river in North America, starting in northern Idaho and southeastern British Columbia, and traveling over 1,200 miles to the ocean. Through millenniums of geologic events, waterfalls have found their home in the Columbia River Gorge. A visit to the area is not complete without a visit to the breathtaking waterfalls.”

And so it was that we headed south to the Gorge last week to celebrate my birthday. Our plan was to drive the scenic highway on the Oregon side (the best views and attractions are there) take in a few waterfalls and small towns, then cross over to Washington for a stay at Skamania Lodge near Stevenson.

Our first stop was at Vista House on Crown Point.  Built in 1916, it offers spectacular views of the Gorge and is one of the most beautiful scenic points on the Historic Columbia River Highway.

I forgot to get a picture of Vista House but here’s how it looks from below.  Look carefully at the top of the cliffs to the right and you’ll see the tiny knob 733 feet above.   I took this as we were leaving the Gorge a couple days later, after the clouds had rolled in.

From there we continued on the old highway which as you can see, is charming in its own right.

We passed by many waterfalls the area is famous for,

until we reached the granddaddy of them all, Multnomah Falls.

Upper Falls can be seen from a distance, dropping 542 feet to the first pool below;

Lower Falls drops another 69 feet, making Multnomah Falls one of the tallest in the country at 611 feet.

After gazing at the falls for a suitable amount of time and taking too many pictures, we stopped by the gift shop for a souvenir and reminisced about our visit here almost 37 years ago on our honeymoon. (Awww.)

Then we fueled up on soft serve Ice cream and headed down the road to Hood River which I’ll save for later.

Stay tuned.

~ Susanne

16 Comments on “Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls

  1. O my goodness, this is such a beautifully perfect part of the world, I guess you could spend weeks exploring it and still not see everything. Would love to visit one day + Multnomah Falls are just divine

    • Thanks so much for your comment! The Gorge is wonderful, the waterfalls numerous and Multnomah spectacular!! Lots of museums too! You would love it! 😊

  2. Multnomah falls is 3rd tallest in the world behind Angel falls in Venezuela and Yosemite. You missed the biggest ice cream cones in Cascade Locks, though. A large soft serve is a foot tall!

    • Hey there!! Did you see us wave as we drove by?? 😆 Thanks for the info!! I remember seeing the stats on the falls while I was there but couldn’t find it again online! We settled for yummy cones from the gift shop but will take the advice from a local and stop by Cascade Locks next time. We’ll be back!!😊

    • Thanks so much! We had a great time. 🙂 🙂 It’s so beautiful at the Gorge with the river and waterfalls and there are lots of fun things to do!

  3. When we lived in Portland, we often drove out to the Falls for breakfast in the lodge there. A blazing fire, good coffee and excellent oatmeal.

  4. It only takes a drive through the Gorge to fill my soul with gratitude for the beauty and majesty of this place. We moved here from TN in 1983 and I’ve never looked back, not once. Thanks for the vicarious trip today.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I was born and raised in Seattle and I continue to be impressed with the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, including the Columbia River Gorge! Thanks so much for your comment! 😍

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