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Friday, June 25, 2004


Family Hike: Multnomah Falls

Over the years my family has developed an unexpected tradition while traveling near the Portland area. We stop in the Columbia Gorge for a quick stretch and walk at Multnomah Falls.

Plummeting 620 feet, Multnomah Falls is the second highest year-round waterfall in the nation. Surrounded by lush vegetation and sheer rocky cliffs, it's a fun and easy hike up to the bridge overlooking the lower level of the falls.

Beyond that, the paved switchbacks grow steep as they wind their way to the top of the falls. It's a long and tiring hike for little kids, so we have yet to make it past the bridge. We'll tackle it when they're older and have gained some respect (not fear) of heights.

If you do make it to the top, there's a vertigo-inducing viewing platform and more hiking trails that lead off into the forest to other scenic waterfalls and overlooks, including Wahkeena Falls, Fairy Falls, and Lemmon's Viewpoint.

Back at the base, we spend a leisurely hour just gawking and walking followed by a quick perusal of souvenirs and an ice cream cone at the lodge. As the kids grow, we'll build upon our tradition and explore more of this beautiful area of the Gorge.


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