You’ve probably seen this gorgeous waterfall at least once on Instagram, and for good reason. About thirty minutes outside of Portland, the Columbia River Gorge falls alongside the historic Columbia River Highway forming Multnomah Falls. Walking up to this beast, my mouth dropped. It’s much larger than it seems; my eyes trailed straight up to the top. I could probably stare at it all day.
Okay, story time. Hopefully, you can learn (and laugh!) from my experience. Once you cross the bridge that resides over the second drop of the falls, there is a trail that leads up and away. My boyfriend and I then decided to make the trek because a sign informed us of a lookout over the falls at the top. The first quarter/half of the trail was just a steady incline that zig-zagged back and forth. We eventually reached a turn and encountered snow, but not just fluffy snow: it was snow that had been compacted down, flat and slippery. It all went downhill from there, literally. The trail zig-zagged downwards and was covered in slippery snow and muddy leaves. I was wearing Nike Roshes that had no traction or grip to them whatsoever and was forced to take baby steps throughout the whole downward section of the trail. Imagine me trying to maintain my balance with my cameras and purse tucked under my sweatshirt.
Now at this point, it was raining; it had started drizzling halfway through our hike and became heavier the further we went. The end of the trail was near and we were so excited. We ended at a wooden balcony overlooking the Columbia River Gorge falling into a pool which then formed the waterfall, but all we could see was the water before it fell over the edge. On top of that, we couldn’t see out into the distance because of the fog blocking our view. For lack of a better word, we were disappointed. We looked at each other and smiled, “Welp, that wasn’t really worth it!”. We fast-walked back down the trail to my warm car and laughed while we reminisced of our hike. In the end, it actually was worth it because we got a great story out of it and our troublesome journey turned into a wonderful memory.
If you’re traveling in the PNW and are anywhere close to Portland, I would definitely recommend taking the time to see the Falls. My only advice is to pack/dress according to the weather; you live and you learn. I would love to see Multnomah in the summer and hopefully get a chance to hike to the top with better conditions!