If you’ve driven down Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge, you probably have stopped off at Multnomah Falls. It seems like even when you’re pressed for time, there’s always time for a chance to view the dramatic plunge of water over the gorge and on its way to the Columbia River. Here are five fun facts about this favorite stop.
1. When asked to describe the location of Multnomah Falls, many people respond that it is “near Portland”. This is true, but there are two towns the falls are closer to. Multnomah sits between the towns of Corbett and Dodson, Oregon. You may be forgiven for not recognizing those town names, recent estimates had Corbett’s population at 3,951 and Dodson’s at 1,298.
2. Multnomah Falls measures in at 620 feet tall. It first has a drop of 542 feet, then the water descends gradually for nine feet before its final plunge of 69 feet.
3. The famous bridge above the lower falls that you can stand on and gaze at this scenic spot is named Benson Footbridge. It was built in 1914 and was named for Simon Benson. Benson once owned the land that Multnomah Falls fell on before donating it for use as a park. He also financed the building of the bridge.
4. Multnomah Falls is listed as the tallest waterfall in all of Oregon. It is also listed as the 434th tallest waterfall in the world.
5. The source of the water running over Multnomah Falls is from underground springs on Larch Mountain. This is supplemented early in the year by spring runoff from snowmelt.