Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Christine Presents: Traveling Through Oregon

We visited Multnomah Falls last spring. The morning was cool and a bit foggy but the falls were still spectacular. Multnomah falls is about a thirty minute drive from Portland, Oregon. It is a 611-foot-tall roaring, awe-inspiring cascade of icy water. One can experience the breathtaking site from the parking lot or can walk beneath the highway for a closer view.

According to Native American lore, Multnomah Falls was created to win the heart of a young princess who wanted a hidden place to bathe. Although you can see the top of the falls from the highway, to see both levels of the falls one must walk closer.

For a more perfect view one can walk to the bridge which spans the falls at the first levels misty base. Standing here one has a birds-eye view of the top levels full 542 foot height.  The bridge was named for Simon Benson, a prominent Portland businessman who owned the falls in the early part of the 1900's. Before Benson died he gave the Falls to City of Portland who transferred the deed to the USDA Forest Service.

One can also enjoy the restaurant here and lodge which sports a nice gift shop as well as information about the falls.


From Benson Bridge, it's about a mile walk up a steep path to reach the top of the falls. At this point, weather permitting, you will be able to see the Columbia Gorge. This trail is closed at times due to hazardous conditions. 

Follow signs outside the lodge to hike a half mile to nearby Wahkeena Falls. Wahkeena means "most beautiful" in the Yakima language. This waterfall is a little over 240 feet. This trail is loved for its views, wildflowers, and comparative lack of visitors. Unfortunately we  did not walk to Wahkeena but plan to revisit this summer or next fall for a better inspection of this spectacular area.

Oregon trivia:

State Flag
The Oregon State Flag is the only state flag displaying different images on each side.

The Chinook salmon, (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) the largest of the Pacific salmons, was declared the state fish in 1961.

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