Due east along the Columbia River Highway outside of Portland, Oregon is one of the most photographed waterfalls. Being only a 40 minute drive from downtown Portland, Multnomah Falls is easily accessible for Stumptown residents and visitors.
I had first read about Multnomah Falls in The Shack, a Christian themed novel that takes place in Oregon and features the Falls in its early pages. The author, William Paul Young, writes about an Indian princess who hurled herself over the falls in order to save her people. It’s a foreshadowing parallel to The Shack’s main story of the protagonist’s daughter being kidnapped and murdered by a serial killer in the wilds of Oregon. Although The Shack has a dark centre, it has an ending full of spiritual redemption and discovery. This story was my first experience with Multnomah Falls.
Multnomah Falls may be very much a tourist trap of sorts, but that doesn’t take away from the majesty of the slender falls. The falls flow year round thanks to its source of spring water from nearby Larch Mountain. One can easily find photos of Multnomah Falls to match in winter, spring, summer or fall.
I just had to see Multnomah Falls for myself. Although the summer is not the recommended time of year for photographers to go, that’s the only time I really had available. My wife and I mingled with the busy summer crowds. I decided to drive up the old narrow highway and park right by the lodge at the foot of the falls. One could also easily just park in the parking lot in the middle of the highway and walk up to the lodge and falls.
Multnomah Falls did not disappoint and I was glad that we visited. It may have been the middle of a warm summer day with all the crowds, but it was still a great treat. If you want a quieter view of the falls away from the summer crowds, then the spring and fall would be best and the lighting should be better for photographers.