FINALLY! The long-awaited day-trip to see the incredible Multnomah Falls had come. Thanks to an awesome National Geographic Article and a this website about the plethora of waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, we had a whole itinerary.
Bright and early Dalton and I were in the car, coffee cups in hand and excitement in the air.
Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Day Trip Itinerary –
- Take i-84 going east out of Portland, exit in Troutdale and get onto the scenic Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH)
- Visit the Crown Point Vista House
- Stop by five waterfalls
- Upper Latourell
- Shepperd’s Dell
- Bridal Veil
- AND (drum roll please) Multnomah Falls!
- Check out the Bonneville Dam
- Continue to Hood River and do a bit of beer and wine tasting.
- From there we would head south and check out the Timberline Lodge, Trilium Lake and Mount Hood before heading back home.
We were off!
Entering the Historic Columbia River Highway
Before we knew it we had made it to Troutdale and gotten onto the HCRH. The sleepy scenic road wound along next to the river, displaying the fall colors making the perfect backdrop.
Crown Point Vista House
Arriving at the Crown Point Vista House we were speechless. The house is a majestic round piece of architecture sitting up high in the wind with spectacular panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge below. Running around like children we took pictures until we couldn’t take another second of the numbing wind.
Our waterfall journey began with the breathtaking LaTourell Falls. Seen from the highway, the 249-foot waterfall only got more impressive as we walked closer. Mother Nature’s magical talent on full display.
Upper LaTourell Falls
Hearing that Upper LaTourell Falls were not to be missed, we started up the trailhead. A picturesque 0.8 miles later we made it to the smaller sister of LaTourell. Enjoying the falling water alone deep in the woods was a special moment.
Shepperd’s Dell Falls
Shepperd’s Dell was next on the list. Unable to see the falls as we drove by, we stopped next to the sign and ventured towards the historic bridge. The three-tier falls slowly fell against the rocks surrounding by greenery. Virtually no walk to get to the falls made it a quick stop.
Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls required a slightly steep downhill jaunt to the viewing platform. As I am not self-proclaimed writer I only have so many words that can describe these beautiful waterfalls. The Columbia River Gorge is a living proof of ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’
Since it was Tuesday morning towards the end of October, we thought we might have some luck and get a tranquil experience at Multnomah Falls. Nope. After circling the parking lot (twice) we snagged a spot and found ourselves speechlessly staring at the absolutely incredible waterfall. Even though I had seen this waterfall countless times in photos, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from its splendor.
We got our hearts pumping on the 1.2-mile hike to the top of the falls; however I am not sure if the rigorous switchbacks were quite worth the view. Next time I would chose to the do the entire 4 mile loop, seeing other falls and escaping from the crowds.
Climbing back in the car (humming ‘Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls’) our hearts were full as we made our way towards Hood River. It wasn’t until we were almost there that I realized we had completely forgotten about the Bonneville Dam… A spot to check out next time.
pFriem Brewery – Hood River, Oregon
Stopping at pFriem brewery we did a quick beer tasting in the attractive wooden and copper tasting room. Although we didn’t end up being huge fans of the beer, who can ever complain while beer tasting!
Mount Hood Winery
Continuing on the route to Mount Hood we stopped at Mt. Hood Winery. Although I felt the tasting room lacked a bit of a homey quality, the huge windows displaying spectacular views of Mount Hood and vines made it a classic and beautiful winery. I really enjoyed the wine as well; crisp whites and juicy full-bodied reds. Don’t miss out on the Dry Riesling if you stop by; crisp, limey and downright tasty!
Mount Hood – The Timberline Lodge
Getting sleepy we got closer and closer to Mount Hood. As it was getting late into the day we chose to only visit the Timberline Lodge, saving Trilium Lake for a later date. We wound up and up the mountain until we arrived at the old classic lodge. Wandering around inside we checked out the museum, gift shop and did a bit of exploring.
Taking crazy back roads and jamming to music, we made it back home two and a half hours later. Exhausted we were happy to be home but couldn’t keep the smiles off our faces from our beauty-filled fun day.
p.s. One of the BEST parts of the day was getting to play with my NEW Olympus OM-D EM-10 camera! Going to write a review of it here soon!