The Columbia River Gorge draws visitors from all over the world with its commanding vistas, abundant wildlife, and majestic forests. The towering cliffs that form the Gorge create the backdrop for the Magnificent Multnomah Falls. This natural wonder attracts approximately 2.5 million visitors per year, ranking Multnomah Falls as Oregon’s #1 visited natural attraction.
Multnomah Falls plummets 620 feet in two major steps. The upper fall plunging 542 feet the lower fall 69 feet distinguishing Multnomah Falls as the highest waterfall in the state of Oregon and second highest in the nation. The water flowing over Multnomah Falls water is supplied by natural underground springs that originate on Larch Mountain. In springtime, snowmelt additionally supplies the falls, greatly increasing the flow, width and intensity of the falls’ powerful roaring sound.
Lumber baron and philanthropist, Simon Benson donated the land that the falls sat upon, and funding for construction of the Benson Bridge. The bridge, constructed in 1914, allows visitors to cross over the lower falls and continue their paved trail journey to the viewing platform at the top. The platform offers dynamic views of the waterfall, Multnomah Falls Lodge, grounds, and the Columbia River Gorge. Benson also donated additional land that included Wahkeena Falls to the West. The Washington Railroad and Navigation Company donated the property for the lodge to the City of Portland, which was the forerunner of the Union Pacific Railroad. The property was donated with the agreement that The City of Portland would fund the construction of the Lodge
Multnomah Falls Park was dedicated in 1915, and the Multnomah Falls Lodge was completed in 1925. Noted Portland architect Albert E. Doyle designed the historic lodge. Mr. Doyle, well known for his designs of the US Bank, Meier and Frank, Lippman Wolfe, and Reed College buildings in Portland. The Shattuck Company at a cost of $40,000 constructed the Cascadian style stone and timber building. The Historic Lodge now houses The Multnomah Falls Lodge Restaurant, Gift Shop, Snack Bar, Espresso Bar and Interpretive Center.
The first concessionaire of the lodge was Rolla Simmons, who operated the Simmons Hillvilla restaurant in Portland. Simmons operated the food services at the lodge until November of 1942, at which time the lodge was closed for the duration of World War II. The lodge was reopened in February of 1946 under new management. The ownership of the lodge transferred to the US Forest Service in 1939, and is currently operated by the Multnomah Falls Co.
welcoming you through our doors since 1925