Unlike other ports on the Columbia and Snake River itineraries, Multnomah Falls is not actually a city. Cruises stop at Stevenson, Washington, to journey over the state line into Oregon to visit this natural wonder where the falls drop 620 feet in two stages, a higher 542-foot drop, and after a break, a second, lower 69-foot descent.
What We Love
The Drive to the Falls: The trip from your ship to the falls travels along part of the Historic Columbia River Highway — America’s first scenic highway — which was built to minimize both treacherous curves and steep climbs and descents. You'll also cross the Bridge of the Gods, a steel, cantilevered bridge that spans the Columbia River.
Best Known For
Exploring the Falls: For the best view, climb the trail that crosses in front of the upper falls via the Benson Footbridge — built some 105 feet above the lower falls. Continue on and eventually you'll reach the top to be rewarded with a fine view of the Columbia River Gorge as well as inland into the shallow wooded valley.
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Who It's Best For
Nature Lovers: This lovely and tranquil wilderness plus the thundering falls are breathtaking, and a window into the West that early explorers encountered.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Be Realistic About Your Abilities: The walk over the bridge above the falls is the most dramatic part of the stop. Be sure you are up for the hike, and dress appropriately.
Theodore W. Scull is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written several books on crossings.