I visited Portland, Oregon, a few weeks ago, and one mandatory stop was to visit the Multnomah falls and its iconic Benson bridge.
Located right next to a highway, the interstate 84, you can reach this waterfall by car (there’s plenty of parking space) or by the Columbia Gorge Express for $5. I took this option since I didn’t have a car and the service is pretty good, so it’s definitely recommended.
There’s some sort of visitor center at the entrance where you can shop for souvenirs and also eat at the restaurant. Outside, there’s a cart with coffee and pastries. As you start climbing the stairs you’ll see the two jumps and the Benson bridge. The Multnomah waterfall is the tallest in Oregon with 189 m or 620 ft. The shortest jump, below the bridge, is 21 m/68 ft tall.
To your right, there’s a path upwards that leads to the bridge. The slope is easy and it’s a short walk. The bridge offers a great view of the base of the tallest 165 m/541 ft jump along with a particularly interesting boulder. Such is its size, that I searched for information about it and there’s a full story behind it.
In 1995, during Labor Day, this boulder, a 400 ton boulder, broke loose from the face of the upper fall due to erosion and fell 46 m/150 ft into the pool at its base. The resulting huge 21 m/69 ft wave of water and rock debris hit the Benson Bridge where a wedding photo session was taking place. Twenty people was severely injured, with thirteen taken to the hospital with broken bones and major injuries. They reported that the strength of the wave almost swept everyone of the bridge.
Falling boulders aside, the place is fantastic and definitely makes for a great visit so keep it in your list next time your visiting Portland, Oregon.