Multnomah Falls

Length: 65 Miles
Direction: Counter Clockwise
Elevation Gain: 3105 ft
Highest Point: 881 ft
Recommended Gearing: 39X23

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The Vista House at Crown Point has water, bathrooms and views galoreThe ride out to Multnomah Falls is the standard by which all other rides fruitlessly endeavor to match. It is just spectacular every inch of the way and not to be missed. If you are debating which ride to do, or are just visiting town and have a limited number of days to ride, this ride should be your top priority.

Begin the ride from Mt Tabor Park and head south on 92nd Ave to the Springwater Corridor Bike Path. Follow it east until you reach Eastman Pkwy. Then Stark St will lead you to the Historic Columbia River Hwy. Here is where the real beauty and majesty of riding in this area begins.

For the next several miles, the Columbia River Hwy (or Crown Point Hwy as it is also known) will gradually gain elevation all the way up to the Vista House at Crown Point. The views of the Gorge here are spectacular. The Vista House itself has a lot of history. Construction began in 1916 and was completed in 1918, as a memorial to the Oregon pioneers. It also served as a comfort station for those traveling on the Historic Columbia River Highway. The octagonal stone structure towers 733 feet above the Columbia River and now serves as an interpretive center. There are water fountains inside and bathrooms also downstairs. The staff there however, may have you remove your shoes to help preserve the marble floor inside.

From Crown Point, continue on your way down the twisty descent towards the Falls. This highway is home to multiple waterfalls, trickling streams, and a dell (I had to look that up. A dell is a small secluded wooded valley).

Once you reach Multnomah Falls be sure to get a close up look. No pictures can do it justice. And if it’s a warm day, the mist will help cool you off. There are bathrooms, water fountains and a coffee bar there as well to help you fuel up for the trip home.

When you descend from the other side of Crown Point heading home, be sure to take the small detour down Bell Rd. It’s a pleasant road that just needs to be visited also. Rejoin the Historic Hwy and take it all the way into Troutdale. Here you can find water if needed and a coffee shop.

Marine Dr will get you back to the I-205 and then the I-205 bike path will bring you the rest of the way.

This ride is simply one of the very best on offer, anywhere.

Multnomah Falls is a very popular summer stopHistoric HighwayJust one view from Crown PointWho are you to resist

8 Responses to “Multnomah Falls”

  1. Jesse Says:

    Do this ride backwards to avoid headwinds on the 205 path.

  2. Jacob Says:

    Good advice. But check the wind on the given day you plan to do the ride. I’ve been on the 205 bridge at a near standstill going in either direction when it’s really howling. However it is nice to go north to south….downhill 😉

  3. Ian Mastenbrook Says:

    Rode this today from Milwaukie. Paving on the Springwater Corridor so I had to make a detour. It was 76 mile round trip from Milwaukie and 3600′ of elevation gain. I’d recommend to start riding early in the morning. (climbing in the heat killed me!) I will definitely take this route again in the near future!

  4. Julie Says:

    Did this ride last week — definitely a must do!

    Please note that the Historic Columbia River HWY is undergoing some major renovations and was closed to all traffic from the Vista House to Multnomah Falls. We begged to go past the construction barricade — hoping traffic would be shut off to cars only, no such luck… The crew member we spoke with said that as of October 1, the closure will extend up the hill from Vista House (at the East Larch Mountain junction just past the Women’s Forum). Work is expected to be complete in January 2013.

  5. Francis Says:

    The Historic Columbia River HWY is now open again with a brand new pavement.

  6. Dimitrios Says:

    Thanks for the update Francis. I’ve been looking forward to this.

  7. Christian Says:

    I did this last weekend. The new road surface down from Crown Point is great, smooth and wonderful. Beware of the shade between Crown Point and Multnomah Falls. It got fairly cold even on the nice day (nice for March anyhow).

  8. Arvind Says:

    Looks like a great ride. Is it doable with a road bike in the winter time assuming no snow?

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