Wednesday, December 3, 2014


The term "Pacific Northwest" is used with reference to the geographical region between the Pacific Ocean in the west and Rocky Mountains on the east.  Oregon and Washington states of the United States of America and British Columbia province of Canada form the core geographical areas of the region.  Sometimes even Alaska and the northern mountainous regions of California are also included in this term.  The area has bountiful natural beauty with the Pacific Ocean on the one side and the coastal mountains, Cascade Range, Olympic Mountains, Columbia Mountains and the Rocky mountain range on the other.  The Mount Rainier National Park with the 14,410 feet high Mount Rainier in the Washington Cascades is one among the many tourist attractions in the area. Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada), Seattle (Washington state) and Portland (Oregon state) are the major cities in the Pacific Northwest. Water bodies, hills and rich vegetation have made the area attractive to visitors. Many man made monuments and attractions have enhanced tourist interest in the region.

Columbia river is the largest river that runs through this region.  It takes birth in the Rocky Mountains in Canada and joins the Pacific Ocean near Portland.  It is said that after Mississippi, more water flows through this river in the entire country.  The 2000 kilometer long river has many hydroelectric generating stations and is the largest source of power in North America.  The river has cut a deep and wide gorge around the rim of the Columbia plateau and created many beautiful tourist spots.  There are more than 90 waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge.  Multnomah falls is the biggest among them and attracts a number of tourists all round the year.

MULTNOMAH FALLS is about 30 miles east of the city of Portland in Oregon State and along the historic Columbia River Highway that runs parallel to the Inter-state Highway 84.  It can be reached by a half-hour drive from Portland.  It is on the Multnomah Creek and the two-drop cascade is 620 feet high.  The first falls is 542 feet high and the second is about 78 feet. The picture given alongside gives a beautiful view of the waterfalls.  Melting snow in the hills and frequent rains in the higher hilly regions makes the falls an yearlong attraction.  A bridge known as the “Benson Bridge” is near the second drop.  Hiking trails lead the tourists all the way to the top of the falls.

Waterfall spray makes the entire area cold and slippery.  Proper protective dress is required to go near the falls and enjoy the majestic beauty of the waterfall.  There is a hotel, restaurant and gift shop at the foot of the falls.

Our visit to the falls was in January 2014.  It was raining throughout on the day of the visit and we were not confident of having a proper view of the falls. Just as we reached the parking lot and parked the car near the falls, the rain stopped and bright light provided a wonderful view of the falls.  A photograph taken with my host is given here.  We enjoyed the sight for about 20 minutes and returned to our car.  As soon as we reached the Columbia River Highway, it started raining heavily.  May be, Multnomah Falls had an important appointment with us!         


  1. Excellent. The write up is educative.


  2. I am re-learning Geography, History, Philosophy and Mythology through your well-researched and insightful articles. The height and 2-stage falls is nature's masterpiece that no human engineering can replicate.