Adventures with Grandpa: Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and Vista House

One of our favorite stops on the way to the Oregon Coast in 2015 was at Multnomah Falls. The 620 feet waterfall is the tallest of the Columbia River Gorge’s many waterfalls. Located close to Portland and just off Interstate I-84, it attracts more than two million visitors a year. While it is currently closed to the the public because of COVID-19, it was fun remember our visit here.

We hiked to the top of the upper falls. It wasn’t too hard as it was paved the entire way, but our kids and nephews were younger and so it took us a bit of time. We were proud of them for working hard to finish the hike.

We also saw some of the other falls in the “Waterfall Corridor.” We especially liked Horsetail Falls named for its characteristic shape.

We also visited the Columbia River Gorge Vista House. The house was designed by Edgar M. Lazarus a Portland architect in 1915. It is a classic example of the German “Art Nouveau’ architecture. It is approximately 44 feet in diameter and 55 feet high. It was built on the summit of Crown Point because it was an ideal site to observe the Columbia River and its surrounding beauty. You can read more about its history at vistahouse.com/history.

There is a gift shop in the Vista House that sells all kinds of items which represent the house itself, the Columbia River Gorge, the State of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. (It is currently also closed because of COVID-19. The items sold go back to funding the maintenance of the building. Grandpa outfitted himself for his next Lewis and Clark adventures with a raccoon hat.

2 thoughts on “Adventures with Grandpa: Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and Vista House

  1. On our way to the Oregon coast 2012, my wife and I travelled through the Columbia River Gorge and visited a museum and even stayed overnight in one of the many campgrounds. We somehow missed the amazing Horsetail Falls. Thank you for the virtual tour of this wonderful place!

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