During our stay in Portland, we wandered into the Columbia River Gorge for an afternoon. Perhaps the best known stop there is Multnomah Falls, at a height of 620 feet. The falls are beautiful, but honestly, we felt a little claustrophobic. Prior to arriving in Portland, we had visited Silver Falls State Park, and hiked to see all 10 of the waterfalls in the park. While the falls there were certainly shorter, we enjoyed the falls with far fewer people crowding around.
When We Visited: September 10, 2014
Ages of Kids: 8, 7, 4
We stopped at Wahkeena Falls first and enjoyed a close experience with some smaller but still powerful falls. Only a few other folks hiked up to the bridge, leaving us with a quiet experience. After these falls, we hiked down the small trail to visit Multnomah Falls. The path was not amazing, but we avoided the parking morass, so the success of that walk was a toss-up.
Multnomah Falls is beautiful, but we were unprepared for the masses of people that crowded the small area for a good view. In addition to people there were also quite a few concession stands, and we would have been tempted by the fudge if Cara didn’t have a serious nut allergy. Turns out they use the same knife for all of their fudge. 🙁
We hiked up to the bridge for a better view and the wind generated by the falls was incredibly powerful! Jess captured this priceless image of Cara and her camera, hair blown about by the waterfall generated wind!
After the falls, we headed over to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery. We have visited a few hatcheries, and I’ve loved every one. Our visits are rarely rushed, and everybody enjoys feeding the fish (bring quarters.) The kids loved the adult fish holding tank (lower right picture below) where we got a good look at “Herman the Sturgeon”, a 70+ year old, 450+ lb, 10+ foot long Sturgeon. I told the kids that Herman was a Doctor Fish, because he was a very famous Sturgeon. They didn’t think it was very funny.
At this point of our visit, things turned a little south. Our struggle potty-training Cara has been ongoing, but this was a particularly bad evening. We managed to forget stuff to change her, and she desperately needed a change. We managed to make it work, but it was a bit of a painful experience. I’m happy to report that things have improved drastically since our visit here.
We completed our afternoon with a burger on the way back home. Having been spoiled by some seriously nice Oregon Scenery, the Columbia River Gorge earned a “Good” rating from the Wandering Currens. Most visitors seem to enjoy it more than we did, but I’ll chalk that up to being spoiled by the rest of Oregon.