Visiting Multnomah Falls and the Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is an outdoor paradise, with popular sightseeing along the Historic Columbia River Highway, fantastic waterfalls to experience and seemingly endless opportunities to experience the best of Oregon’s natural amenities.
The remote nature of The Gorge means Troutdale is the last place for services, from gassing up the car to finalizing trip plans. To assist, Troutdale is home to the Gateway to the Gorge Visitor Center, where you will find knowledgeable experts and reliable resources to help make a trip to The Gorge enjoyable and relaxing!
Due to the popularity of The Gorge, visitors should plan their trip carefully, to maximize their time while reducing the impact on the environment. Troutdale offers individuals, families and groups the chance to make the most of their excursion.
Multnomah Falls Timed Use Permits
Timed use permits are not currently required to visit Multnomah Falls.
Between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, timed use permitting goes into effect at Multnomah Falls. Permits are needed only if you arrive by personal vehicle at I-84 Exit 31. Permits will be available on a per vehicle basis. Permits are available at Recreation.gov two weeks prior to any given date. There is a $2 reservation fee to secure each permit.
Please note that this permit does not guarantee you a parking space. Approximately 100 permits are available during each window and you can reserve permits up to two weeks in advance. Permitting runs daily from 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. through Labor Day. The Gateway to the Gorge Visitor Center and the Cascade Locks Historical Museum each have 25 free in-person permits available daily on a first come, first served basis.
There is a small lot with extremely limited parking along HCRH/U.S. 30 at Multnomah Falls. A concessionaire operates this lot on a first come, first served basis. There are six ADA parking spots at this lot for those with valid ADA placards. When the parking lot is full, vehicles are not allowed to stop or wait for an open space.
Visit WaterfallCorridorPermits.org for full details.
The Columbia Gorge Express, operated by Columbia Area Transit, offers an easy way to ride between Portland's Gateway Transit Center, Troutdale, Multnomah Falls, Cascade Locks and Hood River. The service operates seven days a week. Masks are required when riding the bus. The service operates seven days a week and has three pick up times in Troutdale — located on Frontage Road at the at the Trimet bus stop in front of Boot Barn.
For infrequent visits or people coming from out of town, CAT's 1-day pass is a great option. For $15, one adult and one child can ride between Troutdale, Multnomah Falls, Cascade Locks and Hood River. The 1-day pass is available online only, but you can also purchase single one-way rides on the bus for $10.
Find full details at ridecatbus.org.
For locals who love visiting the gorge, the GOrge Pass might be the way to go! This pass is good for for unlimited rides through the end of the year and is valid on all CAT, Mt. Adams Transportation Service, Skamania County Transit and The Link Public Transit fixed routes.
The annual pass is just $40 for adults and $20 for kids under 17. It's good for unlimited rides on all Gorge fixed-route services through December 31, 2023.
Digital passes and physical passes are available at gorgepass.com.
The Waterfall Trolley allows you to hop on or off at one of the ten stops within the Waterfall Corridor: Corbett, Crown Point, Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Angels Rest, Wahkeena Falls, Multnomah Falls, Triple Falls, Horsetail Falls and Ainsworth. They do not stop at non-designated sites.
Pricing is $29 for riders ages 13+ and $15 for kids ages 6-12. Kids 5 and under ride for free. The price includes parking at their lot in Corbett. If you don’t start your tour in Corbett , trolley drivers can sell tickets on a space-available basis at one of the designated stops (cash only).
Full details are available at waterfalltrolley.com.
Sasquatch Shuttle offers shuttle service options from their parking lot just off I-84 at exit 28 to Multnomah Falls and to all the major attractions of the Gorge. Kids 3 and under ride free and dogs are allowed on the buses! Parking at their Bridal Veil lot is included in the price and riders are not required to arrange reservations for access to Multnomah Falls. You also have the option of buying a 1-day parking pass for $5 and hike from there.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Sasquatch will also offer weekend pickup locations at the Gateway to the Gorge Visitor Center in downtown Troutdale to Bridal Veil. Pickup times at the Visitor Center are 10:00 a.m. , 12:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. and exclusive pickups and drop offs are also available for guests of McMenamins Edgefield. You must schedule rides at least 48 hours ahead of pickup.
Visit sasquatchshuttle.com for full details including pickup times and route maps.
This is great option for people who want to see the waterfalls, but also wish to drive along Historic Columbia River Highway. If you can't find parking along the way, you can head to their parking lot off I-84 at Exit 35. The Waterfall Shuttle provides parking and a hop-on, hop-off ticket to Multnomah Falls and back that is valid all day. Buses run every 15 minutes from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Pricing is $14.99 per person, kids 3 and under ride for free. Well-behaved dogs are also allowed on board.
Go by bike
While there are limited places outside of and within the Waterfall Corridor to park and begin your ride, Columbia Area Transit buses are equipped with three bike racks. Once bike racks are full, no more bicycles can be accommodated.
In addition, the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is free of motorized vehicles (e-bikes are allowed) and can be accessed from three trailheads that have parking: Toothrock Trailhead, Eagle Creek Day-use Area (requires a USFS Northwest Forest Pass), and the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead in Cascade Locks. Note: Dogs are allowed on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, but must be leashed at all times.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has a great biking map to help you plan your route.