America’s 2nd highest year-round water falls – Multnomah Falls in Oregon

MULTNOMAH FALLS, OREGON: I have visited this magnificent landmark of Oregon few years ago before moving to Europe. We have been here few times with families, friends, and visitors. But everytime I was there, no matter which season and time, I could feel the force of that flowing water just by looking at its height. But one of the best parts of visiting this falls is not just the falls, it’s the bridge and walking over that bridge looking at both upper and lower sides of the water falls.

Multnomah Falls in Oregon, USA...nation’s 2nd highest year-round water falls

Multnomah Falls in Oregon, USA…nation’s 2nd highest year-round water falls

Located on historic Columbia River Highway, Multnomah Falls is our nation’s 2nd highest year-round water falls and receives over two million visitors each year. Water flow of the falls varies, but winter and spring is the most spectacular time to visit it.

The upper falls here is 543 feet, lower falls is 69 feet high, and an additional 8 feet in between. “Multnomah Falls was created when massive flood scoured out the Columbia River Gorge, leaving the falls to hang.” (Tourist board).

The original bridge over Multnomah Creek was built in the early 1880s out of log poles. After it collapsed, this present one was built in 1914 and was named after a strong advocate for the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway and Multnomah Falls, Simon Benson. In September 1995, a 400-ton rock slid from the upper Multnomah Falls and dropped 225 feet into the falls upper plunge pool. A wedding party was drenched when the slided rock sent a 70-foot splash over the historic Benson Bridge.

Lower Multnomah Falls and historic Benson Bridge in Oregon

Lower Multnomah Falls and historic Benson Bridge in Oregon

Go inside the old lodge which was built in 1925 by the city of Portland to capitalize on the growing tourist trade of the Columbia River Gorge. You can find snack bar, gift shop, full-service restaurant, and a US Forest Service interpretive center inside this lodge.

There are about 77 falls on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge and more than 5 major falls and few viewpoints around this area. But if you are in Portland, this is almost a must-see spot here. It’s our pride and joy.

 

Autumn reflection Multnomah creek opposite of Multnomah Falls in Oregon

Autumn reflection Multnomah creek opposite of Multnomah Falls in Oregon

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Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

LAN SU CHINESE GARDEN: I enjoy visiting Chinese or Japanese garden more than any other types of gardens there are to visit. I don’t know if it’s the landscape, sound of the water, small bridges, ancient architecture style, fountains, collection of trees, or just the atmosphere that attracts me the most. The only oriental garden that we visited in Europe was Hasselt Japanese Garden in Belgium. I regret not seeing the one in the heart of Brussels; we made couple initiatives to visit it…but never worked out.

Beautiful landscape of Lan Su Chinese Garden in the heart of Portland, Oregon

Beautiful landscape of Lan Su Chinese Garden in the heart of Portland, Oregon

After returning to Portland, I was determined to pay my visit to Lan Su Chinese Garden for the second time (first time we went there was about 4/5 years ago). I was supposed to go for a photo-shoot (just my camera and I) that morning but somehow ended up in Pearl District near Portland downtown. After making some frustrated turns, I saw the sign to this garden. I quickly searched the address in my phone and started following my GPS. I was destined to visit this place that morning, and I was happy that I ended up here.

Trees, pond, and bridge in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Trees, pond, and bridge in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Lan Su Chinese Garden is a piece of wonderland that gives you the opportunity to peek into Chinese culture and heritage in the heart of busy Portland in Oregon. The garden was built in 2000 by expert Chinese artisans using traditional materials and methods. It took sixty-five artisans for 10 months to assemble and complete the structures that were crafted in China. It’s considered the most authentic Suzhou-style Chinese garden outside of China. Most of its building materials, including few hundred tons of rocks actually traveled from China.

Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Other than few hundreds of plant species, visit the Courtyard of Tranquility, terrace, Moon Locking Pavilion, Rock Mountain and Waterfall. Don’t miss the carved ginkgo wood or some penjing that contains trees that are over one hundred years old. The garden around you is a spiritual and peaceful place that will help you escape the daily lives. When you are done with everything have a cup of hot tea in the Tower of Cosmic Reflection tea-house. The tea-house is a separate entity which promotes social art and culture of tea from the Far East.

Traditional architectures in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Traditional architectures in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

The ticket to the garden is around $10. I ended up buying their annual membership for $60. I wanted to take advantage of their free Tai Chi class every Thursday morning at 10am which is available for anyone.

Tai Chi class on Thursday mornings in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Tai Chi class on Thursday mornings in Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Picnic at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon

SILVER FALLS STATE PARK, OREGON: Famous for its breathtaking waterfalls, old buildings, and temperate rainforest, Silver Falls State Park is the largest of five beautiful State Parks in Oregon’s central Cascade region. I can’t promise you that you will be able to finish it in days or just weeks. It’s because you can do variety of outdoor adventures here as well as spend relaxed family time out in the nature. Play by the lake, spend a night under the stars, or just pack your lunch for a picnic in the forest.

Lush greenery of Silver Falls State Park in Oregon

Lush greenery of Silver Falls State Park in Oregon

TIME of TRAVEL: First time we were there was with some friends in 2010 or 2011. We only walked around and behind the South Falls then. This time we were there for a community picnic. Although most of the time we were in the picnic ground, I managed to sneak out couple times to get a distant view of the falls and its trail. But didn’t really manage to go too close to it. If you are a photographer, I would highly recommend coming here during the fall season…should be beautiful looking at the bright colors surrounding the soft veil of the falls.

EATING and SHOPPING: There aren’t much of shops in the park (of course) but I saw a café/restaurant very close to the South Falls. Best thing to do here is to bring your own food and a blanky and sit down on the soft grass or use a picnic bench for meal.

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: For now, I am only adding South Falls of this park in my blog. There are at least ten falls you come across when you start walking on Trail of Ten Falls….a true paradise for the hikers or nature lovers or photographers. I will keep adding them every-time I visit a new falls. We were at a picnic there, so I couldn’t hike on this trail.

SOUTH FALLS: One of the most gorgeous falls of Silver Falls State Park is the South Falls. You can see the exposed rock in the waterfalls and creek bed with layers of rock laid down over the course of 26 millions years. Either you are looking from a distance or walking right behind the falls or just standing on the wooden bridge in front of it and looking high…this falls is breathtaking from every possible angle.

 

South Falls in Silver Falls State Park in Oregon

South Falls in Silver Falls State Park in Oregon

I am not sure how long is the walk from top of the falls to all the down near the water and coming back to top again, but this is a bit steep hike in some areas. Some places are wet and muddy too. I even saw a thin and small snake on the upper portion of this trail. I am not saying these to scare you or anything…if my friend’s toddler boy can do it, then anybody can do it. Just use some cautions and wear comfortable shoes…it will be a sight to enjoy for all ages.

 

 

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