Hiking Multnomah Falls, Oregon

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After over a year of living in the Pacific North West, I can finally say I’ve made it to one of the areas biggest tourist draws- Multnomah Falls in the Columbia Gorge. Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to describe the power and beauty of these incredible waterfalls.


These majestic falls are nestled among red rocks, and emerald green plantings. Falling over 600 feet, Multnomah Falls is the second tallest in the USA. You can go hiking with your dogs at Multnomah Falls, but they must remain on a leash at all times. This isn’t really our preferred method of hiking, as both our dogs relish the off leash time, but it’s a required rule when visiting Multnomah Falls, and once you visit, you’ll know why. The crowds!


There are several options when it comes to accessing great views of Multnomah Falls, and park of the excursion is even handicap accessible. I’d suggest starting in the guest services building at the base of the trail, and picking up one of their black and white hiking maps, like this:


There you’ll see that you can easily hike .2 of a mile up to the first bridge (seen in many of these photos) this is where the falls split and one is behind you, and the other underneath. The path is paved, and it’s an extremely easy climb with switch backs built in along the way. About a five minute investment and you’re at the first stop-spot. Once you reach the bridge, you’ll be happy to discover that you can feel the spray from the waterfall, and can get several great photos of the larger waterfall cascading down.


From there, you can take another trail which is paved most of the way to the top, and hike up 11 long and steep switchbacks to a viewing pavilion directly over the top water fall. On warm days, packing your own drinking water is highly recommended- you really work up a thirst on those steep climbs.


All in all, we’d say that Multnomah Falls is absolutely worth stopping at with your dogs. You’ll be amazed that such an incredible natural treasure lies so close to such a major interstate. Gates open at 9am, and getting there early is preferred to avoid issues finding a parking spot. If crowds aren’t your thing, consider visiting in the off season instead.


Scooter is riding in an Outward Hound Front-A-Roo dog carrier. 

Keeping Dogs Cool During a Summer Hike

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As I’ve mentioned, hiking with our dogs is one of our favorite activities. Even at 12 years old, Bear is an excellent hiking companion. He tires more quickly now, and sleeps like a log afterward, but still holds the same exuberance for getting out and exploring with us that he always has. We’re continually impressed with his excellent balance and agility!


As he’s aged though, he’s started to struggle more during the hotter days. We quickly realized how important it was to be sure we were keeping our dogs cool during a summer hike  So we’ve come up with a solution that’s been working out well to keep him out of trouble on a hike. He loves wearing his green dog pack, it gives him a sense of purpose. We simply stick a few ice packs in each side and let him wear it. It’s his very own cooling jacket- and he loves it!


Still doesn’t stop him from needing to take a splash in most every body of water we find. And show his gomer face to the world ;)


Happy Happy Hiker ^


Do you and your dogs enjoy hiking together? Do you take any precautions against the heat?