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Benson Bridge

From Portland Hikers Field Guide

Benson Bridge at Multnomah Falls (Steve Hart)
Benson Bridge (Jeff Statt)

Contents

Description

The Benson Bridge is the footbridge that traverses Multnomah Creek between the two cascades of Multnomah Falls. It has served as a distinguishing characteristic of the falls since it was built in 1914 by Simon Benson, one of the builders of the old Columbia highway. The bridge is probably the most photographed piece of architecture in Oregon and is a favorite of tourists from around the world. To be sure, the bridge is an obvious and inviting destination for visitors to the area to enjoy. On a summer weekend the short footpath to the bridge is as busy as a bus depot as people make their way up the feel of the spray from the falls, click photos, and get a great top-down view of the lower tier. Hikers jokingly consider this "the place that 95% of visitors turn around".

The pool between the two cascades used to be open to the public and was a favorite swimming hole for children on a hot summer day, but in 1995 a bus-sized boulder careened 150 feet down from the side of a cliffs into the water below, injuring 20 people standing nearby, including several members of a wedding party - the pool visible from the bridge has been fenced off ever since.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • Hiking Oregon's Geology, by Ellen Morris Bishop
  • Day Hike! Columbia Gorge, by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Portland, by Paul Gerald
  • Afoot and Afield Portland/Vancouver, by Douglas Lorain
  • 35 Hiking Trails, Columbia River Gorge, by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Columbia River Gorge, 42 Scenic Hikes, by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Hiking the Columbia River Gorge - 1st and 2nd Editions, by Russ Schneider

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Contributors

Portland Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.