The Silvery Spray of Multnomah Falls

The Silvery Spray of Multnomah Falls, Columbis River, Oregon.
When a main river valley is greatly deepened, it often happens that the valleys of its tributaries do not share in the erosion but remain at or near the old level. When the Columbia River breaks through the Cascade Mountains it has cut a narrow canyon almost to sea level. In some places the perpendicular cliffs rise 3,000 feet above the river and their smooth, straight sides show the geological history of the region. Beautiful cataracts are formed where rushing streams from side valleys pour over the top to be dashed into spray before reaching the base of the precipice. Trees grow here wherever there is enough soil in the crevices of the rock to support them.

Hanging above us like a veil suspended in mid air, is one of the most beautiful of these many cascades, Multnomah Falls, produced by a lively mountain stream which plunges over a rocky precipice 300 feet high. Long before it reaches the bottom it is broken into snowy mist like a ribbon of silver against the bare rock wall and the dark, spray-washed green on the trees. An excellent view of these falls may be had from the bridge which crosses the stream below. The more adventurous traveler may descend through a beautiful ferny grotto into a cave of the winds.

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