If you get off I 84 at exit 17 and go through town you can go up and over on the Historic HIghway 30 and see many falls by driving up to them.
At Lauterall Falls there is a picnic area State Park called Guy Talbot (a little west over the concrete bridge). It's a twirly road down to the city of Lauterall. Pop.24 usually. On the right, there is a covered picnic area and to the left the trail will take you to the bottom of Lauterall. The kids can get their feet wet.
If you like folk art, check out the fence across from the park.
Follow on to the Multnomah Falls and when you leave, at Ainsworth State Park, you rejoin I84 to Hood River.
Check in at the visitor information center at the Falls and the volunteers will help you plan your visit.
Be sure to see Bonneville Dam and Locks. It's free and on the Oregon side.
MinEdited: 13 August 2011, 09:34
You are going from Hood River to Portland?? Just take old highway to Multnomah Falls Stay on Old Highway beyond Wahkeena Falls. Bradal Veil short hike but worth it, most of rest are close to old Highway. Well there are a few others with hikes. but you will catch the best from old Hway, plus Bridal Veil hike.
If you take the old highway to see the waterfalls you will drive over beautiful old stone bridges built by highly skilled Italian immigrant masons.
If you get on from the East, get off at Ainsworth State Park. That will put you through Hosetail falls, Oneonta Gorge, Multnomah Falls (stop in the Visitor Information center and they will help you get situated.) The hike to the bridge is only .5 miles and verrry easy. The top is 1 mile. Then go on through the rest of the Historic Highway. Dinner at Tad's Chicken and Dumplings on the Sandy River. Truly a local hangout.
You can pick up a Gorge and Trail map at Multnomah Falls. You will see the falls for the most part from your car, but I bet you will want to get out to explore.Edited: 14 August 2011, 11:14