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Willamette Falls, Oregon City

(130+ reviews on the web)
Waterfall
The Willamette Falls is a natural waterfall on the Willamette River between Oregon City and West Linn, Oregon, in the United States. It is the largest waterfall in the American Pacific Northwest by volume, and the seventeenth widest in the world. Horseshoe in shape, it is 1500ft wide and 40ft high with a flow of 30,849 cu ft/s (874 m³/s), located 26mi upriver from the Willamette's mouth.Until 2011 a canal and set of locks allowed vessels to pass into the main Willamette Valley. Those locks are now closed.Human historyNative American legends taught that the falls were placed there by a great god so that their people would have fish to eat all winter. Many local tribes built villages in the area because of the abundance of salmon that could only pass the falls at certain water levels. Native Americans still harvest Pacific Lamprey at the falls each year in the early summer. Willamette Falls is a traditional fishing site for the Warm Springs Indians as well as other tribes. It was first discovered by European fur traders in 1810. John McLoughlin established a land claim at the falls in the name of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1829. Oregon City was established in 1842 near the east end of the falls. The town of Linn City was founded on the western shore one year later in 1843. The two towns competed economically, vying for the lucrative steamboat traffic and the trade it generated. With the falls representing the end of the line for boat traffic, river boat captains were forced to choose a side of the river on which they would dock to unload their passengers and goods; some of which would continue their upriver journey on winding portage toll roads. Competition between the towns was fierce until the winter of 1861, which saw one of Oregon's worst natural disasters occur in the form of catastrophic flooding. Oregon City was inundated and badly damaged, but the unluckier Linn City was obliterated.
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1 day in Oregon City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in United States BY A USER FROM BRAZIL January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 26 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 46 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, beaches, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 31 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in San Francisco & Oregon City BY A USER FROM CANADA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in United States BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES August, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Oregon City & Reno BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 27 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Oregon Coast & Oregon City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, teens, kids, outdoors, beaches, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, teens, kids, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Nice little stop off the side of the road. Spent no more than 10 minutes here but very beautiful. ❤️❤️  more »
  • Enjoyed the scenic panorama without the crowds. Amazing to see such a wide waterfall. Usually looking for the tall ones.  more »
  • Some day the falls will be a 5 and beautiful. But because of bureaucrats in Oregon City its surrounded by eyesores, trash and condemned buildings that should have been torn down 6 years ago but have n...  more »