Multnomah Falls Double Cascade: Digital Painting

The Double Cascades of Multnomah Falls by WM House (Archeanart; ©Archean Enterprises, LLC)

The entrance to the Columbia River Gorge is spectacular for many reasons. Dazzling waterfalls are one of those reasons. Perhaps one of the most famous is Multnomah Falls. There, a set of double cascades tumble down from the mountains on the Oregon side of the Gorge.

Water has been flowing from the mountain tops to the Columbia River for millions of years, but these waterfall owe their existence to more recent events. Approximately 15,000 years ago, as the last ice age was ending, a large ice dam in the northern mid-continent burst. The ocean sized lake behind the dam flooded out and traveled across the Northwestern USA, eventually funneling its floodwaters into the Columbia River Gorge.

The wall of water rushing through the Gorge was a thousand feet tall and it stripped soil and rock from the mountains sides, creating the landscape we see today. Water that once rushed down steep slopes now cascades over vertical cliffs.

The elongate view of the falls in this digital painting emphasizes the rugged, steep topography defining the Gorge today. Visitors can view the falls from below or traverse the bridge at the top of the picture for a view of the upper pond. The original work is 48 inches high and 24 inches wide.