While this year’s temperate winter may have you prematurely fantasizing about flip-flops and barbeques, don’t discount the possibility of another snow day. Portland’s weather is fickle, but it atones for its inconsistency by offering rare sights of Pacific Northwest perfection, best epitomized by Multnomah Falls freezing over.

Image: Maya Seaman

When the air temp drops below 32 degrees fahrenheit, the spray from the massive falls will freeze, creating an alien landscape of icicles, snow-packed ferns, and skeletal tree branches lined with ribbons of lush powder. 

It’s an event that should be on every Portlander’s bucket list, and is worth keeping an eye on local barometers. In 2013, the falls froze in early December, but don’t consider the opportunity lost just yet—in March 2012, an unexpected cold snap caused a surprise performance of the falls’ ice-laced artistry.

Multnomah Falls frozen
Image: Maya Seaman

So this season, escape Portland’s dreary winter doldrums with this leisurely 35-minute drive east on Hwy 84. Appreciating this frozen natural beauty will make your troubles melt away—promise. 

Multnomah Falls frozen
Image: Maya Seaman
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