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Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Historic Columbia Gorge Highway

We spent a day in the Columbia River Gorge.  It's a beautiful gorge where the Columbia River has cut through several hundred feet of volcanic basalt, leaving behind steep cliffs, and countless waterfalls.  I'll blog about the waterfalls later.
The Vista House is a must-see viewpoint on the west end of the Columbia Gorge Highway.  The highway was built with the capturing the views, waterfalls, and as much as the scenery as possible in mind.  A decent website for history and more information about the highway is http://www.columbiariverhighway.com/

 Here's one picture from the Vista House- as you can see, it has a very impressive viewpoint. 
 The highway winds its way up the gorge with mostly forest, cliff, and water along the way. 
Several of the bridges and guardrails are ornamental.
It's a great drive.  We really enjoyed the drive along with numerous of the stopping areas and short hikes to waterfalls.  
The eastern end of this segment ends just after the Oneonta Tunnel.  The tunnel was actually filled in and eliminated once, but has been restored.  It's very worthwhile to stop and take a stroll through the tunnel and the nearby Oneonta Gorge. 

Nearest City: Troutdale to Hood River, OR
Time Needed: At least a day!
Difficulty: Varies
Kid Friendly: Varies
Additional Info:

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