Can you see the Gorge waterfalls from a vehicle?

The Columbia Gorge offers some pretty stunning sights that are easily accessible.  To see a panorama of the Columbia River and learn a bit about its history, visit the Vista House at Crown Point off the Historic Columbia River Highway. Depending on your mobility, you may be able to snap some photos at the first viewpoint at Multnomah Falls. The whole area is wheelchair accessible, and the first viewpoint is approximately 200 feet from the road. If you do decide to visit Multnomah, try arriving early or late on a weekday; it’s an incredibly popular spot and parking is limited. After visiting Multnomah, continue east on the historic highway for a few miles and you’ll see Horsetail Falls right from the road!

Another great option for views is to drive south on Hwy 35 from Hood River. You can stop at Panorama Point and then continue up Hwy 35 for close-up shots of Mt. Hood.  There’s no official viewpoint beyond Panorama Point, but there are plenty of places to pull over and snap some photos.

If you drive up Hwy 35 for views, you can combine it with a Fruit Loop tour to sample some local fruit, wine and cider (here’s a map.)  Most spots on this map require minimal mobility.

Finally, if you decide to continue east on I-84,  stop at Rowena Crest viewpoint for sweeping views of the Gorge and wildflower meadows. Rowena Crest is about 20 miles east of Hood River.

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About Ask Oregon Expert Sunnie Brown

Sunnie Brown’s fondest memories of Mt. Hood and the Gorge are of the childhood weekends spent bopping around in dad’s pickup truck and heading for the next skiing, hiking or camping adventure. Since then she’s added several other adventure sports to cruise around and cover ground. But when real life beckons, she lives in Hood River, contributes to EnviroGorge and teaches writing to adolescents.

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