There’s an outdoor party underway and you are invited! The gorgeous Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area turns 25 this year so let the celebration begin!

The Columbia River Gorge is a place where views are never twice the same and moments of beauty found along easy trails to walk, bike and leisurely drive. It is a timeless place that’s easy on the eyes and easy to explore and provides each visitor enough memories to last a lifetime.

The milestone anniversary officially arrives in November and dates back 25 years ago when President Ronald Reagan signed the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area Act into law.

It remains the country’s only National Scenic Area! There are nearly 300,000 acres within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. It is not a wilderness but you can escape into wilderness. It isn’t a park, but you can enjoy camping and hiking. It is protected for its scenery yet allows growth and development inside existing communities.

Nearby, The Dalles boasts that it is a community “Gateway to the Gorge.”

In fact, since 1997 the Columbia Gorge National Discovery Center has been the official interpretive setting for the National Scenic Area.

The Discovery Center is home to important stories that link us to Oregon’s rich natural and cultural histories. Through summer and into fall, the center will also link you to the many celebrations centered on the National Scenic Area’s 25th Anniversary.

Find Oregon State Parks in the Columbia Gorge area

about author Grant McOmie

Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.


In this Grant’s Getaway

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Wordless Wednesday – Multnomah Falls « Jackieinpdx's Blog says…

    [...] Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is celebrating its 25th anniversary this [...]

    Written on May 4th, 2011 / Flag this Comment
  2. Bill Fleming says…

    This video is very helpful to me in planning my trip to Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge. I am looking forward to it.

    Written on June 6th, 2011 / Flag this Comment
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