The Columbia River Gorge was designated a National Scenic Area — the largest in America — for good reason.
You’d be hard-pressed to find vistas as stunning as these. At the western end of the Gorge, the view from Crown Point is a front-row seat to the mighty Columbia as its unfurls and cuts through the Cascade mountains. From there dozens of awe-inspiring waterfalls spill from basalt cliffs, lining the Historic Columbia River Highway, like the famous Multnomah, Bridal Veil and Latourell falls. The landscape seems to grow bigger, grander and brighter as it rolls east.
Bring your sense of adventure because the Gorge is made for exploring. Walk along a waterfront, discover hidden waterfalls, follow the wildflowers at Rowena Crest or challenge yourself with a trek up Dog Mountain. Cycle the roads around The Dalles or in the Post Canyon mountain bike network. And it’s hard to resist water sports on the Columbia, especially when Hood River is known as the windsurfing capital of the world.
But the Columbia River Gorge isn’t just spectacular scenery. There’s plenty of hand-crafted beer and farm-fresh dining too. Thanks to its unique geography, the Gorge boasts a world of wine — from pinot noir and chardonnay in the cool western hills, to tempranillo and syrah in the drier, sunnier east.
See the Columbia River Gorge for yourself, and then you’ll understand all the hype.
Some areas of the Columbia River Gorge were impacted by the Eagle Creek fire of 2017. Before you head out, learn more about what’s open and closed on the Historic Columbia River Highway and check with USFS for the most up-to-date information on trail closures.