The Columbia River is only one of four rivers that cut thru the Cascade Mountain range and the only one in Oregon. The mountain range is obviously volcanic and is said to be currently active, remember Mt St Helens!!! The gorge was scraped out by glaciers but retains some steep/vertical drops for amazing waterfalls and streams.
The river and therefore gorge is pretty wide. There is barge traffic and paddle boat cruises with plenty of room to spare!!
We have not been west of Portland on the river, but going east from Portland the first 40 miles are the most beautiful with lush greenery and at least 5 waterfalls that you can visit with less than a mile walk for each some you can see from the parking lot.
These are all on the Oregon side of the river, really wonder what the WA side holds?? We drove the WA side from Cascade Locks to Maryhill and didn’t see any, but in OR they are further west than Cascade Locks too?? Need to explore that side but can’t do everything, until next time…
The original Oregon highway up the gorge is OR 30. It still exists in places and other places its bed has been turned into a greenway. Interstate 84 follows the river pretty close thru here guess the damming has fixed any flood issues or they wouldn’t have built the interstate so close to the river???
Either way we refilled RX in Portland suburb taking the big loop after group visit to Timberline Lodge, OR35 to 26 and across on old 30. Nice drive with some short nice walks to waterfalls on the gorge. First stop Vista House with a view both east and west on the best part of the gorge!!!
Above is view of the house and this is from the Vista House… Beautiful views!! Would be even better on a clear day, but who’s complaining, no fires, no rain could be worse!! Odd to have opposing threats??
Frist heading east from Portland is Latourell Falls viewed just off the highway maybe a 100 yd walk straight up to a viewing stand. Lovely
Bridal Veil Falls is really beautiful and only requires a little effort to see. The walk is 2/3 miles round trip, the problem is that it is down hill first and then all up hill. I prefer the opposite…
Wahkeema Falls is next. Nice cascades from the parking lot, but about a ¼ mile uphill you get a nice view of this fall.
You can continue to hike up to the top of the falls, but up there it is really just a stream/river getting ready to fall…
And the BIG one Multnomah Falls, 620 feet with two distinct drops. This falls is so popular that they have an exit on the interstate just for a parking lot to view this fall!!! No kidding, and it is full a lot of the time, they have shuttle busses if needed. Being on old Hwy30, there was only a very small parking lot which of course was full, but we decided to turn around and park at Wahkeena Falls and walk the ¼ mile to the more popular one. But when we came back a front row space had opened up so we just walked right up. Beautiful spot and a historic Inn that we did not visit.
About 25 years ago 1995 I believe, a bolder the size of a school bus (or our bus) fell from the upper wall of this falls into the upper pool. There was a wedding party on the bridge and several got hurt and all got wet!!! We viewed from a far…
Our final stop on OR Hwy 30 was Horsetail Falls. This one is also possible to see from across the road from the parking lot. An easy view and well worth it. Beautiful!!!
This is only ¼ of the Columbia River Gorge still have the Washington State side of the river and west of Portland on both sides. Like we say can’t do it all the first time, but MAYBE haven’t left the area quite yet!!!
Peace Love and Gorges for all!!!