The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Columbia river. The Gorge is as deep as 4,000 feet, and stretches for nearly 80 miles. The river winds its way westward through the Cascade mountain range.
The Gorge holds federally protected status as a national scenic area called the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.
For thousands of years, the Gorge has provided a transportation corridor for thousands of people. In 1805, the Gorge was used by the Lewis and Clark Expedition to reach the Pacific Ocean at their final destination in Seaside, OR.
There are several places along the 80-mile corridor of the Gorge that are worth visiting. The first destination is Crown Point, which is just 15 miles east of Portland.
Crown Point is one of the scenic lookouts along the Columbia River highway, which provides a panoramic view of the Columba River Gorge. It stands a staggering 735 feet above the river and was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1971.
The Vista House is also located at the top of Crown Point. It’s an observatory and also serves as a memorial for Oregon pioneers.
Just east of Crown Point, resides the tallest waterfall in the State of Oregon. Multnomah Falls is a tremendous sight to behold. The waterfall stands at 627-feet tall, but has two distinct drops of 542-feet and 69-feet.
Thousands of tourists come to Multnomah Falls on an annual basis, and have the ability to hike, photograph and enjoy the nature surrounding the falls.
A paved foot trail leads to the Benson Footbridge, a 45-foot-long bridge that allows visitors to cross 105-feet above the lower cascade of Multnomah Falls. The trail continues for roughly a mile up the many switchbacks to a platform at the top of the upper falls. At the top of the upper falls, you can catch a great view of the Gorge.
The Columbia River Gorge is another part of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. Make sure you put the Gorge on your list of places to visit when you’re in the Pacific Northwest!