Oregon’s Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge
The Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area is unquestionably one of the most beautiful places on earth. Whether you’re looking up the Columbia from the western perch of Vista House, seeing Mt. Hood up close from the windows of Timberline Lodge, watching the rolling hills of the fruit loop unfold or sitting atop Rowena Crest enjoying Oregon stretch east, your eyes will never tire of the wonders of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. There’s good reason why Lewis and Clark used its waterfalls as inspiration to finish their journey west, that the first Historic Scenic Highway was built along its ocher cliffs and congress designated it America’s first National Scenic Area. But to call it a Scenic Area and leave it at that does it a disservice.
The Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge Area demands to be hiked, biked, paddled, sailed and skied. Its bounty needs to be tasted, its history need to be investigated and its lakes, rivers, mountains, trails and waterfalls need to be explored. To take highway 26 from Portland to Mt. Hood, round the Infinity Loop to The Dalles and travel back on 84 is to see the forest but miss the trees. You can’t spend a day here and claim to know it, but give it a week and you’ll be rewarded with a month’s worth of adventure. It has something for everyone, or more accurately, just about anything for anyone, anytime.