Visit Our Area
The Columbia River Gorge is one of America’s most awesome natural wonders. Over 80 miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep, this river canyon cuts the only sea-level route through the Cascade Mountain range. Interstate 84 and the Historic Columbia River Highway both skirt the river, offering wonderful vistas of the Gorge’s dramatic topography. Natural wonders include sheer basalt cliffs, soaring eagle and osprey, and scores of waterfalls, including 620 foot Multnomah Falls. Man-made attractions include the engineering wonders of Bonneville Dam and the many picturesque and vibrant towns along the way. Whether it’s hiking to a secret waterfall, catching the wind on the water, photographing bountiful wildflowers, or just kicking back and appreciating world class views, “The West Gorge” will make you ponder the awesome power that Mother Nature exercised in the carving out such a wondrous landscape.
Make the West Gorge your basecamp for your adventures!
Just minutes from Portland International Airport, Wood Village marks the western most city of the Mt Hood Gorge Region, making it the ideal base camp to start your journey. Both the Mt Hood and Columbia River Gorge Scenic By-ways pass through “The Village” giving the option to travel either from one starting point. Travel east along Halsey to pass through Troutdale’s Arch, the true gateway to the Columbia River Gorge, with an old fashioned downtown nestled against the wild beauty of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Browse its main street filled with art galleries, specialty shops and brew pubs and visit nearby historic sites, like the Harlow House and depot Rail Museum. At the mouth of the Sandy River, the 1,400-acre Sandy River Delta Park encompasses wooded trails, grasslands, beaches and a bird blind designed by artist Maya Lin. A large off-leash area makes it especially popular with dog owners. Nearby, McMenamins Edgefield re-purposes a 1911 county “poor farm” into an endearingly eclectic resort with pubs, wine bars, golf and a great summer concert venue tucked among its rambling grounds.
Lush Cascade Locks tucks up against the Cascades, a riverfront town busy with sailboats, anglers, and the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler sightseeing cruises. The community hosts world-class sailing regattas and a growing youth sailing program. Families enjoy the three mile “easy CLIMB” loop trail, an 18-hole disc golf course, and the recently reconnected paved Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Halfway between Troutdale and Hood River, Cascade Locks offers dining, accommodations, regional art, and fresh salmon. Through-hikers on the northbound Pacific Crest Trail rejuvenate in Cascade Locks, the only city along the trail, before crossing the Bridge of the Gods into Washington. According to Native American legend, a natural stone bridge once arched across the Columbia River here. Today a vehicle bridge spans the river, offering a spectacular view up and down the Gorge.