Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

4.9
#1 of 1,053 in Things to do in Oregon
A popular destination for hiking, snowboarding, skiing, biking, and fishing, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area transitions from temperate rainforest to dry grasslands in just under 130 km (80 mi). Up to 1,200 m (4,000 ft) deep, the gorge stretches along the boundary between Washington and Oregon and contains a high concentration of waterfalls, with nearly 100 on the Oregon side alone. An important water transportation corridor for millennia, this river canyon offers you a chance to discover a sprawling world of pristine forests, streams, lakes, wetlands, and prehistoric sites. Take advantage of scenic drives, picnic areas, hiking trails, and panoramic lookouts. You can set up a tent or trailer at one of the area's designated campgrounds. Work out when and for how long to visit Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and other Underwood attractions using our handy Underwood trip itinerary site .
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Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Reviews
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  • September 30, 2017
    We were looking forward to this part of Oregon...wonderful views, but due to the past days of fires, many of the exits were closed for the safety of drivers..we saw a lot of charred timber and places ...  more »
  • September 28, 2017
    A lot of waterfalls, hiking trails and one scenic drive... can easily spend a whole day there. Multnomah Falls and Oneonta Gorge are my favorites!  more »
  • September 25, 2017
    We took a whole day to drive the road, have also driven a few miles on the Washington side. Nevertheless, we couldn't see all the waterfalls; you have to hike to some of them and then you just don't h...  more »
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  • June 3, 2017
    I've been fortunate enough to live here my entire life, and the Columbia River Gorge is absolutely beautiful. Natural beauty wise, it's on par with the top National Parks, except it's right near a major metropolitan area and has a major freeway and railroad running through it. If you're willing to explore and get creative, there are always new views and places to see. What a Wonder historic Highway 30 must have been back in its heyday. Be smart one hiking though, some areas of which are known to have poison oak and ticks can be found in the area as well, especially east of Cascade Locks. However, don't let that discourage you from enjoying this beautiful. Just be smart when your Outdoors. If this is your first time visiting, check out some of the visitor centers or look into the history of the area. It's really quite fascinating.
  • July 3, 2017
    Being there three times and still want to go back. It is absolutely an gorgeous places. Like scenery? Check out the numerous breathtaking water falls. Keen for a bit adventure? Try the back country trails that leads to the deep woods. Want to learn some history? Following the route that Lewis and Clark walked some two hundred years ago and visit the Bonneville Dam that was first constructed in the 1930's. And you get to see the amazing white sturgeon and salmon in the nearby fish hatchery. There is just so much to explore that you will get lost in time quickly.
  • June 21, 2017
    Amazing views that never get old. Whether you are driving on the freeway or the historic highway you will be looking outside your car windows at beautiful waterfalls, rock formations, mountains, rivers, animals, and so much more. From Portland you can be driving into the Gorge in about a half hour, take a trip all the way through to Hood River or beyond or stop right on the middle and go hiking on one of the many available trails, or stop for a picnic in a state park, or even set up camp. I like to start at Vista Point and drive across old US 30, it is a much slower ride but there are great twists and turns, shade from the trees, and the smells are amazing.
  • June 27, 2017
    IF you are looking for a scenic drive and have some time to kill drive the historic highway. The route is picturesque and unique. So many water falls and thick forests until you cross to the other side of mountains. Then there are arid landscapes with tall cliffs, canyons, and the Columbia flowing right through all of this. Look out for wildlife. I saw a few deer and lots of ospreys on the drive. Must do for someone visiting the Pacific NW.
  • June 22, 2017
    There's no place on earth like the greater Columbia River Gorge national scenic route. Enjoy the drive on either side of the river and see dozens of waterfalls the barges chugging upstream delivering goods far into the farmlands and returning with bountiful cargoes of our nations riches. Outdoor recreation is a common place activity with mountains to ski hills to hike rivers to Sir or board, Winetasting, fishing, hunting, organic farms and so much more it's on the bucket list of many missing all the splendor the gorge has to offer.

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