The Columbia Gorge is home to a surprising number of amazing hikes! On one of the most perfect days from August of 2011, I managed to get mother nature to make the perfect picture frame! I don’t recall exactly which trail it’s from as we took several that day. Like I’ve said in other posts, Oregon is a depressing and gloomy state to live in, but the Summer season is hard to beat. This area is a prime example of that!
Most people drive by the Columbia Gorge using the freeway I-84. But if you have the time, I definitely recommend using the Historic Columbia River Highway. The sightseeing of this drive is nothing short of breathtaking. Multnomah Falls seems to get all the limelight, but it’s just one of at least a dozen falls in the area. Towards Portland lies the Vista House which is always good for a picture! McMenamins Edgefield is just a 20 minute drive away. If you find yourself going the other direction, the city of Hood River has never failed us for culinary delights.
The hikes we found were mostly easy, short, and well maintained. There are certainly some lengthy and more difficult ones if you’re the more daring type. If looking down from the tops of waterfalls is your thing, most of them have trails to accommodate. Fire activity is known to close some of these trails, so it’s probably a good idea to check beforehand. Parking may also be a consideration during the peak season.
The Columbia Gorge doesn’t get the attention that it deserves for a tourist attraction. The highways on both the Oregon side and the Washington side are full of little wonders that never cease to amaze. Some other attractions might be the Pendleton underground, or maybe the Stonehenge Memorial, or the Maryhill Museum, or the Bridge of the Gods, or Bonneville Dam, or…well, you get the point. The next time you get a spare day, you won’t be disappointed if you just wander around the Columbia.