Historic Columbia River Highway is e. of Portland; for the best views of the gorge, enter the area from the w. at I-84 exit 17. Portions of the scenic highway split and become parallel roads: The upper level, old US 30, is the older, more scenic route; the lower level, I-84, is an interstate highway.
The highway provides panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge from the Vista House at Crown Point State Scenic Viewpoint and, near Portland, at Women's Forum State Scenic View. East of the latter park, Larch Mountain Road runs 14 miles to a view at Sherrard Point, where a short trail accesses views of mounts Adams, Hood, Jefferson, Rainier and St. Helens.
The other 22 miles of this scenic road travel through the gorge, with 2,000-foot-tall cliffs, unusual rock formations and 11 waterfalls.