About Columbia River Gorge National Scenic AreaFollowing the Columbia River in both Oregon and Washington, the scenic area consists of 292,500 acres of sheer cliffs, mountainous forestland, hilly deciduous woods and grassy plains. The Oregon section extends from the Sandy River near Troutdale about 80 miles east to the Deschutes River. Rain forests and waterfalls, characteristic of the area's western end, give way east of the mountains to oak woods and grasslands.
Before settlement brought towns and dams, the rapids near The Dalles were impassable, requiring a difficult portage around the river and its enclosing cliffs. By 1913 plans were underway to create a scenic roadway, now the Historic Columbia River Highway, similar to Charlemagne's winding roads through the Rhine Valley.
The Columbia provides a wide travel corridor and recreational playground. Through a collaboration of preservation and developmental interests, many public recreational areas have been set aside for hiking, camping, fishing, rock climbing, wildlife viewing and other activities. Phone (541) 308-1700 for more details, including safety information.
Things to Do Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, OR
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