The day was bright with sunshine and warmth (comparatively speaking!) when we set out to drive the Historic Columbia River Highway. The entire Columbia River Gorge is home to some of the most magnificent scenery in Oregon. The new highway, I-84, goes for miles with the Columbia River on one side and ragged cliffs on the other. We were high above I-84 on the old Highway 30, a twisty, turny scenic route dating back to the 1920s.
We started at exit 22 off the I-84 and stayed on the old highway to exit 35. The first few miles from exit 22 are very steep and twisty and I would not recommend taking a motorhome on this part.
Our first stop is Chanticleer Point where the Women's Forum Overlook provides sweeping views of the river and surrounding mountain. It is also the place to be if you want a photo of Crown Point and the Vista House (see yellow arrow). Crown Point is only accessible from the old highway and that was the next stop on our journey.
The view from Crown Point is equally impressive. Far below you can see the river and the I-84 interstate highway. The Vista House was closed for the season but was still an impressive structure.
Yours truly checking out the view from the Vista House parking lot.
The highway and the river are far below our vantage point.
The road winds around the mountains, with stunning views around each curve. The road itself is a joy, even though it is narrow and twisty.
There are numerous waterfalls along this route, many of them small, unnamed demonstrations of the melting snow above. We purposely did not take any photos of the most famous of these waterfalls, Multnomah Falls. We could not do it justice and there are lots better photos than mine out there.
We stopped at some of the falls. There are trails at every stop, from short .2 miles walks to more strenuous hikes to the top of some of the falls. If you are a hiker, you would never be bored here. Wahkeena Falls was a great stop.
A little farther along we stopped at Horsetail Falls. Russ couldn’t resist snapping these shots of a noisy crow on the parking lot sign.
This was what we saw through the dirty windshield as we sat in the car and enjoyed our sandwiches. Pretty hard to take!!
Here’s a short video of Horsetail Falls.
We made a couple more quick stops and then it was back on the main highway for our trip back to town. This was a great way to spend several hours and we did not have time to make all the stops we wanted to. We will definitely drive this highway again and enjoy this bit of Oregon history and beauty. Well worth the time.