WHERE IS IT?
Shaped by ancient volcanoes and floods, the Columbia River Gorge is about an hour east of Portland, Oregon, on US 84.
WHAT IS IT?
The Gorge is an 80-mile-long river canyon that winds past cliffs, spires and ridges, providing spectacular views of the Cascade Mountain Range. Rich in culture and
history and home to 75,000 people, it’s also a vital transportation and communication corridor.
Approximately 40 miles of trails from Cascade Locks to Ainsworth State Park on the Oregon side of the Gorge remain closed due to damage from the 2017 Eagle Creek fire, but many other hiking trails that offer breathtaking views are open to hikers of every level.
In the 1980s, a group called Friends of the Columbia Gorge worked to preserve the area’s pristine beauty and protect it from the encroachment of commercial development. In October 1986, Congress passed the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act to preserve the natural beauty.
Parking can be a challenge, especially on weekends. Set out early and plan to get there before 8 a.m. on weekdays and before 7 a.m. on weekends to guarantee a spot.
FIND A HIKE
Friends of the Columbia Gorge has a detailed list of trails with a ton of information to help you plan a trip. Find it at tinyurl.com/ron52vu.