Sunday, June 20, 2021
This morning we decided to eat breakfast at a local restaurant just down the road from our campground. It came highly recommended from the registration clerk at our campground and our meal did not disappoint. The cafe sits on 40 acres that is filled with peach orchards, strawberry fields, and has a produce stand that has been there for over 100 years on the same property by the same family!
After breakfast we headed to drive the historic Columbia River Highway, route 30. We began on the westend of the highway in Troutdale.
Along this beautiful scenic drive are waterfalls, trails and bridges. Some of the falls were so crowded we couldn’t find a space at the pullovers and we had to look at the falls from the road.
About seventy miles of the original highway have been maintained and in 1984 it was named as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark! In 2000 it was named as a National Historic Landmark!
Our first stop was at Chanticleer Point which is now called the Portland Women’s Forum Scenic Viewpoint. This point offers great views of the Columbia River
Our second stop was the Vista House at Crown Point. It was built, in 1918, as a memorial to Oregon pioneers and sits 733 feet above the Columbia River. Vista House was restored from 2000-2005. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The building was closed because of Covid-19.
As we drove along Highway 30, the first falls we pulled into the parking lot and took the path to see the Latourell falls. We didn’t take the time to hike to the upper falls. This falls drops straight down from an overhang for 224 feet. Joseph Latourell was a 19th century settler in this area who became a postmaster and the falls were named after him.
Shepperd’s Dell Falls was closed so we were unable to explore that area. Next along the highway we pulled over to hike to the Bridal Veil Falls. These falls go under the old Columbia River Gorge Highway’s 1914 Bridge with a drop of about 120 feet.
Multnomah Falls was very crowded with cars and people. The pictures we have were taken from the car as we slowly drove through the parking lot. We couldn’t find a place to park. 🙁
Benson Bridge was a footbridge that is located between the two cascades of the falls and it crosses the Multnomah Creek. Unfortunately we couldn’t see the second cascade. The images online look really cool. The upper falls plunges 542 feet and the lower falls 69 feet.
Since we couldn’t find a place to park we kept driving. Horsetail Falls was next along the highway. This falls was named Horsetail because of it resembling a horse’s tail. The falls is 176 feet in height. If you hike the Horsetail Falls trail you can see two more falls. We didn’t do this trail because of time.
Railroad tracks run parallel to the scenic highway.
We were getting really tired so we turned around at Hood River. Of the 70 miles, we drove 64. So that we could get back to our campsite at a reasonable time, we jumped on the interstate. It was definitely worth taking the time to drive and explore the falls, scenic viewpoints, and trails along this historic road!