Have you ever looked from a vista & thought you were viewing a slice of heaven? That’s how I felt when I first got a chance to view the gorge, and then again when we decided to take a longer trip – down one side in Washington, up the other in Oregon. There is some seriously beautiful country along the Columbia River, along with some pretty serious wind!
We started driving along Route 14 in Vancouver Washington, also known as the Lewis & Clark Highway.
There are several pull outs with information about the highway, and what was found during their explorations. There is also a map containing points of interest on the Washington side – detailing information about parks and outlooks that should be explored. Unfortunately, most of these parks need a pass (a discover pass and there were a few others that were allowed) but they are not sold on site. We finally found a place that advertised they sold them, but they were closed. For each park, it cost $10 – not for the day because you don’t get a pass, but per park! So, we decided to just enjoy the drive instead. On the plus side, most parks allowed a 10 minute free parking ability to use the restrooms which was nice.
There are several jaw dropping views, but Cape Horn provided one of the most dramatic.
We also enjoyed the views as we got closer to Hood River – while I wasn’t able to snap a good shot without my zoom, we loved seeing the wind surfers out! It was also a clear enough day we got to see the amazing Mt. Hood in the distance.
We made it all the way to The Dalles, then took the I84 back on the Oregon side as we were running out of time. We did make a stop hoping for a pint at the Full Sail Brewery, but unfortunately they didn’t have any dog friendly seating. It was warm enough out that we didn’t feel like leaving Samantha in the car so we headed back to Portland without a brewery tour.
Our plan is to snag a pass in advance, and retake the trip – making time for some hikes along the gorge. This is definitely a place you can visit more than once!