Portland May 27, 2017
A Drive Down Portland’s Loneliest Road Will Take You Miles And Miles Away From It All
If you want to get away from it all, head east toward the Historic Columbia River Highway. This scenic road is over 100 years old and was meant for touring the beauty of the gorge, making it a perfect escape from your day-to-day life. Hop on the slow-moving highway and pass by waterfalls, scenic viewpoints and forested beauty on this journey miles away from it all.
Stretching 75 miles between Troutdale and The Dalles, this scenic highway has plenty of distance to put between you and your everyday life.
Started in 1913 and finished in 1922, this picturesque highway passes next to several waterfalls alongside its twisting turns and scenic viewpoints.
One of the most famous spots along the highway is Crown Point's Vista House.
Sitting high on the gorge, this historic house was built in 1918 and has some of the best views imaginable of the gorge.
Continuing east from Crown Point, the highway twists and turns and enters a fern-covered paradise that gives way to waterfalls.
Passing by 5 waterfalls in 8 miles, including the most famous, Multnomah Falls, the highway is built for cruising and getting lost in the beauty of the gorge.
If you want, you can get out of the car and hike to the visible falls or you can delve deeper into the woods to an off-road waterfalls such as Horsetail Falls, Triple Falls, or Oneota Falls.
Whatever you do, be sure to stop and get some great glimpses of the Columbia on your journey.
In Hood River, the highway ends to motorized traffic until Mosier, so you can either take the Mt Hood Scenic Byway or continue on foot or bike.
This 5-mile section of the highway is carved out of the gorge and is a perfect strip of non-motorized land that is a cyclist and pedestrian dream with its sweeping views.
While this stretch of highway celebrated its 100th birthday last year, things have not changed too much outside of ongoing restoration. You can still see some classic cars every once in awhile, which will throw you back to a simpler time.
Finish your drive by watching the sun set on the way back. The sun going down in the gorge is an amazing sight, and one that should definitely be included on this epic drive.
What is your favorite driving road in or around Portland? Let us know in the comments below.