High Above Oregon's Columbia River Gorge, Vista House Is A Historic Treasure
Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge is a sight to behold. This stunning canyon was created over millions of years, and it’s up to 4,000 feet deep. For some of the best views of this stunning natural wonder, visitors take the winding road up to Vista House, a historic treasure that’s one of the Beaver State’s most well-loved landmarks.
Perched on a ridge 733 feet above the Columbia River Gorge, Vista House is a beloved icon.
You'll reach Vista House from the Historic Columbia River Highway.
Completed in 1917, Vista House is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed by Oregon architect Edgar M. Lazarus, and back then, many Oregonians weren't thrilled with the project.
The initial intent was to build a traveler's comfort station. Around $4,000 was raised for the effort.
But with a location like that, Lazarus envisioned something a little more grand. As the budget increased, locals started calling the project, "The $100,000 outhouse." By the time Vista House was completed, the budget came in at $96,000, but most Oregonians today would consider that money well spent.
Vista House measures 44 feet in diameter, and stand 55 feet high. Its soaring dome and greenish opalized windows are stunning, and the floor, stairs, and wainscoting are made of Tokeen Alaskan Marble.
In 2001, an extensive renovation was undertaken. The five-year project cost around $2 million, and included a one-of-a-kind lift to make the building fully-accessible to all who want to visit.
Inside Vista House, you'll find a museum with displays and information about the building's history and the people who worked throughout the years to preserve it.
Volunteers are on hand to tell you all about Vista House and its history, as well as to provide information about the Columbia River Gorge and the many beautiful attractions along its highway.
Vista House is run by a collaboration between Oregon State Parks and Friends of Vista House, a non-profit organization.
Once you've explored Vista House, you'll want to walk around the grounds. You'll find several viewing scopes that allow for close-up views below.
The views from up here are absolutely incredible. From your perch above, you'll have an eagle's eye view of the river and Columbia Valley Gorge below.
Stop by Vista House to visit its museum, peruse the gift shop, enjoy a snack or beverage in the espresso bar, and of course, soak in those gorgeous views. The hours to enter Vista House may vary, depending on the season.
Before visiting, make sure to check its
. Vista House sometimes closes due to high winds or ice. You can call 503-695-2240 before heading out to make sure it's open.
Learn more about Vista House on it
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Vista House, 40700 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019, USA