Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Oregon's Scenic Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area is famous for it's collection of stunning waterfalls... 77 on the Oregon side alone! From the majestic tourist attraction of Multnomah Falls (which is the second highest year round waterfall in the U.S., cascading a full 620 feet - see the gorgeous picture), to lesser known little falls (such as Punchbowl Falls, still beautiful at only 15 feet) that must be hiked to. All of these waterfalls reside within only about a 15 mile span, and can be reached by a nice, slow drive down the Historic Columbia River Highway. This scenic old route winds through some of the most awesome beauty in Oregon, and with so many waterfalls packed into such a small area, you can plan on spending at least a full afternoon here.

There are waysides, rest areas, picnic areas and parks throughout, but there is no RV camping available on this highway. However, should you mosey just a bit further through the Gorge on Interstate 84, about 14 miles from Multnomah Falls, you will come to the cozy little town of Cascade Locks, Oregon. Cascade Locks is situated along the beautiful Columbia River. This small town is deceptive, as there is so much to do! You can hike the Pacific Crest Trail, visit the newly unveiled bronze statues of Sacajawea and Seaman the dog and learn the history of this noted stop on Lewis & Clark's trail. You can stop by the Eastwind Drive-In for the best burgers and shakes, and the Port of Cascade Locks RV and Tent Campground will provide you with all the amenities you need, plus the most stunning view of the river and gorge you could hope for.

It is also located right next door to the local historical museum, as well as a huge, beautiful, park full of acres of green grass and a giant playground for the kids. Book a dinner cruise on the historic Sternwheeler, or take a stroll across the foot bridge to Thunder Island and let your kids and dogs run free and explore... There you will find the most beautiful view of the Bridge of The Gods and a new appreciation for all of natures glory.

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