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The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Just outside Portland – 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) to be exact – the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area offers 292,500 acres (118,371 hectares) of unparalleled scenery and outdoor recreation options.

A leisurely drive on the Historic Columbia River Highway is a popular way to experience the gorge. One of the first stops heading east from Troutdale is the Vista House at Crown Point. Built in 1916 as a monument to Oregon's early pioneers and a respite for travelers, Vista House is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Here visitors soak in panoramic views of the gorge.

The old highway features several waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls, Oregon's highest at 620 feet (189 meters). Hiking trails and picnic facilities are available at several of the waterfall sites. The Gorge's Hood River – a ski town during winter – becomes a beach bum's paradise every summer with unparalleled windsurfing, quaint galleries and beer from America's first employee-owned brewery, Full Sail Brewing.

Located one hour from Portland (and just 30 minutes from Mount Hood), it's also in the middle of orchard country, accessible via a 35-mile (56-kilometer) driving tour known as the Hood River Fruit Loop. Spring brings a blossom festival; fall is harvest fest time.

The Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge



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Source: Portland Oregon Visitors Association, magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20080804
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