Bridge of The Gods, Columbia River Gorge

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Bridge of The Gods

Cantilevered Bridge of the Gods, third oldest bridge on the Columbia River, spans the Gorge right where a natural rock bridge once stood; native legend paints the bridge’s colorful history.

  • Bridge of the Gods is steeped in Native history and legend.
  • Spans the Columbia Gorge 45 miles east of Portland on Cascade Locks Highway.
  • Sits at the spot where a natural stone bridge once stood.
  • Open all year, 24 hours for vehicle traffic and lovely views.

Overview

More than 1,000 years ago, a huge landslide blocked the Columbia River at a spot near where the township of Cascade Locks exists today. Over time, water eroded through the stone to form a magnificent natural rock bridge spanning the Gorge. Eventually the natural bridge fell—as native legend would have it, due to eruptions from neighboring Cascade volcanoes—forming the wild Cascade Rapids. These rapids were submerged upon construction of Bonneville Dam.

The natural Bridge of the Gods was replaced by a man-made structure on the same site, originally completed in 1926. This cantilevered bridge has been renovated several times and was raised and extended in 1940 to accommodate Bonneville Dam backwaters. Today, this 1858-foot toll bridge is open to vehicle traffic and provides an excellent viewpoint to experience gorgeous Columbia River Gorge scenery.

Location & Information

Bridge of the Gods is located about 45 miles east of Portland, Oregon. Take I-84 to Exit 44 (the Cascade Locks Highway) and follow signs to Bridge of the Gods.

The bridge tollhouse is open year-round 24 hours a day. For tolls and information, call Port of Cascade Locks at (541) 374-8619.

The Legend

Bridge of the Gods was named by NW Native American tribes. Tribal legend says the bridge was built by the Great Spirit Manito, and destroyed by Manito’s sons Wy’east (Mt. Hood) and Klickitat (Mt. Adams) in a volcanic battle over the affections of Squaw Mountain.

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