Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

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Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

The Columbia River Gorge was the first National Scenic Area in the United States having been designated as such by the US Congress in November 1986. The Gorge is an incredible river canyon cutting its way through the Cascade Mountain Range and providing the only sea-level route from the east side of the Cascades to the Pacific Ocean. It is eighty miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep with the north canyon walls in the State of Washington and the south canyon walls in the State of Oregon.

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There are numerous things to see and do in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Activities include hiking, mountain biking, windsurfing, camping, fishing, boating, wildlife watching, birding, wildflower viewing, photography, picnicking and rock climbing.

Scenic attractions include various spectacular waterfalls cascading over the canyon walls. The second highest year-round waterfall is found in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area – Multnomah Falls. Every waterfall is breath taking and spectacular. There are seventy-seven waterfalls on the Oregon side of the Gorge alone.

Archaeological digs and various excavations have determined that humans have inhabited the Columbia River Gorge for nearly 31,000 years. Carvings on the sides of the canyon walls are further evidence of historic human habitants.

From one end to the other of this eighty mile stretch of deep canyon walls and wide meandering river, The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area is a feast for the eyes and the other senses. Along the route, you can enjoy various museums, State and National Parks, picnic areas, marinas, historical sites, scenic vistas, mountain peaks, and wildflower carpeted mountain meadows.

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Other Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Resources

Columbia River Crossing

The Columbia River Crossing is an ongoing transportation project over the Columbia River, connecting Oregon to Washington.

Columbia Riverkeeper

The Columbia Riverkeeper is dedicated to preserving the water quality within the Columbia River.

Columbia River Gorge Visitors Association

The Columbia River Gorge Visitors Association encourages tourism and offers assistance and advice to visitors to the Columbia River Gorge.

Columbia River Maritime Museum

Columbia River Maritime Museum provides a unique museum offering many exhibits on the Columbia Gorge River Maritime Museum.

Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute

The Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute is dedicated to encouraging the understanding and enjoyment of the local environment.

Friends of the Columbia Gorge

The Friends of the Columbia Gorge is dedicated to preserving and protecting the recreational resources within the Columbia River Gorge.

Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway

Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway promotes travel on and the appreciation of the Columbia River Highway.