Road Trip to the Columbia River Gorge

We were promised two days of sunshine earlier this week, and so to celebrate we drove south for a night at the Columbia River Gorge. Our plan was to take in the waterfalls on the Oregon side; then spend the night at Skamania Lodge on the Washington side, a place we’d never been before.

Our first stop was at the Crown Point Vista House where skies were blue and the wind icy as we gazed on the mighty Columbia.

Next up we visited our first waterfall, the 249 ft. Latourell Falls.

Continuing east we learned the Historic Scenic Highway was closed due to damage from the wildfire in September.  So, our tour of the waterfalls was cut short, and it was time to cross the river to Skamania Lodge.  Wow!  How did we miss this place all these years?  Opened in 1993, the Lodge sits on 175 acres of forested land overlooking the Columbia and is complete with restaurants, spa, golf course and hiking trails.  The building of the lodge was the result of the Act that created the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in 1986, which called for a conference center on the Washington side.  The winter rates made it very affordable, and the views of the river and sunset were perfect.  We will be back.

The next day we continued the drive east, enjoying views of Mt. Hood along the way and watching as the landscape turned from forest to farmland and desert.

Near the Columbia Hills, we came across this sign and could indeed see all four of the famous mountains from that spot.

But it was Mt. Adams that was front and center, finally getting the attention – at least from me – that it deserves.

As we traveled north towards Yakima to complete our loop trip we noticed the clouds amassing in the sky,  and the sun beginning to set in Ellensburg.

Our two rain free days were almost over and shortly after we returned home so did the rain, just as promised.

~ Susanne

9 Comments on “Road Trip to the Columbia River Gorge

  1. We used to drive out to the Multnomah Falls Lodge for breakfast. Hot oatmeal by a roaring(indoor) fire. How does the Gorge look after the fires?

    • We stopped by Multnomah Falls but it was partly barricaded so couldn’t get up close. We could see burned trees standing, and there were piles of logs near the highway where they are removing the dangerous material; and of course much of the historic highway is still closed. Very sad. But the area is still so beautiful.

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