Explore the Best of the Columbia River Gorge Highway

The Pacific Northwest is a place ripe with breathtaking vistas and epic adventures. There is nowhere quite like the Columbia River Gorge, home to the famed Hwy 30 in Oregon, a historic highway and scenic byway that winds along the Columbia River Gorge through lush forests and past roaring waterfalls. Hwy 30 is home to the best of the Gorge and should be considered a “must-see” attraction when visiting our luxury cabins in Washington

Of course, Hwy 30 in Oregon is just one of the many things to do in the Columbia River Gorge. Once you’ve hiked or biked your way along the scenic stretches of this breathtaking highway and chased more waterfalls than you knew existed, you’ll find even more to explore in the surrounding Gifford Pinchot National Forest, not to mention in the quaint towns of the Gorge themselves. Taste your way along the Hood River Fruit Loop, sip on fantastic wines at local wineries in vineyards, enjoy artisan meals at local restaurants, and experience the best of Oregon & Washington in this unforgettable part of the region.

When it’s time for your adventures to be over (for the day), the inviting and tranquil ambiance of our luxury cabins in Washington will be waiting. We’re located just across the Bridge of the Gods on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge in the quaint town of Carson. We offer guests the perfect home away from home – sumptuous cabins appointed with various high-end amenities and a hard-to-beat location in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. If you’re ready for the ultimate getaway this year, book your cabin today! 

A historic bridge on HWY 30 Oregon in the Columbia River Gorge

Hwy 30 in Oregon: A Historic Highway

Hwy 30 in Oregon – also commonly referred to as the Historic Columbia River Highway – is a breathtaking scenic drive through the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. This historic Oregon highway stretches for about 75 miles, parts of which you can still drive, and others are only accessible on foot or bike. 

The graceful curves, viaducts, and bridges of the Hwy 30 are almost as beautiful as the lush scenery it carves a path through. The stretch of Hwy 30 most frequently traveled was built between 1913 and 1922. It was designed to give travelers up-close and breathtaking views of the area’s magnificent waterfalls, as well as the Columbia River and surrounding cliffs and forests. 

Today, a series of modern roads and highways bypasses the historic portion of Hwy 30 in Oregon. However, this beautiful roadway has been preserved thanks to its enduring cultural and scenic significance. Today, the Historic Columbia River Highway is a vital part of the region’s recreational infrastructure. 

As you get ready to enjoy an epic journey into the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, here are the must-see attractions along Oregon’s historic Hwy 30.

  1. For many, the first stop on the Historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon is Crown Point and Vista House. Vista House is a stunning architectural gem. It’s an octagonal stone building that houses a museum and serves as a memorial to Oregon pioneers. It’s also the first opportunity for many to see the breathtaking natural beauty of The Gorge. 
  2. As you continue down Hwy 30, you’ll quickly learn why it’s earned the nickname “highway of waterfalls.” The most impressive and popular Columbia River Gorge waterfalls can be found right here, on the famed Waterfall Corridor. See more about our favorites below! 
  3. If you’ve seen photos of The Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway, odds are you’ve seen Rowena Crest. This is where you’ll find the iconic horseshoe bends in the road known as the Rowena Loops. We recommend you get out of your car here and enjoy an easy one-mile hike to the top of the Rowena Crest Overlook. The Rowena Plateau is also one of our favorite places for wildflower hikes in the spring when it bursts into bloom with native lupine, balsamroot, and others. 
  4. If you’re looking for a great place to take in the views as you travel Hwy 30, grab a picnic lunch, or just unwind with a great pint of Oregon beer, head to Thunder Island. The island offers excellent views of the Gorge and is also home to Thunder Island Brewing Company.
  5. Finally, don’t miss the chance to walk, bike, or drive across the Bridge of the Gods. From Thunder Island and the town of Cascade Locks, you simply follow the signs to the bridge and either walk across to take perfect pictures of the river or drive across this architectural masterpiece. Crossing this bridge is also how you’ll get to our luxury cabins in Washington when you’re ready to relax for the evening!
Multnomah Falls, one of the many attractions along HWY 30 Oregon in the Columbia River Gorge

Stunning Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls on the Route

With so many great things to see and do, it’s easy to see why Hwy 30 in Oregon is such a popular place to begin exploring the Columbia River Gorge. Of course, for many, the main attraction to see here is the waterfalls along this stretch of road. The “highway of waterfalls” is, among other things, breathtaking. Of all the waterfalls to see here, Multnomah Falls is the king of them all. 

Multnomah Falls is the most visited natural wonder in the Pacific Northwest. The waterfall is a constant presence along the historic Columbia River Highway. It can be enjoyed year-round, but it’s at its most powerful in the spring and later fall months. These times of year also happen to be when there are far fewer crowds visiting the attractions along Hwy 30. Visit Multnomah Falls in the summer, and you’ll find crowds of other tourists milling about, admiring the powerful cascades of water surrounded by lush green forests. Don’t miss the hike and views from the historic Benson Bridge (and beyond). 

However, Multnomah Falls is just one of the magnificent Columbia River Gorge waterfalls to see along this historic stretch of Highway 30 in Oregon. We’ve listed five more great stops to make below. 

  1. Just before you enter the official Waterfall Corridor, you’ll find LaTourell Falls. This waterfall can be accessed by a relatively easy 2.4-mile loop.
  2. Before you reach the mighty Multnomah Falls, make time for the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls. The hike to get there is a short one-mile rated as easy, and it will be worth your time. 
  3. Once inside the official waterfall corridor on Hwy 30, you’ll find Wahkeena Falls, which drops an impressive 242 feet.
  4. If you’re looking for a hidden gem of a waterfall that won’t be surrounded by the same crowds as places like Multnomah Falls, head to Dry Creek Falls. This stunning Columbia River Gorge waterfall sits just off the Pacific Crest Trail.
  5. Finally, don’t miss Horsetail Falls. This waterfall plunges 176 feet and can be seen from the highway. There are also some short trails here that offer better views of the waterfall.

Gorgeous waterfalls aside, a trip along the stunning Columbia River Highway in Oregon is really all about the journey, not the destination. We invite you to spend a few days visiting our luxury cabins in Washington over the course of the year – and when you do, make sure to take your time to explore the depths of the Columbia River Gorge. Book your cabin getaway with us today! 

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