Visit Thunder Island in the Columbia River Gorge

Everywhere you turn this fall, there are beautiful vistas along the Columbia River Gorge to be enjoyed and wonderful places to visit. Thunder Island is one of these places. From here, you can spend a leisurely day at water level along the Columbia River and enjoy some of the most beautiful views – including outstanding views of the Bridge of the Gods. 

Thunder Island is a manmade island built in 1890 and is a vital piece of the Columbia Gorge’s history. Today, it serves as a wonderful place to relax, take in the views, enjoy a picnic, and learn more about this fascinating area.

So many people simply drive across the Bridge of the Gods between Oregon and Washington without thinking about the historical land they’re crossing. A trip to Thunder Island is all it takes to gain an even deeper appreciation for this remarkable area – and it’s an easy stop to make either on your way to or from our luxury cabins in Washington State

There’s plenty to love and admire about the Columbia River Gorge this fall – and an abundance of things to do. We’d love to serve as your relaxing home base for all your adventures, guiding you through the history and to the best hikes, attractions, and more. It’s time to plan an unforgettable fall in Washington. Book your cabin getaway today! 

The Bridge of the Gods over Thunder Island and the Columbia River

Spend a Day on Thunder Island

Though a quiet and unassuming spot on the Columbia River, Thunder Island is definitely worth a visit this fall. The manmade island, which resulted in the Cascade Locks and Canal, was carved out of the Oregon mainland to allow easier passage of ships through this segment of the Columbia River’s rapids.

Today, Thunder Island is a beautiful vantage point from which to marvel at the mighty Columbia. It is a particularly beautiful place to observe the changing colors as fall descends upon the Gorge. It’s a beautiful place to walk, picnic, fish, take photos, and enjoy crisp fall afternoons. From the north end of Thunder Island, you’ll enjoy great views of Table Mountain and Greenleaf Peak

Thunder Island, which is managed by the port of Cascade Locks and part of the Cascade Locks Marine Park, is accessible by a small footbridge from the mainland. The footbridge takes you over the historic cascade locks, which were completed in 1896 and were a vital part of the river until the construction of the Bonneville Dam decommissioned them. 

If for no other reason, it’s worth visiting Thunder Island to enjoy the view of the Bridge of the Gods. Most people drive across the Bridge of the Gods without thinking about it too much, but this area – and the river it now spans – has a fascinating geological history. A natural land “Bridge of the Gods” formed as a result of a landslide on Table Mountain many centuries ago. This natural bridge stood 200-300 feet above the river and afforded Native Americans safe passage across the river. 

Eventually, sometime in the 1690s, forces of nature led to the collapse and erosion of the natural land bridge, thus resulting in the need for a new Bridge of the Gods. The steel truss bridge standing today was first constructed in 1926 and later raised in 1936. Once you’ve finished your picnic and gotten your fill of the incredible views from Thunder Island, we encourage you to spend some time in the beautiful port of Cascade Locks. 

There, we recommend, at the very least, a visit to the Cascade Locks Historical Museum and the Oregon Pony, the first steam locomotive of the Oregon Territory. Top off your day with a delicious pint of craft beer at Thunder Island Brewing, and then continue back to our luxurious cabins in Washington for the ultimate night of relaxation. 

After visiting Thunder Island, relax and unwind on this beautiful porch swing in our Mt Hood Cabin in Washington

The Best Cabins in Washington State

Regardless of your reasons for visiting the Columbia River Gorge and how many attractions like Thunder Island you see while here, we hope a good part of your getaway includes rest and relaxation at our cabins in Washington State. Our luxury cabins, located in the charming Washington town of Carson, are not too far upriver from the Bridge of the Gods and offer couples a unique opportunity for romantic getaways in Washington

Our luxurious cabins in Washington State are like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Each cabin was thoughtfully created with one thing in mind: relaxation. They are a private oasis for your Columbia Gorge getaways, and we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure you enjoy nothing but the best during your time with us. We know finding the time to get away can be challenging in the first place, so we’ve thought of everything to make your stay as memorable and relaxing as possible. 

Inside our cabins, you’ll find a thoughtful range of luxurious amenities, including generous king or queen-sized beds, welcome snack baskets, dead sea bath salts, and cozy robes. We also offer massage services on-site, in the privacy of your cabin, for that added touch of indulgence throughout your stay.

Though we think fall is one of the most picturesque times of year to visit our cabins in Washington State, the Columbia River Gorge is truly a four-season destination. Throughout your stay, we’re more than happy to recommend to you things to do and places to see, whether over breakfast or a glass of our Friendship Wine. We have no doubt you’ll leave our cabins in Washington State renewed and ready for whatever lies ahead – and longing to come back and stay again. Fall is waiting. Book your cabin getaway today!

Enjoy our Magical Secret Season Lodging Special

Please note, we have no hidden fees.

Staying only two nights midweek?

Enjoy our Snowy on the Outside, Cozy on the Inside Winter Lodging Special

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Treat yourself to the Making Spirits Bright Lodging Special

Please note, we have no hidden fees.