After fueling up at Blue Star Donuts, the wife and I pointed the car east and hopped on the I-84. Eventually, we’d hop off the I-84 and onto US-30, the Historic Columbia River Highway, about 25 miles outside of Portland, for the rest of our adventure through the Columbia River Gorge.
Unlike the I-84, the Historic Columbia River Highway is a twisty, narrow road that forces you to slow down, but offers great views as you travel through the Columbia River Gorge. This highway may be a little intimidating if you aren’t comfortable driving and/or with your car… It certainly wasn’t fun driving a Prius, but it would have been in a blast in one of our cars back home ?
Anyway, our first stop along the way was Chanticleer Point, also known as the Portland Women’s Forum Viewpoint.
It is the first scenic point along the Columbia River Scenic Highway, and offers a nice view of the Columbia River Gorge. When we got here, the place was empty, and while the views are great, there really isn’t anything to do or see here otherwise, so off we went.
Our next stop is actually visible in the above photo, and was Crown Point, also known as Vista House.
Vista House is actually a comfort station and observatory. It was fairly crowded we arrived, being a great place to stretch your legs and use the restroom if need be.
The ground floor is just a large, open space with lot’s of natural lighting. The restrooms are located downstairs in the basement, along with some small exhibits and a gift shop. Up the stairs takes you out onto the observation deck that wraps completely around the building.
For here, you get fantastic views of the Columbia River Gorge looking east, while the view to the west wasn’t quite as impressive in my opinion.
After taking in the sites, we jumped back into the car and started downward, again heading east on the US-30. Our next destination was actually the whole reason I wanted to come out here in the first place: Multnomah Falls.
I saw a picture of the falls long ago and knew I had to visit it someday. I did snap some photos of my own, which didn’t come out nearly as nice as the photo I saw in the past, but still, it’s my own photo!
Admittedly taking a long exposure photo at the falls is no easy task. It’s an incredibly popular attraction and the place was PACKED with tourists. I had to wait a long time for a spot to open up in the front, and then it was a matter of guarding my tripod during the exposure so that people wouldn’t kick the legs and ruin the image. If you come here, definitely try to come during an off time if you want to take photos of this magnificent waterfall. But if it’s too crowded, you could just go on a hike.
The hike up to the bridge is short and shaded. It’s paved all the way up, but definitely wear good shoes with good grip! The pathway is very slippery, and it only gets worst if you’re hiking to the top of the falls.
We stopped at the bridge and took a couple of photos, including the above of the upper falls.
Here’s a photo of the lower falls looking down from the bridge. When finished, we headed back down and I took a couple more photos of the falls, albeit from a slightly different angle.
After I finished snapping my photos, we headed over to Multnomah Falls lodge to use the facilities and do a little shopping. The gift shop is definitely tourist oriented, but that’s ok. Many of the products are made in Oregon, so it’s a nice place to look around in.
Unfortunately, due to time constraints, Multnomah Falls would be our last stop in the Columbia River Gorge. From here, we hopped back into our car and set out again. We took the next available cutoff from US-30 to get us back onto the I-84 and kept on heading east. It would be a full hour of driving until we reached our next destination…
Our PNW Adventure
- Flight Review: Hawaiian Airlines HNL-PDX
- Hotel Review: Portland Marriott City Center
- Dining Review: Isabels Cantina
- Oregon Rail Heritage Center + Bridges
- Salt & Straw + Portland City Grill
- Tillamook Cheese Factory + Cannon Beach
- Council Crest Park
- Dining Review: Nicholas Restaurant SE Grand
- Dining Review: Blue Star Donuts
- Columbia River Gorge