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Please suggest scenic stops east to west in Columbia Gorge

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Decatur, Alabama
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Please suggest scenic stops east to west in Columbia Gorge

We're looking for 5 or 6 stops as we travel west. We'll be starting at LePage Park, planning to leave there about 7 am. Scenic views and waterfalls usually are at the top of our list, but would enjoy other interesting sites, too. Our goal is to be through Portland and heading toward the coast by 3:00pm. We carry almost all of our food with us, so will not need to stop for lunch at a restaurant. Based on TA responses to PsB1313's post about Multnomah Falls, we will try to avoid planning this leg of our trip for a Friday. Would love to hear about your favorite stops, and how much time to spend at each.

Green Valley...
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1. Re: Please suggest scenic stops east to west in Columbia Gorge

Please don't make this part of your trip more than it is. Just follow the scenic route on the attached, stopping lots of places of your choice; lovely.

Columbia River Gorge

http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/columbia/

http://www.spectacularoregon.com/

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Please suggest scenic stops east to west in Columbia Gorge

Assuming you will be traveling this summer- agree with voyaging, just follow the old highway and stop at places that you find interesting...Lattorell Falls is nice- Oneonta Falls is great if you want to get wet.

Crown Point and Bonneville dam are always winners.

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Please suggest scenic stops east to west in Columbia Gorge

I don't know of the post you refer to, but Fridays are ok for Multnomah Falls. There are more crowds on weekends if that is your concern. If you take the scenic highway, you will find a lot of areas of interest. Most are on the highway.

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May I suggest a picnic at the base of Latourell Falls? The Guy Talbot State Park has a covered eating area and you can hike a very short hike and be at the bottom of the Falls before or after lunch.

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From the west, you would turn left just before you reach Latourell Falls. I believe it just says-"state park". It's a little curvey but short to reach the small city of Latourell-pop 24. Watch for it after you pass the Crown Point Vista House. It is a kind of sudden left.

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If you decide not to eat that early, stop at Wakeena Falls picnic grounds, Horsetail Falls or go on i84 to Eagle Creek. A suspension bridge and covered picnic area will be your reward.

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Then again, Bonnyville Dam allows picnics too and it is a wonderful (free also) place to stop.

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Min

Edited: 02 August 2010, 02:34
Troutdale, Oregon
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4. Re: Please suggest scenic stops east to west in Columbia Gorge

OOPS, make that I misunderstood and posted West to East.

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The reverse for East to West. Maryhill Museum by Biggs. ( on the WAshington Side) The Dalles for watching Kite Boarding and eating your lunch.

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The Fruit Loop or Lost Lake up towards Mt. Hood, then the rest in reverse. You may enjoy Mt. Railroad if you want to get close to Mt. Hood. It's got some beautiful scenery and it's a kick. Leaves out of Hood River.

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Bonnyville Dam on the Oregon Side, free, and you can watch the fish climb the ladders and see a 17' sturgeeon named Herman.

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Catch the Scenic Highway at Ainsworth Park and go west. You will pass Multnomah Falls and go on to see beautiful falls.

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Most people like seeing Crown Point Vista House at sunset. Great picture taking opps.

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My wrong, reading your post backwards. Sorry.

nin

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5. Re: Please suggest scenic stops east to west in Columbia Gorge

We were in the Gorge area last week, Horsetail Falls is beautiful, there is a picnic table there and you can walk down a few steps to the base of the falls. Don't miss a stop at Vista House for a beautiful, panoramic view of the Gorge. A great photo op! I hope you have a wonderful trip! :)

Oregon
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6. Re: Please suggest scenic stops east to west in Columbia Gorge

I am guessing if you want to be in Portland by 3:00 and heading towards the coast, you are going to miss the sunset at Crown Point. :-) I am assuming you are wanting to be at the coast sometime around dinner time then?? (Not sure where your final destination is.)

The Stonehenge replica in Goldendale is an interesting stop. It can be seen from the west side of the river, but you may consider getting up close and personal.

http://www.maryhillmuseum.org/stonehenge.html

You may consider stopping at Mosier Twin Tunnels (Mosier end). I find the tunnels interesting, and there is quite a view from here. A little bit of a different prospective from the views on the west end of the gorge.

You didn't say if you are traveling with kids or not. But, if you have kids with you I consider the Bonneville Fish Hatchery a must do. (Ok, I admit it, I even like feeding the trout here. They will practically eat out of your hand.) Drive across the dam and visit the fish ladders, and the views of the dam are pretty cool too. Just past the fish hatchery is a viewpoint, and you can see Beacon Rock (monolith across the river) from here. Also, depending on the time of year, you may be able to catch a view of some sea lions here, as they like to swim up to the dam and snack on the fish.

As voyaging and Chinookgrrl said, just follow the Historic Highway (take the exit for Ainsworth State Park) and stop wherever strikes your fancy. My favorites waterfalls are Latourell and Wahkeena Falls. Bridal Veil is also worth a stop, and it is a pretty easy hike down to it. Definitely make a stop at Crown Point (Vista House). Most stops are pretty quick, depending on how much hiking you want to do at each.

Decatur, Alabama
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7. Re: Please suggest scenic stops east to west in Columbia Gorge

Great suggestions everyone! So many good choices to consider. Thanks. The fish hatchery sounds like fun even if the granddaughter is not along. The evening's destination is Fort Stevens State Park.

Troutdale, Oregon
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8. Re: Please suggest scenic stops east to west in Columbia Gorge

THen maybe just the scenic HIghway from Ainsworth Park to Troutdale.

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When you get off the old highway, you can take a left across the bridge and a left out of Troutdale and go right on Powell Blvd. and follow it to the Ross Island Bridge, and pick up Highway 26 there to the coast.

I like that way to pass up on all the interchanges of the Freeways.

If you want freeway all the way, take the scenic road to i-84. Follow the directions.

min

9. Re: Please suggest scenic stops east to west in Columbia Gorge

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