Historic Highway 30 – Columbia River Gorge

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The Historic Columbia River Highway (U.S. Highway 30) was built between 1913 and 1922 and was left partially intact when IH-84 was built in the 1930s, but the middle section was cut into pieces or was partially destroyed (Oregon.gov info).  The stretch shown below is the one that runs between The Dalles and Mosier (see map below).

Historic Highway 30 sign

Sept., 2015 – This picture was taken from US-30 which runs above and parallel to IH-84, seen below running alongside the Columbia River that divides Oregon and Washington.

121 - Motorhome on I-84

While IH-84 is a beautiful drive along the Columbia River and accessible to all size RVs, I saw signs on US-30 saying size restrictions to 50′.  But there were certainly parts I wouldn’t want to drive just my 35′ motorhome on.

US-30 viewpoint 1

I really loved the spots with these old stone walls to keep you from going over the edge.

Road to Rowena Crest

Road approaching Rowena Crest

I recommend parking the RV and stay at least a few days and use your tow vehicle on US-30 for birds-eye views of the gorge and scenic vista viewpoints.  In places, the ascent/descent in elevation is daunting, the curves sharp and bridges narrow.

Rowena Loops

Rowena Loops

Only one loop seen here, but this is the next stretch of road before getting to this view from the top at Rowena Crest.

Rowena Crest viewpoint

Another viewpoint from Rowena Crest also showing IH-84 below.  The blue colors of the sky and water on clear days like today are simply breathtaking!

Windsurfers from US-30

From another vantage point, those dozens of little dots you see are windsurfers and they’re always fun to watch.  There are a couple of short trails from this point that I would have liked to check out, but it was so windy and chilly both times I got up here, that I just didn’t feel comfortable enough to do that.

Memaloose Overlook view

Memaloose Overlook

Another viewpoint off of US-30 shows Memaloose Island.  See more info on that on Memaloose State Park page.

Columbia River Highway map - 525

On this map you see the two sections of Historic Highway 30 (highlighted in red) accessible off of the IH-84 section of the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway.

Driving the Historic Columbia Highway (TravelOregon.com – 12/28/15) – 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the opening of the highway (in 1916).


Next stop: Mosier Twin Tunnels hike (coming soon)


All Malia’s Miles Columbia River Gorge pages:  (some coming soon)

Columbia River Gorge  ♦  Historic Highway 30  ♦  Waterfalls ♦  Vista House

Mosier Twin Tunnels  ♦  Memaloose State Park  ♦  Hood River  ♦  The Dalles

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