Columbia River Gorge
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).
September 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.
While IH-84 is a beautiful drive along the Columbia River and accessible to all size RVs, signs on Historic US-30 say size restrictions to 50′. But there were certainly parts I wouldn’t want to drive just my 35′ motorhome on.
I really loved the spots with these old stone walls to keep you from going over the edge.
Road approaching Rowena Crest
Here you see three levels of Historic Highway 30. This is such a great drive to get 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, so I was glad I had my little tow car to drive here.
Only one loop seen here, but this is the next stretch of road before getting to this view from the top at Rowena Crest.
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!
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.
Another viewpoint off of US-30 shows Memaloose Island. See more info on that on Memaloose State Park page.
Mosier Twin Tunnels – You can now walk through these original tunnels that cars used to pass through on Historic Highway 30. It’s now part of a 7 mile section of a hiking trail that goes from Hood River to Mosier. I met these two nice folks that day and Gary Quay has become my favorite Oregon photographer. His photos of the gorge are phenomenal and make me embarrassed of my own meager efforts, but he’s fun to follow.
I really enjoyed taking my time on this hike off this trail and stopped at every opportunity to look around at the amazing viewpoints.
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).
All Malia’s Miles Columbia River Gorge pages: