What is there to See and Do in the Columbia River Gorge?
Travel along the Historic Columbia River Scenic Highway 30. Summer water sports include white-water rafting on the Deschutes and Klickitat Rivers. Snow skiing on Mt. Hood in winter or summer. Windsurfing and kiteboarding for board-heads, catching the powerful gorge winds. Hiking any time of the year for spectacular scenery, bird-watching, and clean air. Visit museums, landmarks and oddities throughout the gorge. Keep your eye out for wildlife, including Sasquatch who is seen in these parts from time to time.
The one complaint we hear on a regular basis from tourists is: "I had no idea there was SO much to see and do! We didn't plan enough time!" So add a few days to your agenda and enjoy an extended visit!
What's the weather like?
It depends. Those who live on the west side of the Cascade Mountains complain of rain. However, Over two-thirds of Oregon and Washington are on the dry eastern side of the Cascade Mountains. The Columbia Gorge includes wet and dry. Museums, history, over 300 dry and sunny days a year and unique communities make the scenic Columbia River Gorge and eastern Oregon and Washington a great place to play and stay!
Two States, Six Counties, One Region
To those who live, work, and recreate in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, it is one region that extends from the Sandy River, near Portland, Oregon, to the Deschutes River, east of The Dalles Oregon. In that 80+ mile stretch you'll find two states, Oregon and Washington, divided by the natural boundary formed from the Columbia River. The area encompasess six counties: three in Oregon (west to east): Multnomah County, Hood River County and Wasco County and three in Washington State (west to east): Clark County, Skamania County, and Klickitat County. Each county will have a Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center who can help guide you to the towns and places you wish to visit. Check out the listings on the Area page for the local chambers, and stop and we invite you to visit the towns of the Columbia River Gorge.
Odd laws and legal considerations
Is pot legal in the Columbia River Gorge?
Glad you asked. Possession of marijuana is legal in both Washington and Oregon, but be aware it is still illegal on federal lands, which include federal buildings, and both the Mt. Hood National Forest and Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Keep in mind it's a relatively new change in the law, and will undergo clarification as states wrestle with the legal issues involved. Know the restrictions before imbibing.
Oregon Marijuana FAQ
Washington Marijuana FAQ
What about conventional intoxication? Be aware that Oregon (hard) liquor sales are controlled by the state government and only available in state sanctioned retail stores. Washington state recently eased up on the law and you can now purchase hard liquor spirits in grocery stores. As for beer and wine? Wineries and brew pubs are plentiful and fun to visit.
Columbia River Gorge Wineries
Columbia River Gorge Brew Pubs
Oregon voters have been resolute at maintaining restrictions of who pumps your gasoline at filling stations, and only employed gas station attendants are allowed that honor. On one hand, you'll have to wait until they get to you; on the other hand you won't drive off with your hands smelling of gasoline. In Washington, you can pump your own. That person next to you who seems to have no clue how to operate the pump or nozzle? Probably from Oregon.