Things to do in Oregon

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
5
About
A 1243 mile long river with 80 miles of canyons. Located between the states of Oregon and Washington.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
4,637 reviews
Excellent
4,027
Very good
547
Average
42
Poor
15
Terrible
6

Michelle
11 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Friends
There are a lot of tourists who do not step off the car. We walked and explored but the Pacific coast did not live up to expectations, our expectation.
Written November 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RafikiLondon
Hong Kong, China529 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Family
Had no idea what to expect, but the scenery was astounding. Fantastic waterfalls with striking geology were highlighted with the volume of autumn rains, moss and lichen, and leaves of many colours. The high points allowed striking vistas across and along the valley. Memorable!
Written October 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jenLeCreate
Vista, CA398 contributions
Jun. 2022 • Couples
Beautiful views - so much to see. Located between the states of Washington & Oregon, there are trails for hiking, waterfalls, forests and so much more. Although you can see some scenery from I-84, it is better to take it slow and get on the Columbia River highway.
It can get very busy (mostly by Multnomah Falls) in the summertime.

There are a number of places to park and hike. One of our favorites was hiking to Triple Falls. This was about 3 miles out & back. Bring something to drink and eat and spend some time outdoors (other than a small snack bar at Multnomah Falls, we did not see anywhere to pick up food).

Be sure & check the website to see if there are any closures.

Get out & enjoy.

Written May 31, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

907blaked
Tampa, FL1,419 contributions
Nov. 2022 • Family
Our family enjoyed diving and hiking here, even on a rainy day in November. We visited several waterfalls and hiked around a bit. Fun!
Written November 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nels
Gaithersburg, MD214 contributions
Aug. 2022
This area is rife with great hikes, beautiful waterfalls, and an unfortunate level of trash. There are times of the year when you need a $2 permit to get into the area during certain hours of the day. I bought one before I realized that if you go in before 9am you don't need one. Showing up very early in the day is the best bet to avoid the crowds, traffic, and paying for a pass.
If you want to avoid even more people head up on one of the many hikes. Ponytail falls, (above horsetail falls) is even better with a 360 degree view of the waterfall. The farther you get from the road the less people (and the less trash!) you will encounter.
The only downside is how much trash is around anywhere near the road. I haven't been anywhere in the US where the beautiful outdoors is so disrespected and trashed. That part was really depressing.
Written September 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mrc282
World7,450 contributions
Aug. 2022
The Columbia River Gorge trip is typically done by most visitors on the Oregon side (Interstate 84). But it should be noted that there is also a road (Route 14) on the Washington side.

I have driven each side proper 2x, so a total of 4 trips, over the years, ranging from May-August. Just completed another trip last week.

The landscape changes from temperate rainforest from the west to stark arid savannah landscape in the east. The transformation is truly stunning. In between, there are many bridges and hydroelectric dams spanning the Columbia River.

There is a reason why the Oregon side is more popular. There are more things to see/do on the Oregon side - waterfalls, Tom McCall Point Hike, detour into Mt Hood and Hood River fruit loop. Since waterfalls are the main highlight, it is best to visit these in spring or early in the summer. You can easily spend one week here.

I would label the WA side as more quirky - Pendleton wool factory, Schreiner Farms, Maryhill stonehenge. The hiking trails are also worthwhile especially during the wildflower season. I think the drive on the eastern gorge is more gorgeous on the Washington side compared to Interstate 84 because you are driving at an elevation, so you have a good view of the gorge.

If you are only visiting PNW once in your lifetime, then choose Oregon. If time permits, I would diversify and do both OR and WA drives. You will not regret it
Written August 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oliver T
Blaine, MN177 contributions
Oct. 2021 • Family
Love seeing all the beautiful waterfalls! I suggest driving all the way up to horse tail and then making your way back, don’t stop at Bridalveil, keep going to Vista house, view is amazing. There can be some long waits for the parking lots, just wait it out, it really doesn’t take that long. Used on X off-road trail map for the hiking of the trails.Only bathrooms available are at Multnomah Falls and Bridalveil Falls
Written October 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

simivalley1699
Washington, the State2,099 contributions
Oct. 2021
Stunning scenery; the Columbia River and lots of waterfalls. The Vista House.
So much to see and do; lots of parks along the river where you can sit and have a picnic and do some walking.
Written October 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MKERV
Cherry Hill, NJ85 contributions
Oct. 2021 • Couples
Absolutely beautiful! At 1st, you think its fake, every view! But then it sinks in, this is all real, and one of the most beautiful views in the USA!
Written September 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellen T
2 contributions
Jul. 2021 • Couples
This is a no miss while in Portland. Gorgeous falls, lovely hiking. Highly recommend. We took the trolley there so parking was easy.
Written July 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE NATIONAL SCENIC AREA - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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