The Historic Columbia River Highway

image Route 30 in the Gorge

Sunday we arrive in Corbett, Oregon at Crown Point RV Park situated on the historic and scenic Highway 30.

Monday we have a 7:00 AM appointment for a tire alignment on the RV at Northside Ford in Portland.


Remember our tire tread problems we discovered in Diamond Lake, where we had to replace the 2 front tires? Luckily we find a Ford dealer who can accommodate the RV. Even luckier is the fact that there is plenty to keep us busy for 8 hours in a car with 2 dogs.

After scoping out downtown Portland, we head back to Highway 30 to commune with nature and, unfortunately, all the other sightseers. 😩


First stop… The scenic view from Chanticleer Point


on land donated by the Portland Women’s Forum in 1960 for the purpose of preserving the natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge.


As people began migrating west on the rugged Oregon Trail in 1843, a man with vision saw the need for a road parallel to the Columbia River. That man was an eccentric and wealthy railroad attorney named Sam Hill. In 1913 he proposed the building of a scenic highway while seated in the Chanticleer Inn on this very same beautiful bluff. (The inn, constructed in 1912 and destroyed by fire in 1931, offered elegant accommodations to tired travelers at the dawn of the automobile age.)

image plaque at scenic view

The next month, construction surveying began and by the 1920s this roadway where “tired men and women… may enjoy the wild beauty of nature’s art gallery and recreate themselves”


was called king of roads. (plaque at state scenic view)

Next up… Vista House at Crown Point

Vista House, constructed in 1916, was designed to be a “comfort station” for motorists traveling the new 75 mile Columbia River Highway through the gorge linking Portland in the west to the Dalles in the east. (I took this picture on a late afternoon visit when the hoard of other tourists were gone.)


It sits atop Crown Point, a steep and rocky bank towering 693 feet above the Columbia River.


Here are pictures I took from I-84 below


and across I-84 from Rooster Rock State Park.


Architect Edward M. Lazarus turned the idea of a “pit stop” into a viewing deck, a space to comfortably stretch legs, and of course a place to quench thirsts and use a restroom. Today the lower level includes an espresso bar, a gift shop, and interpretive displays. (Oregon State Parks brochure)

As in the past, Vista House still invites every passerby to stop, refresh, and take in the views.




Then a waterfall… Latourell Falls, named after the tiny town nearby


In 1929 Guy and Geraldine Talbot donated this land surrounding the falls to the State of Oregon for all to enjoy. (plaque at scenic view)

I walk down a narrow path beside towering cliffs of basalt to get a closer view.



The way the sun is hitting the falls makes for a psychedelic photo op!



Finally… A traffic jam on the highway

So we turn around and head down to I-84 and a rest area to find out when the RV will be available.

One thought on “The Historic Columbia River Highway

  1. We have been on the Columbia Gorge highway so many times I’ve lost count. Summer, fall, winter and spring. Winter is beautiful too, unless there is ice or a storm. One time when I was taking our daughter to college the fog was so bad I could only see one white strip of paint dividing the lanes at a time. Of course I was driving extremely slowly…and yet people were passing me left and right at high speeds. I was so relieved to be alive at the end of that trip!!!!


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