Rooster Rock State Park

Along I-84 through the gorge there are several exits that directly enter a state park hugging the Columbia River. Rooster Rock State Park is one of these.

On our way back to Portland to pick up the RV we stop for a visit and to purchase an Oregon State Park Pass. We will be traveling the length of the coast in a week and there are tons of state parks off Highway 101.

I get out of the car and start taking pictures.


Above, is a view of Vista House on Crown Point.

I capture the scene in front of me.


I capture a scene to the west.


I capture a scene to the east.


I read the park plaque and learn about the Native Americans who used spears and dip nets to catch the yearly spawning salmon. I find out that Euro-Americans used fish wheels to scoop out salmon as early as 1879. Oregon banned fish wheels for economic and environmental reasons in 1926. The state of Washington followed in 1934.

I’m not clear as to why exactly fish wheels were banned. The more I try to find out the murkier my brain gets.

Another plaque informs me that Lewis and Clark were here in 1805 and again in 1806.


Apparently a high projecting rock was visible on the left-side or cargo-loading side of their ship.

And, according to a brochure I picked up from Oregon State Parks & Recreation where I purchased our yearly pass, Lewis & Clark and their Corps of Discovery camped near a “high peak resembling a tower.”

I don’t notice a tall column of basalt anywhere. But I find a picture online.


And then I get it… rooster rock!

According to the column was originally named  “cock rock” because of its resemblance to a penis. The Chinook also recognized the rock’s phallic character and called it “iwash” in their jargon.

But wait, it gets better!


Apparently the eastern portion of the park is a clothing-optional beach. (

One of Jeff’s famous lines is, “I should have brought my swim suit!” Today, he could have gone into the water without one. 😳