Mount Hood - The Northwest's Matterhorn
Mount Hood, just over 30 miles south of the Columbia River, is a dormant volcano which is topped by a glacier and is visible from many places in the Columbia River Gorge. At 11,235 feet, it is the highest peak in Oregon, and at this latitude, it remains snow-capped even in summer. There is some great skiing on the mountain at Mt Hood Meadows and Timberline. Ski lifts and summer ski camps run well into July, and the mountain is a popular destination resort for snowboarders throughout the better part of the summer most years. Mt Hood Meadows has a great map of the mountain.
Crown Point Observatory - Vista House
Crown Point Observatory, located near the town Cascade Locks, Oregon in the Western Columbia River Gorge, offers one of the most inspiring views of the mighty Columbia River. Designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1971, Crown Point is a basalt promontory shaped by the same volcanic lava flows, floods and winds that created the breathtaking gorge. Vista House, also known as the "jewel atop Crown Point", was originally built between 1916 and 1918 as a memorial to Oregon pioneers who made their way along the mighty Columbia. This popular site is well worth a stop on your automobile tour of the Gorge.
Multnomah Falls is the tallest and most famous of the many waterfalls along the Interstate 84 in Oregon, located about halfway between Hood River and Portland. The second highest year-round waterfall in the nation, the two-tier falls plummets 542 feet from its origin on Larch Mountain down a mossy rock face, collects in a pool, then falls another 70 feet to the ground.
Legend has it that a sickness once threatened the Multnomah Indian tribe, and the chief's daughter threw herself over the falls to appease the Great Spirit. Visitors are supposed to be able to see her face in the mist. Unusually cold weather can turn this plummeting falls into a frozen icicle, with a few drops falling from the bottom. The frozen Falls are a sight to behold. The rustic stone and timber Multnomah Falls Lodge (actually a gift shop and restaurant) has been catering to legend-enamored tourists since 1925. They also serve a mean Sunday brunch!
This area of the Gorge is home to the highest concentration of waterfalls in the U.S., 77 of them on the Oregon side alone! Multnomah Falls is the most famous and the most accessible, located right along I-84, but other waterfalls worth seeing along the old highway include Bridal Veil, Horsetail, Triple Falls, Wahkeena Falls and the Oneonta Gorge. See here for a complete list of the more notable ones.
Portland - The Rose City
If you make it in to Multnomah Falls, it's just another few minutes to the wonderful Rose City... Portland Oregon. See our Portland Page for many, many things to do in this intriguing city. The city is alive from spring well into autumn with hundreds of festivals and outdoor music concerts, featuring world-renowned artists to appeal to virtually every musical taste. With the Willamette River flowing north/south through the city, there are many scenic bridges and public parks. There's an abundance of world class museums, theater, restaurants and brew pubs, all in a clean safe environment that is the envy of many other states in the U.S.
The Oregon Coast
The picturesque coastal scenery with its rugged cliffs, lush evergreen forests and endless sand dunes and sandy beaches are all easily accessible along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, US Highway 101.
There are many recreational opportunities from flying a kite on the beach, fishing, cycling, hiking through old-growth forests, windsurfing, beachcombing, whale and bird watching. The list is endless. The many coast attractions include aquariums, art galleries, shopping, theaters and festivals. The many Oregon lighthouses make for some great photo ops and you'll find hundreds of parks to explore.
The Oregon Coast offers relaxing stretches of quiet beaches, tidepools, spectacular sunsets and cool evenings beneath starry skies. And storm watching during winter months is an unforgettable experience. Visit OregonCoast.com or VisittheOregonCoast.com for lots of photos, links and things to do.