The Historic Columbia River Highway, constructed from 1913 to 1922, was designed not only to provide a route through the Columbia River Gorge but also with the area’s natural features and beauty in mind. The panoramic views and waterfalls along the way were a feature of the historic road. The highway was eventually bypassed in sections and partially covered with the new interstate highway.
During the 1980s, an effort to restore and unearth the road began. The route became a National Historic Landmark in 2000 and a National Recreation Trail in 2002. The route spans just under 260 acres and over 12 miles long. It is frequented by over 275,000 people annually. It’s not only a great place to walk and ride, but also a wonderful place to picnic.
The old, historic road still features some amazing views that are worth seeing and even photographing. There is a visitor’s center at the west Twin Tunnels section of the trail which has information regarding the sites along the trail worth a look, and also sells some merchandise and season parking passes. Some sections of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail are closed due to recent fires and their aftermath.
Call the park office for current information, or visit the park’s website or the Oregon Department of Transportation website. There is a fee for parking at Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Parking passes can be purchased online and are valid for many other Oregon state parks. You can purchase a 12 or 24-month pass, for $30 or $50, or $5 for the day. Dogs are welcome along Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, as long as they’re kept leashed.
You must also clean up all pet waste. Bring plenty of water for yourself and your pet. Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is open year-round for day-use only. No camping or overnight visits are permitted. If you’re in or around Portland and looking for a beautiful biking or hiking area to explore with your pup, take a walk along the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.