9:00 - 0.2 miles / - 9:00
Troutdale incorporates both a small-town atmosphere and the amenities typical to a metropolis. This city has a historic downtown with antique shops, an art gallery, a quilt store, two historic museums, and many other specialty shops. Many kinds of restaurants and hotels are here. The 40-shop outlet mall is always a popular destination. The famous McMenamins Edgefield (a resort: historic bed & breakfast, winery, and movie theater, etc.), is also one of the highlights of Troutdale.
Troutdale is the Gateway to the Columbia Gorge. From here, you can get to Crown Point to overlook the western end of the Gorge. You can fish, boat, hike, and picnic here.
10:00 - 0.2 miles / - 10:00
Lewis and Clark State Park
Named after the famous explorers who traveled this region, Lewis and Clark State Park is situated at the western end of the Byway near the mouth of the Sandy River and offers a variety of recreational opportunities.
A historic marker here describes the naming of the Sandy River as the "quicksand" river. Visitors can also find a self-guiding interpretive trail describing the plants that were "discovered" by Lewis and Clark.
10:30 - 7.9 miles / 15 minutes - 10:46
Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint
Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint was originally named Chanticleer Point by Mr. & Mrs. A. R. Morgan who purchased the property in 1912 and built an inn on the point with one of the most magnificent views in the world. They called their popular inn "Chanticleer" after the rooster in the story, "Reynard the Fox." The area took on the name of the inn and is still known by some as Chanticleer Point.
Before the road was paved, a trip to Chanticleer was, to say the least, an adventure. When the dirt road was dry, dust thrown up by the wheels would coat everything in the car. And during the frequent wet periods, the road from Portland through Springdale and Corbett to the inn was often a muddy quagmire.
Another way to the inn was to take the train to the depot at Rooster Rock. There travelers could take a motorized shuttle and brave a winding road from the base of the cliff to the inn. Portions of that road still exist. The upper end of it can be accessed only by hikers from the western side of the parking lot.
Several vistas are available for those taking the time to walk the existing portion of the road which is passable for eight tenths of a mile from the park.
Chanticleer Inn burned and the site was purchased by the Portland Women's Forum and donated to Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The Portland Women's Forum has worked to preserve the Columbia River Gorge for many years and is still an active group, making periodic donations to improve this park and other parks.
There are two interpretive signs at this location: one describes this view and the vision of Sam Hill and Samuel Lancaster to create the Historic Columbia River Highway; the other describes the ice age floods that created this landscape. A memorial to Sam Hill is located on a large rock adjacent to the HCRH. There are four bronze plaques on this memorial.
11:01 - 1.1 miles / 2 minutes - 11:03
Vista House at Crown Point is one of the most photographed sites along the Historic Columbia River Highway. It is a memorial to Oregon's pioneers, an observatory, and public comfort station.
Samuel Lancaster, the Highway's chief engineer, believed that this outcropping of land, located atop a 733-foot sheer cliff overlooking the Columbia River, was one of the most spectacular vistas in the world. He knew that it was the ideal site for "an observatory from which the view both up and down the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite."
The Vista House is approximately 44 feet in diameter and 55 feet high. The floors and stairs in the rotunda and the wainscoting in the basement are Tokeen Alaskan Marble. Most of the rotunda's interior is light cream and pink Kasota limestone, including the hand-carved drinking fountain. Eight gilded plaster Native American faces adorn the tops of the rotunda columns -- it is unknown if they represent any one person or tribe.
Vista House is undergoing a $2 million restoration. It is expected to be closed during 2001 to repair the weather envelope. Some funds will come from the Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) Enhancement program, but additional funds are needed. "Band-aids for Vista House" are sold by volunteers to raise funds for this restoration. The building is owned by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and managed by the Friends of Vista House.
Vista House is a pioneer memorial, "comfort station" and viewpoint, completed in 1918. Save America's Treasures and many private donations have restored the building, one of the most photographed sites along the byway.
11:33 - 2.2 miles / 4 minutes - 11:38
Simon Benson, a principal benefactor of the Highway, donated the
400-acre tract surrounding this site in 1915 to the people of
Portland. There is a trail and a stone bridge that goes across the
water near this waterfall. There are also picnic tables and a stone
and wood pavilion.
These falls were once known as Gordon Falls, for F. E. Gordon, a
pioneer landowner. Because there was confusion with the nearby
Gorton Creek and Gordon Creek near the Sandy River, in 1915, a
committee changed the name to Wahkeena Falls and Wahkeena Creek.
This name is said to be a Yakama Indian word meaning, 'most
11:53 - 1.3 miles / 2 minutes - 11:55
Oneonta Gorge is a botanical treasure; over 50 species of plants
reside in this perpetually-cool and moist shelter.
This is where the byway deviates from its original path (as
established by the road's engineer, Samuel C. Lancaster, in 1914.)
The original, 80-foot reinforced-concrete span bridge was bypassed
in 1948. The 125-foot Oneonta Tunnel (too tight for modern trucks)
was abandoned and filled with rubble.
12:55 - 0.9 miles / a minute - 12:57
Multnomah Falls, the second-highest year-round waterfall in the United States, is two-tiered and drops 620 feet. A steep paved trail leads visitors to a platform above the falls.
The waterfall is visually complimented by Benson Bridge, built in 1914 by local contractor Robert R. Ringer, and Multnomah Falls Lodge built in 1925. Inside the lodge is a gift shop, restaurant, and US Forest Service Information Center.
13:57 - 24.4 miles / 48 minutes - 14:46
Historic Columbia River Highway - end