Introducing Columbia River Gorge
Cleanly dividing Oregon and Washington is the spectacular Columbia River Gorge, which was carved some 15,000 years ago by cataclysmic glaciers and floods. Driving east on I-84 (or on the scenic Historic Columbia River Hwy) has you passing high waterfalls and nearly vertical mountain walls, all the while paralleling the mighty Columbia.
Hikers have plenty to keep them busy in the gorge, which features many steep, lovely trails that lead through canyons lined with ferns and gushing rivers, and across wildflower fields to grand vistas. Summer wind sports are legendary – the gorge channels westerlies inland against the current, creating world-class windsurfing and kiteboarding conditions. There are also mountain-biking and rafting possibilities, especially around Hood River.
Not into strenuous activity? The gorge offers highlights such as lovely waterfalls, agricultural bounties (don't miss the cherries in July!) and fine wine tasting. This is a special place, so take time to enjoy it.