Celebrate 100 years of the Historic Columbia River Highway
Events this summer
Hailed “King of Roads,” Historic Route 30 was officially dedicated on June 7, 1916, with a dazzling affair that drew the attention of the nation and the world. This summer, we invite you to explore and rediscover the historic highway and the beautiful Columbia River Gorge it traverses. Take a drive, hike or bike ride. View magnificent waterfalls and vistas and stop by the communities along the way–many are hosting events to celebrate the centennial. Here’s our guide to four new experiences you can have in the Gorge this summer.
1. Music in the Gorge. This summer brings opportunity to attend some not-so-traditional concerts in some unexpected venues.
- Sing-along, play along, or just sit back and enjoy the Song Circles at Vista House at Crown Point State Scenic Corridor July 22, Aug. 26 and Sept. 23. Led by musicians from the Portland Folk Music society, all events are family-friendly, but kids definitely won’t want to miss the special children’s sing-along on Aug. 26.
- Enjoy a live classical piano performance at Vista House and Oneonta Tunnel, part of the “In a Landscape” multimedia piano project. Hunter Noack will piano music interspersed with text written and catalogued by Roosevelt’s Federal Writers Project using the latest wireless headphone technology. Shows are at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at Vista House and 7 p.m. Aug. 24 at Oneonta Tunnel.
2. Learn about the history of the highway. You won’t want to miss these special exhibits that celebrate the centennial.
- King of Roads, Troutdale Historic Society Museum, Troutdale. The exhibit features restored photographs and stories of the people who made the building of the highway possible.
- Sam Hill and the Columbia River Highway, Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, Wash. The Sam Hill Room will have a temporary exhibit with black and white prints showing both construction photos of the highway and early scenic views of the Columbia River Gorge. Most of the images are taken from Sam Hill’s personal photo collection.
- A Poem in Stone – Celebrating the Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon State Library, Salem.The exhibit tells the story of transportation through the Columbia River Gorge, focusing on the construction, early history and restoration of the Columbia River Highway. Includes books and reports on the Highway, early travel brochures, photographs, postcards and maps.
3. Explore the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. A new 1.3-mile segment west of Hood River connecting the Lindsay Creek and Starvation Creek trailheads opens Sept. 24. Bring your bikes or your walking shoes—this section is closed to cars. You won’t want to miss traversing the other sections of the state trail, either.
- 6.5 miles between the John B. Yeon State Scenic Corridor and Cascade Locks Trailhead. You can also access this section from the Toothrock Trailhead and Eagle Creek Campground.
- 1 mile between Starvation Creek Trailhead and Viento State Park
- 5-mile Twin Tunnels Section between Hood River and Mosier. The restored tunnels were filled with rock when I-84 opened. Stop by the Twin Tunnels Visitor Station at Senator Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead in Hood River for the full story.
4. Jump on the new Columbia Gorge Express. Hunt for views instead of parking spaces when you ride to Multnomah Falls on the Columbia Gorge Express, a shuttle service from Portland and Rooster Rock State Park. Take the shuttle for free from Rooster Rock or for $5 round-trip from Gateway Transit Center. With buses departing every 15-30 minutes daily, this is a convenient and relaxing way to see one of the top tourist attractions in Oregon.