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Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

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Marietta, Georgia
posts: 314
Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

We have 3 days the first week of Oct. 2013 to see the Colombia River Gorge. We are interested in outdoor activities including hiking, waterfalls, great vistas, etc... i realize many of the specific sights are on the Oregon side, but wonder about staying on the Washington side to realize a quieter,less crowded, more laid back atmosphere.

Of course we would drive to Oregon side to see the waterfalls and do the must-do hikes like Eagle Creek, etc... Is this reasonable, or should we just stay in Cascade Locks or Hood River?

Thanks for any help. We are from Georgia and have never been to Oregon.

Troutdale, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
posts: 5,988
reviews: 78
11. Re: Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

Hi, don't give up.

Look at Skamania Cove. You might find something to your liking. Too bad you aren't RVing. They have a top of the Gorge with a view right down into the whole beautiful gorge. We reserved it last year but had to change our plans. I thought of the sunsets and sunrises!

Also, some RV parks have cabins. Also look at VRBO. Try Skamania Lodging. After you wade through all the Skamania Lodge listings you may find something. Or Stevenson, Washington Lodging.

For Oregon lodging, look at Corbett lodging, Columbia River Gorge Lodging.

I guess just look at a topo map and go through the cities you may like. Be prepared to eat your heart out. Some are drop dead beautiful.

Don't give up you can find something you like and can afford.

Mrs O.

Oregon
posts: 376
reviews: 27
12. Re: Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

I stumbled on this website about Horsethief Lake [aka Horsethief Butte -- it seems to have many names]:

columbiariverimages.com/Regions/Places/horse…

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
posts: 8,650
reviews: 70
13. Re: Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

Horsethief Lake is further down the road from the Butte.

Oregon
posts: 376
reviews: 27
14. Re: Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

Thanks, boy, I was getting confused. And on that website is implies that Horsethief Lake Park is/was also called Columbia Hills State Park.

As an aside, somewhere we have a terrific photo [c1945? 1950?] of my mother-in-law hiking up Beacon Rock in her pumps, skirt, wool car coat, and handbag draped over her arm -- her hair perfectly done in waves, a jaunty hat]. It's priceless.

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
posts: 8,650
reviews: 70
15. Re: Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

Yes, the lake is also known as the state park:) But the Butte is something different.

I would love to see that photo! Our family loves to mountain climb and hike, so I love seeing women in those older photos doing things like that:)

16. Re: Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

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Marietta, Georgia
posts: 314
17. Re: Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

Wow! You guys are great. Wonderful advice. I will look more closely at rentals on the Washington side. I will likely add Horsethief Butte to our must-do hikes...I see it is upstrream from White Salmon. With all of these fantastic hikes, I am seriously considering adding a 4th night to see the Gorge.

Thank you so much

Troutdale, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
posts: 5,988
reviews: 78
18. Re: Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

Do you know the story of Beacon Rock? It is an inactive volcano tip. That picture would likely be appreciated someday by the Historical Society. 8-) Even now I bet they would love a copy of it.

THere is a great intrep center just past Skamania if you are going east. It's On the right about 2 miles. You should check in there because it's beautiful and has so much history of the area. It's 3 stories tall and there is a mezzanine in the back with a film depicting the way the Gorge was forged during the last Ice Age.

So is your Mom from this area? I can see why you would want to stay there.

The problem with staying "X" number of days is that you always wish you had more time. I hear it every time I out at Multnomah Falls. Or in reviews, TRs here.

Mrs O

Edited: 1:08 pm, November 09, 2012
Oregon
posts: 376
reviews: 27
19. Re: Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

It's a beautiful area -- and interesting from so many perspectives. We travel the Gorge a *lot* and it's fun to imagine Lewis and Clark traveling that route; ditto the pioneers on the Oregon Trail. I love the gradual change in topography and climatic zones between Hood River and the Dalles -- one minute you are amidst evergreen trees, ferns, etc. and all of the sudden you realize you are in a totally different more arrid, sage-brush filled environment.

I love to imagine what the Columbia was like before the dams -- these falls are long gone due to dams, but, here's an old photo:

…blogspot.com/-K2Z4ZXDlhQk/TdWlF0NZu6I/AAAAA…

If you are a wildlife lover and venture that far east, you can often get a glimpse of bighorn sheep east of Biggs a few miles [on the Oregon side, on the inclines/cliffs on the south side of the freeway]. And bald eagles are fairly easy to spot.

Troutdale, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
posts: 5,988
reviews: 78
20. Re: Oregon or Washington side of the Gorge?

White Salmon has good white water rafting too. Zoller's outfitters have been in the business for generations. You can trust them.

Mrs O