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Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

Toronto
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Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

Planning a day trip from Portland to the Columbia River Gorge and I have a few questions that I'm hoping someone can help me with.

- Is there a route that I can take that involves fewer highways?

- What are the roads like during the weekday?

- I would most likely be driving out on May 2nd or 3rd (Thurs/Fri) is this a busy time?

I've been looking up a lot of videos of people taking the drive and it looks very beautiful and the roads seem empty, is this the norm?

Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

84 is usually not very crowded except during holiday weeks/weekends. From 84, you can get off at Troutdale or travel a little farther to Corbett and take the scenic hiway. There will be signs for it. Never get tired of driving that. It takes you past countless trailheads and waterfalls that should be in full glory in May.

Grew up in Hood River so let me know if you have any other questions about what to do in the gorge or???

Colin

www.expeditionnicaragua.com

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Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

Yes- the route you are looking for is the Old Columbia River Highway- Hwy 30- it parellels I-84. Thursday/Friday will be much better time to avoid crowds. If you want to return on a different road, you could cross the Columbia River in Hood River or Cascade Locks and take Washington Hwy 14 back to Vancouver and back to Portland...

Toronto
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3. Re: Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

Thank you both for the information! I'm thinking we'll travel on Thursday just to beat any crowds/traffic.

So we'll plan to get on the roads at 10AM (to miss the morning work commuters) and take the 84 to Troutdale and then get on the 30 from there. I'm assuming there will be a lot of signs pointing us in the right direction to get on the 30.

Would you recommend any specific stops?

We will most likely take the 14 back just to get another look of the scenery.

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

Yes there are brown highway signs that point you to the historic highway off I-84. I would take a look at this website to look at the many places to stop along the old highway http://www.fs.usda.gov/crgnsa

In early may I'd highly recommend continuing east, past Hood River, to Mosier area(on the continuation of the old highway) and Tom McCall Nature Conservancy Park- should be peak wildflower season... directions in the website below. nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northameri…

Edited: 12:07 pm, April 16, 2013
Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

Hi, there,

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but they are working on the Vista House and viaduct until May 24th. You could go as far as the womans Forum and turn down to I-84 on the Corbett turnoff. Then rejoin the Scenic Highway at Bridal Veil and go right (west) to see Lauterall Falls. Then continue back east to see the other falls until you get to Multnomah. Finish off with the last of the falls and rejoin I-84 just past Ainsworth State Park.

There is still plenty to see in the CRGSNA.

Best

Mrs O

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

I agree with Mrs O. We've always stopped at guy w talbot park and hiked from there as a short lunch-time hike. Nice place to have a picnic lunch and I believe they have grills there if memory serves. (bring charcoal) Here is some info on the park www.oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm…

If you are up for a longer hike, we've always enjoyed oneanta gorge. Part of the trail you have to either shimmy along a rock wall (aided by a cable) or hike right up through the creek which will be very cold but every once in a while there will be a warm day in May when it might be considered refreshing. I found a site that has a few pictures of the hike: craigmorecreations.com/2011/…

Colin

Edited: 10:02 pm, April 16, 2013
Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

Just to clarify, Latourell falls is the hike I was referring to that can be reached from Talbot park.

Troutdale, Oregon
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8. Re: Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

You are correct, Guy Talbot State Park is in the tiny town of Lauterall.. Pop 25 or so.

I wouldn't sugest you go into Oneonta Gorge this early. Mossy and slippery.. You have to walk through water. Try Wahclella Falls instead. Oneonta is good for later in the summer when it's all dry.

Look up Oneonta on www.nwhike.com as it is a beautiful hike *short* onek but look at the water you walk through.

Mrs O

Edited: 11:25 pm, April 16, 2013
Toronto
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9. Re: Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

Mrs O: Thank you for the update on the historic highway as I would not have found out until getting there. We may end up passing up on the drive now since this was a big part of why we wanted to head in that direction. We'll play it by ear and may do the detour around just to get a chance to see it all.

We may head to Canon Beach instead.

Thanks everyone for the great information!

Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Drive to Columbia River Gorge in May

Oh don't pass up the Columbia Gorge just because the Historic Highway is partly closed. There is so much more to the Gorge. The whole place is stnning!

Mrs O