The 80-mile long gorge of the mile-wide Columbia River passes through the Cascade Mountains and offers a breathtaking view and unforgettable experience.
Just an hour's travel from Portland, Oregon lies the Columbia River Gorge. The river, itself, is flanked by the snow-capped Mount Hood and Mount Adams - both volcanic peaks. Over the edge of the gorge water falls several hundred feet into the river below.
The area has been a popular tourist attraction for generations, but wasn't declared America's very first National Scenic Areas until 1986. The volcanic sentinels have been a common attraction for hikers and windsurfers or kitesurfers, while the river has been a favoured fishing spot by natives for over a thousand years. It is said that the gorge was carved through by many flash floods that occurred during the Ice Age.
The Mount Hood railroad is still in effect today - over a century after it was built to transport lumber and fruit - and is used to carry tourists along the Hood River. Peering west of the river, you can see the cliff-faces and the monstrous waterfalls that plummet over 640 feet.
Riverboat cruises are also available for those wishing to see the view from the river, encased by the volcanic sentinels. Several different viewing options create a perfect opportunity for photography and video.