Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge from the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. The trail comprises three disconnected paved paths along stretches of historic Highway 30 — which predated I-84 as the only road connecting Portland and The Dalles. Together the segments provide a combined 12-plus miles of thrilling scenery and spectacular geologic formations. Plan your trip with these trail maps.
The west end of the trail extends from the Elowah Falls trailhead at John B. Yeon State Scenic Corridor to Cascade Locks, and passes great views of the Columbia River and several waterfalls. This stretch of the Historic Highway State Trail is universally accessible. It can be accessed at the following trailheads, listed here from west to east:
The nearly 6-mile segment connects Wyeth Trailhead (I-84 near milepost 51) to Viento State Park. The trail offers amazing views of the Gorge and travels around Shellrock Mountain on the 500’ Summit Creek Viaduct — a bridge over land. Some sections are alongside I-84. This section also passes four waterfalls: Starvation Creek, Cabin Creek, Hole-in-the-Wall, and Lancaster falls.
This section can also be accessed from Starvation Creek State Park. The trailhead offers an accessible parking space, restroom, and waterfall view.
Further east, this universally accessible 4.5-mile segment connects Hood River and Mosier, with trailheads and parking at either end. This popular section features views of the river below and a walk or ride through the carefully restored Mosier Twin Tunnels. The two tunnels were filled with rock when I-84 opened, but fortunately survived.
From an accessible parking area at the Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead (pictured in the Accessibility tab below) the trail travels over rolling hills shaded by a forest of fir trees, passing several viewpoints on the way to the tunnel. As you emerge on the east end of the tunnel, notice the change in landscape: the final mile winds through semi-arid terrain dotted with ponderosa pines to its end at Mark O. Hatfield East Trailhead.
Please call 503-695-2261 for park specific rules
No metal detecting is allowed in Gorge State Parks
Curently we do not have a designated off leash pet area. Pets are required to be on a 6' leash and in control at all times. This includes all parking lots and sections of the state trail.
This park requires a Special Use Permit for special events or activities. Please open the Special Use Permit application to see examples of events that need a permit. If you have questions about whether you need a special use permit for your activity and to receive instructions on how to submit the application, please call 503-695-2261.
The Historic Columbia River Highway was designed by Samuel Lancaster and constructed between 1913 to 1922. Its purpose was not merely to provide an east-west transportation route through the Columbia River Gorge, but to take full advantage of every natural aspect, scenic feature, waterfall, viewpoint and panorama. When bridges or tunnels were designed, they stood by themselves as artistic compliments to the landscape. The Columbia River Highway served millions of travelers and became one of the grandest highways in the nation. When transportation needs required faster and larger roads, sections of the old highway were bypassed. By 1960, a new interstate highway had replaced nearly all of the older road. The 4.5 mile stretch of old highway between Hood River and Mosier, including the Mosier Twin Tunnels, was closed, filled with rock and abandoned. In the 1980s, new interest in the old scenic highway began to resurface. Lost sections of highway were identified, unearthed and studied for potential renovation. Some portions of the original route were covered by I-84 when it was built. An ambitious restoration began with the removal of rock from the Mosier Twin Tunnels. Restoration took several months. When workers were done, several surprises were unearthed, such as historical graffiti dating back to 1921 (when drivers were snowbound for several days). The highway is owned and maintained by ODOT; the state trail is managed by the Parks and Recreation Department. In 2000, the highway was designated a National Historic Landmark, and in 2002, the state trail was designated a National Recreation Trail.