Viento is Spanish for wind — an apt name for a park in the blustery Columbia River Gorge. But this is just a happy coincidence. Viento (pronounced vee-EN-toe) actually comes from the first letters of three railroad tycoons— Villard, Endicott, and Tollman—who built the first railroad in the area.
Where a railroad station once stood is now the home of one of the best Gorge campgrounds, conveniently located just 8 miles west of Hood River.
Viento’s day-use area has easy access to the Columbia River and some thrilling windsurfing. There's a peaceful picnic next to a babbling creek. A day-use parking permit is required for non-campers.
With spacious, well-shaded campsites located on both sides of I-84, Viento almost always has a spot available when other campgrounds in the area are full.
Campground is accepting reservations up to 6 months in advance at oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com.
Viento State Park is also a trailhead for a universally accessible 5.6-mile section of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. From the parking area on the south side of I-84, hikers and bikers will head west up a gradual climb through thick fir forests and lush undergrowth. Moss often carpets portions of the paved trail. When the forest breaks, look for views across the Columbia River into Washington. After a mile, the trail passes Starvation Creek State Park featuring an accessible view of the park’s namesake falls, picnic tables, and an accessible restroom.
The trail continues west 4.6 miles to Wyeth Campground and trailhead, passing Cabin Creek Falls, Hole-in-the-Wall Falls and Lancaster Falls before climbing to an impressive view of the Gorge. From here, the visitors cross into the forested "Mossy Road," a section of the historic highway that became draped in moss after the highway was abandoned. The final section crosses a talus slope at Shellrock Mountain, where fences offer protection from falling rocks.
Near Hole-in-the Wall Falls, hikers will find trailheads for Mount Defiance Trail (#413) and Starvation Ridge Trail (#414).
For trail information, see the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail bicycle and hiking map.
A day-use parking permit is not required at the trailhead parking lot.
Campground is closed November 1 through Mid March
The campground is open mid March through October 31
Please call 503-695-2261 for park specific rules
No metal detecting is allowed in Gorge Oregon State Parks
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 land was acquired between 1925 and 1967 by purchase from private owners. The purchase of the first tract was financed by Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company to compensate for damage to trees when the company cleared its line rights-of-way in Oregon park areas. The park was established to provide a shaded picnic and rest area for travelers on the old Columbia River Highway. Initial development was carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Overnight camping facilities were added in the 1950s. Although viento is the Spanish word for wind, and trees in the area show the shaping effects of strong winds in the Columbia Gorge, the park name was taken from a nearby station on the railroad -- the title of which supposedly was composed of the first letters of surnames of the railroad builder Henry Villard, capitalist William Endicott, and a contractor named Tolman. These men were active in railroad building along the Columbia River in the 1870s and 1880s. Viento was a station on the Oregon-Washington Railway and Navigation Company line (now Union Pacific).