Travel tips for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
The magnificent Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is a favorite among locals and Oregon visitors alike, and it’s no mystery as to why. Within these 293,000 acres, there are spectacular waterfalls, trails for all hiking levels, parks, historical sites, and the scenic Historic Columbia River Highway. Unlike most national parks and scenic areas, the Columbia Gorge is also home to 13 communities, all of which have unique characteristics that make them well worth visiting.
More than 2 million people visit the Gorge each year, and many make Hood River their basecamp because of its easy access to dozens of hiking and biking trails and majestic drives and sightseeing. Hood River is in the heart of the Gorge at the intersection of two distinct climate zones.
To avoid congestion on Gorge trails and have a safe and enjoyable trip, please consider taking Ready, Set, GOrge! to heart:
- Plan your route ahead of time to avoid crowds.
- Bring what you need and research road, trail and weather conditions.
- Take steps to help protect the Gorge so that future visitors can enjoy it, too.
Once you visit the Columbia Gorge, you’ll be a fan for life! Come back often and when you can, take steps to help protect the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area so that future visitors can enjoy it, too.
Here are some ways to show your love for the Gorge:
- Protect vital habitat by using only authorized trails and campsites.
- Leave no trace by packing out your trash and picking up litter you find.
- Stop the spread of invasive species by using a boot brush, available at many trailheads.
- Protect wildlife by keeping dogs on leash and picking up their waste.
- Be courteous. Don’t block parking spots or private driveways, and don’t park in unauthorized spaces.
- Reduce carbon emissions and congestion by carpooling, taking a shuttle or biking.
- Respect local cultures, practices and resources.
- Help Gorge businesses prosper by shopping locally.
- Donate time and skills to local nonprofits and agencies.
- Support maintenance and conservation efforts by paying usage fees.
Visit ReadySetGorge.com for more travel, safety and stewardship tips.