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Gorge Area Businesses Still Open to Visitors

09/07/2017 | Mt Hood Territory, West Columbia River Gorge

On September 2nd a wildfire erupted along the Eagle Creek trail in the dense forest of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, just outside of Cascade Locks. Since, the section of the Gorge from exit 17 in Troutdale to exit 62 in Hood River on I-84 has been closed to the public indefinitely. This includes the Historic Columbia River Highway. While firefighters and other first responders work diligently to gain control over the fire that has now spread to over 33,000 acres, it is imperative that locals and visitors steer clear of the fire danger and allow them to do what they do best. 

However, the communities surrounding the fire area are still open for business and visitors who have already planned trips to this area from out of town might be wondering where to go and what to do now. Here are a few suggestions:

Visit the town of Troutdale. Known as the entrance into to the Columbia River Gorge, this old fashioned downtown is filled with art galleries, specialty shops, brew pubs and historic sites. As air quality conditions change quickly, we recommend participating in indoor activities like a visit to the the Columbia Gorge Outlets for tax-free shopping or stopping by the Barn Exhibit Hall to view the Kind of the Roads Exhibit. 

Head up Hwy 26 to Mt. Hood. From Troutdale you can head southeast on 26 toward the communities of Mt. Hood. Great indoor stops along the way include the Sandy Historical Museum to learn more about the pioneers that made their way over the mountain along the Oregon Trail, or visit Historic Timberline Lodge, built from 1936-1938 as part of Roosevelt's WPA program. From there you can take 35 over to Hood River or 97 to The Dalles. 

Visit our neighbors to the North. While air quality is still a concern on the Washington side of the Gorge, communities there are still open for business. This includes the towns of Stevenson, North Bonneville, Carson, Skamania, White Salmon, Bingen, and Lyle. Great indoor attractions to take advantage of include a visit to the Maryhill Museum of Art paired with a stop at a local brewery or winery. Or, head to Bingen this weekend for the annual Huckleberry Festival.

For more information on evacuations, road closures, and air quality, head to our Wildfire Update page. 

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