Back to Articles

Historic Sites of the Columbia River Gorge

03/13/2017 | Heritage, Troutdale, West Columbia River Gorge


View of Vista House from the Portland Women's Forum State Park

For more than 13,000 years, The Columbia River Gorge has drawn people to its paradise. Native American tribes flourished along the Columbia River utilizing its resources for food, clothing, shelter, trade and transportation. The area became particularly popular in the mid-1850s, following Lewis & Clarks expedition and pioneers from The Oregon Trail.

With the influx of people came new construction that still exists today for visitors to step back in time and enjoy. From Fairview to Cascade Locks, here are some of our favorites on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Start at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, which was once the Multnomah County Poor Farm, or visit the Fairview City Jail in Handy Park next door to the Heslin House. As you make your way into historic downtown Troutdale, visit the Harlow House Museum and the Lewis & Clark State Recreation Site. Continuing along the Historic Columbia River Highway you will pass a few original roadhouse restaurants such as Tads Chicken N Dumplins on your way to see the Vista House at Crown Point and Multnomah Falls Lodge. Off Interstate 84, dont miss a stop at the Bonneville Dam to have some face to face time with Herman the sturgeon and swing by Cascade Locks Marine Park where native fishing traditions still take place. Here you will get the best view of the once natural land bridge, now rebuilt for cars, named the Bridge of the Gods.

Go out and explore the unique heritage in the West Columbia Gorge!

Back to Articles