Cruising the Columbia River Gorge

My long Labor Day Weekend was well spent. I took advantage of the perfect weather to cruise down to the Columbia River Gorge area and spend some time doing something I had always wanted to do—taking a tour of the Columbia River on an old Sternwheeler ship. Mind you, the tour was only an hour long and a very limited area of the river was covered, but it was very relaxing and informative. We learned about some area history, along with a glimpse of the historical Bonneville Hydroelectric Plant and Dam. The river cruise company Portland Spirit offers many options that include a brunch and dinner tour, as well. The sternwheeler is located in Cascade Locks Marine Park, Oregon.

069Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler

072View of the Cascade Locks Marine Park Visitor Center and Boarding Dock

008Tug boat pushing barge load upstream

043Passing under the Bridge of the Gods, steel-span bridge

012View toward the Oregon side of the Columbia River

017View upstream of the Columbia River with Bonneville Power Dam in distance

Not far from Cascade Locks is the very popular attraction, Multnomah Falls. It is located just off the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway, which runs alongside the main Oregon Interstate 84. I stopped here earlier in the day before embarking on my river cruise and partook in a Sunday champagne brunch in the historic lodge, adjacent to the falls. This was a meal fit for a king (or queen, in my case). The price is very reasonable and it’s all you can eat. I was absolutely delighted! One of my favorite entrees was the Caramel French Toast. It was to die for! Unfortunately, I couldn’t try everything, as there was just too much to sample and my stomach was just not big enough for all of it. I’ve eaten breakfast here before, and all the food is fantastic. The setting is in a rustic, stone masonry, large dining room (two separate rooms, actually) with high ceilings and wrought iron chandeliers, a huge fireplace, and tall, arched windows. It’s like a castle setting. Really awesome!  Here’s what the falls looked like that day.

048Multnomah Falls, Oregon

055Upper half of Falls

060Upper part of Falls before cascading into a lower pool


054View looking down from the Falls trail bridge

Multnomah Falls is just one of the many waterfalls that one can view along the forested, historic highway and is, by far, the tallest. In fact, it is the second highest, year-long cascading waterfall in the United States. Tourist beware! The best time of day to visit is early morning. The parking lots fill up very quickly before noon, especially on weekends and holidays during the tourist season. There is easy access, with ample parking, from both directions of Oregon Interstate 84, with limited parking along the adjacent historic highway. Enjoy our beautiful Pacific Northwest attractions!

© Peggy A Thompson

About northwestphotos

A long time resident of Washington State, located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest USA. I enjoy regional travel, exploring all the wondrous, natural settings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you get a chance, visit my Northwestphotos Zazzle store,
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5 Responses to Cruising the Columbia River Gorge

  1. Amazing shots, Peggy, particularly that waterfall…

  2. Gunta says:

    That cruise looks like fun! Thanks for blogging it.

Thank you!

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