Columbia River Highway


Since I was a child, I have been fascinated with the Columbia River Gorge area.  From the geological formations to the communities which dot the highway and the bridges, the falls and the flora and fauna of the area–it is a fascinating and beautiful place!

I attended a seminar presented by Ken Manske at The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles, Oregon.  Ken wrote a travel guide for the Historic Columbia River Highway.  His talk and slide presentation provided a wonderful look at the highway’s history and how it evolved, what has been lost through development of Interstate 84 and the start of restoring and preserving the old highway.


After the seminar, I headed for Corbett and traveled eastbound along the old highway–the portions that you can still drive–and saw the highway in a different light.  It was exciting!

If you have historical information, photographs or post cards, or even links that should be posted here, please contact me.  In the meantime, please keep checking back to see what is happening along the Historic Columbia River Highway!

The Historic Columbia River Highway is America’s premier Historic and Scenic Highway. Built between 1913 and 1922, along the steep cliffs of the magnificent Columbia River Gorge, this narrow, curving roadway was a technological tour-de-force when it was constructed. When the Interstate Highway system was being constructed in the 1950s, many portions of the old highway were demolished, abandoned, or bypassed. Today, work is ongoing to create hiking trails for additional enjoyment of this historic highway.

     Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway

    Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail

    Newspaper articles from yesteryear.  

    Cape Horn Blasted

    Columbia Gateway to the Pacific Coast

    Columbia River Highway Becomes Transcontinental Route

    Columbia River Highway in Good Shape

    Columbia River Highway Gasoline Advertisement

    Columbia River Highway Open

    Columbia River Work Begins

    Over the New Columbia Grade part 1

    Over the New Columbia Grade part 2

         Conceived of by Sam Hill, who hired Sam Lancaster as his chief engineer, the historic Columbia River Highway connects Portland Oregon through the majestic the Columbia River Gorge to points east. Dedicated in 2016 it was the first highway in the US constructed primarily for sightseeing. Today the highway is being restored in time for it’s centennial in 2016 so that it can be used again for it’s original purpose.