The Columbia R Gorge Tour
Stunning Viewpoints & Waterfalls, Ghost Towns, America's Original Scenic Highway and the Story of the Ice-Age Floods.
If you look long enough, you can almost see it: An unimaginably vast wall of water, roaring 400 feet above the river traveling over 60 miles an hour and 100 feet below the rim of the chasm at the Columbia R Gorge. You would have heard it about 30 minutes before it arrived.
It is the "World's Greatest Floodwaters".
Today, the Ice Age Floods along the Columbia R Gorge requires some imagination, and a few artists' renderings (above), to see the majesty it once contained.
The cliffs are the "skeletal remains" of the once-great floods, fed by the cataclysmic Missoula Floods that swept through the region at the end of the last ice age. The waterfalls were originally meandering streams toward the Columbia, the flood waters created the waterfalls. As the water retreated, the Columbia R Gorge emerged.
Those same flood waters deposited nutrient-rich sediment into the Willamette Valley & Columbia R Gorge Wine Country. But for all the natural artifacts the floods left behind, the Columbia R Gorge, or perhaps Dry Falls ("the World's Greatest Waterfall") is the most spectacular.
The easiest way to imagine it is along the old Gorge highway, especially at Multnomah Falls viewpoint, where you view the great lava floods and imagine the great water floods. The stop features a large parking lot, visitor center, food vendors and a bathroom, and offers a walkway out to the viewpoints looking up at the cliffs and Falls.
No matter how you visit, Multnomah Falls & the Columbia R Gorge are well worth a pit stop. It's not every day that you see ancient remnants of the Greatest Water and Lava Floods* on Earth."
*Columbia River Basalt Floods