is approximately 4,900 miles long and crosses sixteen states extending from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Columbia River, near present day Astoria, Oregon. It follows the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well as the preparatory section from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Wood River, Illinois.
The efforts of many individuals and groups – among them military men and scientists, a president and a slave, women and men, French-speaking boatmen and American Indians – determined the fate of the Corps of Discovery.
Beacon Rock is the core of an ancient volcano, essentially a basalt plug; the Missoula Flood waters eroded away the softer outer material. Captain Clark wrote in his journals, “…a remarkable high rock on Stard. Side about 800 feet high & 400 yds round…” His estimates were exceptionally close. Today, the site is on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail’s list of High Potential Historic Sites.
For more information visit the National Park website for the Lewis & Clark Trail
Immerse yourself in the history, culture and hospitality of the people who have lived on this land for more than 10,000 years. Come to Tamástslikt Cultural Institute and experience the storied past, rich present and bright future of our tribes through interactive exhibits, special events and a Living Culture Village. More than just a museum, Tamástslikt celebrates the traditions of Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Tribes. With dramatic exhibits, renowned artwork and interesting — and yes, fun — events year-round. Tamástslikt Cultural Institute offers a 10,000-year-voyage in a single afternoon.
are displayed on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge near The Dalles, in Columbia Hills State Park, home to a remarkable collection of Native American rock art. It includes the Temani Pesh-wa Trail, a collection of ancient petroglyphs saved from the rising waters of the Dalles Dam, as well as pictographs including the famous “She Who Watches.” The artworks are sacred to the local Native Americans but also open to the public “for the benefit of all people as a tribute to all living and non-living things.”
Self-guided petroglyph and pictograph viewing at the Temani Pesh-Wa display is open during daylight hours from April to October. Reservations are required for guided tours, limited to 20 people (register online), of the pictographs and petroglyphs, including the significant Tsagaglalal (“She Who Watches”), 9 a.m. on Fridays – Saturdays, May through September
is a full-scale replica of the ancient, Neolithic structure whose massive stones, broken and fallen from age, have stirred the imagination for centuries. It lies near the town site of Maryhill, Washington, three miles east of the Maryhill Museum of Art.
Stonehenge Memorial was built as a monument to heroism and peace by Maryhill Museum founder Sam Hill. Guided by leading authorities on archaeology, astronomy, and engineering, Hill combined their knowledge to duplicate, as nearly as possible, the original size and design of the ancient Neolithic ruin in England.
Stonehenge Memorial, the nation’s first WWI memorial, was dedicated in 1918 to the servicemen of Klickitat County, Washington, who died in the service of their country during the Great War. It was completed in 1929 and re-dedicated on Memorial Day of that year.
“The King of Roads“, is the first scenic highway in the US to gain the distinction of National Historic Landmark.
Words fail many travelers who drive the exquisite Historic Columbia River Highway. Every twist and turn brings a new treasure, from majestic waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls, the most visited natural site in Oregon, to astounding views from the tops of cliffs over 900 feet above the river. During the spring, the Gorge area erupts into magnificent wildflower displays, including many plants that only exist in this area.
Imagine crafting a national treasure on a landscape so beautiful that each viewpoint is protected and people come from all over the world to marvel at its perfection. This is the Historic Columbia River Highway. Whether you are seeing it for the first time or you know every inch by heart, each time you drive, bike, or hike along the Historic Highway, you begin the journey anew.
The original Highway was left partially intact when Interstate 84 was built, with the middle section cut into pieces or partially destroyed for the I-84 right-of-way. Efforts are underway to create vehicle-free paths for cyclists and pedestrians, transforming the abandoned sections into the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.
For more information visit the Oregon.com website for the Historic Columbia River Highway
connects you to the history, living cultures, and ecology of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices. We are a community-supported nonprofit that works through art landscapes at six river sites (Cape Disappointment State Park, Vancouver Land Bridge, Sandy River Delta, Celilo Park, Sacajawea State Park and Chief Timothy Park), educational programs, and public gatherings in collaboration with northwest tribes, communities, and the celebrated artist Maya Lin.
1109 East 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661
Six River Sites
Cape Disappointment State Park Celilo Park
Vancouver Land Bridge Sandy River Delta
Sacajawea State Park Chief Timothy Park
is a series of radio-documentary styled podcasts and other captivating clips that delve into stories unique to the Gorge, such as: the experience of the region’s Japanese American residents during World War II, the Crag Rats – oldest mountain rescue team in the country, Woodie Guthrie’s Columbia River Songs, and tribal life at in-lieu sites along the river. The podcasts highlight archival audio, as well as storytelling from locals and experts, creating gripping and moving nonfiction narratives about the Columbia River Gorge and its heritage.
You can listen to the podcasts on Soundcloud or click the podcast button on your smartphone, search for Hear in the Gorge and subscribe to hear all of these powerful podcasts as they are released. They are produced by the wonderful and talented Sarah Fox.