Autumn on the Historic Columbia River Hwy

Earlier this fall, my family and I took a drive along the Historic Columbia River Hwy. Despite being a native Oregonian and having lived in the Portland Metro area most of my life; I had never taken this famous tour of the Columbia Gorge.

It was a crisp, autumn day with a touch of hazy fog lingering, but as we drove up, into the mountains, the fog began to dissipate with what remained sweetly softening our views.

Our first stop, was the view point outside of Corbett, called the Women's Forum Overlook. The view was AMAZING.

A view of the Columbia River Gorge and the Vista House, autumn 2013
I was awestruck by the magnificence of the Columbia River Gorge stretching beyond us. We had an incredible view of Crown Point and it's famous Vista House. The deciduous trees were beginning to pop in colors of orange and gold and it created the most wonderful photographic settings.

Our next stop was the Vista House at Crown Point. I loved reading all of the literature about the history of the scenic hwy and how it was built. I was inspired by the original idea of it, that it was designed at a time of great adventure, where our American love affair with the automobile was surely in a golden age and we designed roads specifically for the pleasure of driving them.

Here is a lovely write up regarding the history of the Columbia River Scenic Hwy.

Next stop, was Latourell Falls.

Trailhead at Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls
It was a peaceful and amazing scene.  There are many waterfalls to hike and visit along the Columbia River Scenic Hwy. We continued our journey and saw the Bridal Veil Falls and the Wahkeena Falls.

It truly was a glorious autumn day in the Pacific Northwest.

What I love the most about the 'mini' escapes I force my family to take, is that we just, however briefly, get away from the 'noise' of our daily lives. We find 'center' and reclaim ourselves..even if just for a moment.

One of the things I love about living in the Portland area is that nature is so close, an hour outside of town and we can escape.

I can't recommend this day drive enough to my friends in the Pacific Northwest, or to those considering a visit here. Each season would have it's own beauty, but the magic of our crisp, autumn day took hold of me.

2013 will go down in my books as one of the most beautiful autumns that I have experienced here in Oregon.

Go on, get out of town for a day.

Cheers, Jenni


  1. I agree with you that 'mini' escapes are a blessing to both mind and body. Your photographs are mangnificent, the Columbia river gorge, the Latourell Falls, it must be a beautiful area to explore.
    Regards from Holland,

  2. Beautiful shots of one of my favorite places! We are lucky to live close to so many treasures…the coast, Mt. Hood, and the Columbia Gorge.

  3. This is one of our favorite escape routes, any time of year. It was fun to take it with you.

  4. What a beautiful drive! Thank you for sharing the photos. It looks like you had a beautiful fall.

  5. Looks like a really lovely trip to take with your little family. Thanks for showing us some of the sights. I love doing this kind of thing with Nigel too. We used to do weekend trips when our son was young.

  6. I would like that place. I'm a "country boy" at heart! Highways built for the pleasure of motoring are all very well, but the natural scenery is better.

  7. What beautiful scenery and photos. Looks a great trip.

  8. Beautiful photos and what amazing scenery!

  9. Gorgeous shots! I'm a big fan of the day trip and will add this to the list of places to explore! Thanks!

  10. Wow, what gorgeous scenery along your mini escape, Jenni! Thank you for sharing.


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