Jump into an RV motorhome and drive the Columbia River Highway for a unique adventure. This is one scenic excursion that will provide some amazing views. Fall is a wonderful time to go because you will miss the summer vacationers and the parking problems. You’ll also experience beautiful autumn colors as the trees turn.
Yes, Columbia River Gorge during autumn is something to see. And the trip in late fall is one not to miss. The drive takes about one and a half hours, however you will certainly want to allow more time for this 90-mile drive as there are plenty of places to stop along the way. Begin the trip in Troutdale, OR and spend some time there seeing the sights.
Remember, you won’t find a lack of RV camping on the drive. In fact, a great place to stay is the Bridge RV Park and Campground across from the Hood River Bridge. It has quiet and peaceful accommodations with great views.
First stop should be the Lewis and Clark State Park at the western gateway to the gorge. This is also the entrance for the Historic Columbia River Highway. A public boat launch will allow you to get in some boating time. What a great way to soak up some autumn sun! Next stop – on a bluff above Columbia River you will find Corbett Station. Go to View Point Inn to see where the movie “Twilight” was filmed.
At Crown Point State Park, your next stop on your scenic route, you can stop at the Vista House to see a wonderful historic structure. Then you will want to get out and do some hiking in the great outdoors. Mirror Lake hiking couldn’t be better. Then when you reach Guy W. Talbot State Park you can throw out a blanket and have a secluded picnic.
Now for some cascading waterfalls to inspire you to bring out your camera gear. At Shepperd’s Dell State Park you will see the falls that roars over steep cliffs into the creek and rushes on out to the Columbia River. And believe it or not, Oregon has ghost towns! Stop at Bridal Veil to experience a real one! Surrounded by forests, you will find lots of outdoor recreation nearby.
When you want to enjoy the power of nature, visit Multnomah Falls! There is parking right off of Interstate 84 and you just need to walk for five minutes to get to this amazing waterfall. Want to try your hand at fishing on this vacation? You can fish the lake at Benson State Recreation Area and perhaps catch a nice-sized rainbow trout.
Moving on, you will soon come to John B. Yeon State Park where you can hike to your heart’s content. The gentle trail leads you to more lovely waterfalls, and you’ll find the fresh, crisp autumn air makes hiking a pleasure.
Mayer State Park is worth a visit, particularly when you love a little solitude. This time of year won’t have the crowds of summer and you can have a wonderful picnic or enjoy fishing or boating. Don’t neglect to stop at The Dalles, the end of the Oregon Trail. Get another taste of history by visiting the Fort Dalles Museum. Head to Sorosis Park for some incredible views of the area! And you will want to stop at the oldest bookstore in Oregon, Klindt’s. It has the original wood floors and display cases from when it was established – 1870. You can’t beat that for getting the flavor of life in those times.
Families love the Deschutes River State Recreation Area! Go rafting, mountain biking, hiking or fishing. Park at the trailhead near the entrance and take off on a wide trail that goes along an old railroad bed. In the fall you won’t find horses on this trail so you’ll own it!
When you get to Biggs Junction, after a long and leisurely trip along the Columbia River, you will cross the river and head to Maryhill, Washington. You will want to stop in Maryhill State Park to enjoy the natural beauty and take in some cultural history. Walk along the waterfront of the Columbia River.
This brings an end to your Columbia River Highway RV adventure. You can now head home with the knowledge that you have at last experienced the beauty and wonders of Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge. This is one place you can return to again and again and always get a little more enjoyment from your trip.