THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE – Car Camping WA & OR

THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE – Car Camping WA & OR

Granted, I’m not much a geography person, but I had no clue until this year that a huge chunk of the Oregon and Washington border is the Columbia River Gorge. It is known for all it’s waterfalls – yay more waterfalls!

On the Oregon side, there is the Historic Columbia River Highway, which we took instead of the main highway that follows the gorge. We started in Troutdale and planned to cross into Washington at Mt. Hood.

First, while it was still pretty cloudy, we stopped at the Vista House and checked out the views.  Oh ya, babay.

Vista House

This whole journey is pretty gorgeous, so we gave ourselves a whole day to do it.  Leaving time for lots of stops and seeking all the best views.

We stopped at pretty much any destination or waterfall we saw.

Bridal Veil Falls

One noteworthy stop was Bridal Veil Falls.  I believe there were two quick trails there, something like The Loop Trail and The Falls Trail.  

The Loop Trail has a nice view and you might get to see a train!

Definitely worth a stop!  

Another stop we made was at Rooster Rock, well, because the name is interesting.  Yup, and you guessed it, nice vyooooooz!

Multnomah Falls

Another big one to stop and hike at Multnomah Falls.  It is a pretty big touristy destination on the road.  There were lots of people and cars even in the middle of winter.  

Luckily, we happened to park up the road a little and took a trail that went along the ridge over to Multnomah Falls.  It helped avoid the hecticness.

She’s a beaut though! And right off the road!  You can hike up to the waterfall closer or take it in from zee bottom.

Was just cool also to look over and be like – β€˜Hey over there, Washington!’

We decided to drive to Mt. Hood next because it was still pretty early in the day and we had time.   And it was a cool little town! Definitely enjoyed the short time we spent, mostly figuring out where to cross into Washington.

Ponyboy read a good point that the Oregon side, there are two lanes on the highway, and on the Washington side, there is only one.  So, it’s easy to get stuck behind slow pokes over there.

So, we decided we both wanted to double back and cross the Bridge of the Gods!

Bridge of the Gods

We checked out the town of Cascade Locks which is where you can find the infamous Bridge of the Gods.

Ponyboy told me that you have to walk across this bridge as part of the Pacific Crest Trail!  So cool!

The bridge looks pretty godly, in my opinion, and also has lots of murals around the base.

Which I’m super glad we did because you get to see the trailhead sign and the signs for the PCT on it.  Maybe the next time I see the bridge I’ll be walking! 🀩

Unfortunately, I didn’t take too many notes or pictures over on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.  It was very beautiful and hopefully you can find better research for over there!

Where to sleep?

But the best part of this drive was THE MOST EPIC CAMPSITE we happened to stumble upon this night.  Once we were on the Washington side, we it started getting closer to sunset so its β€˜find-where-to-sleep’ time.  

We wanted to have a fire so we were looking to pay for a place with a fire-ring.  We headed to Beacon Rock State Park.  

After driving in, it looked like its main camping was closed for the winter or coned off for some reason.  We had heard of another area closer to the boat launch that had two no reservation sights there.

We went West after Beacon Rock State Park until you get to Doeshe Road , then follow signs to the moorage or boat launch.  Did not mind paying $24 to sleep here.

It was EXTREMELY windy down there near the river, but so unbelievably gorgeous! Loved being fully surrounded by water and valleys.

Not only was it prime location, but there were super nice bathrooms with electricity and sinks!  Fire ring too baby. No water, so bring your own.

Also, we ended up being the only ones there – privacy & the view of lifetime.  Thank you, Universe! πŸ™πŸΌ


~ Savor life and all its magic ~


Outside all day makes for a happy Brittany 😁

Hope you get to enjoy it like we did!

~One love! ❀️

And if you want to take charge of your life & plan your own long-term travel dream trip, then CLICK HERE



2 thoughts on “THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE – Car Camping WA & OR”

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