Monday, October 26, 2015

A Dog Heaven in The Gorge

The largest dog park in the Portland metro area, the Sandy River Delta Park, locally known as "Thousand Acres," is a dog-hub found in the Columbia River Gorge, just East of Troutdale. The park is open to mountain bikes and horses as well, but you should always be prepared to find dogs of all sizes roaming throughout the park. 
The Sandy River Delta is by far the largest of Portland's off-leash areas, and a treasure for dog owners that love to run, hike, or just wander aimlessly with their pooch. The "Delta" comprises 1400 acres of wilderness trails, nestled between I-84, the Sandy River, and the Columbia River. The majority of the miles of trails within the park are officially designated as off-leash. The main exception to the off-leash rule is the parking area and the Confluence Trail, which runs from the parking area to the bird viewing area on the Columbia. In both of these areas you'll want to make sure your dogs are on leash because they do frequently ticket. Many of the trails lead to either the Sandy River or the Columbia River, so it's a great place to take your pooch to swim on summer days. The hike from the parking area to the rivers can be several miles, so be sure to bring along water just in case. The park is immense, will a plethora of wide open fields for stellar games of fetch. Bring your binoculars and camera, as the park is great for shutter bugs and birders. The park has recently been given a major overhaul, and now includes substantial parking, toilets, dog bag stations, and several garbage cans near the parking area. There is no running water in the park, so bring your own.
SRC: To find directions and additional information about the park, visit:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Skamaina Lodge: Walking Dead Woodstock Party

Still deliberating on Halloween plans? Consider joining the fun happening at Skamania Lodge this Saturday night:
Join us at Skamania Lodge on Saturday, October 31st as we celebrate the Halloween season with our Walking Dead Woodstock party.

Location: Stevenson Ballroom
Doors Open: 7:30pm
Music Starts: 8:00pm - The ultimate Led Zeppelin Tribute band, “Valhalla” Theme for the party: "Walking Dead Woodstock"
-Award for best costume
-Cash bar
-Great Décor
-Dry snacks 
The event is for those 21 years of age and over. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door, per person. However, if you want to have a weekend get-away and stay the night at the lodge, overnight guest attendance is complimentary.

SRC: To purchase tickets and find additional information, look here:
Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

"Raven Skyriver: Submerge" at Maryhill Musem of Art

Raven Skyriver's exhibition, Submerge, will be shown at Maryhill Museum of Art until November 15. This amazing display of glass blown, marine creatures has been visiting Maryhill since March 15, 2015. Come view Skyriver's lifelike sculptors while his spectacular art can still be seen at Maryhill.
Raven Skyriver began his glass art career at the age of sixteen, blowing glass in a studio that he built himself and learning techniques under the tutelage of his mentor Lark Dalton. He later traveled to Italy to train in Venetian technique, returned to the Northwest and worked at Pilchuck Glass School, and subsequently joined William Morris' production team for seven years; it was there that Skyriver honed his skill in Morris' unique techniques and learned to create sculptural glass. Drawing inspiration from nature, specifically the San Juan Islands where he grew up, Skyriver primarily sculpts marine creatures, exploring the connections between humans, animals and the environment that binds us.
SRC: For directions to Maryhill Museum of Art, and for admission information visit:

SRC: To view Raven Skyriver's gallery click here:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Fall Hikes: Upper McCord Creek Falls

West Columbia River Gorge_McCord Creek  
Spend a free morning or afternoon hiking an easy trail with huge rewards.  The Upper McCord Creek Falls trail is a pet- and family-friendly, out-and-back hike that leads you to a beautiful view of Upper McCord Creek Falls.
This hike begins at the same location as the Nesmith Point and Elowah hikes. Follow trail #400 along an abandoned road and up a steep incline, where you will come across a junction. Bear right and follow the trail uphill toward McCord Creek Falls. After a few switchbacks, the view will open up to great vistas of the Gorge and Mt. Adams. The trail is cut into the wall and has railings for safety. You will see Elowah Falls from the top, just before entering the forest and coming to McCord Creek Falls. This is a remarkable double falls and well worth the trip. Note that sometimes on dry summer days, only one falls may be flowing.
Additionally, if you veer left at the #400 trail junction, a beginner-friendly trail takes you to the base of Elowah falls, another spectacular waterfall to enjoy.

SRC: For a trail map and driving directions to the McCord Creek trail-head, visit:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

2015 Columbia River Gorge Fiber Festival

This year's Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival is taking place Nov 6-8, 2015 in The Dalles, Oregon. While the fiber festival is usually held in April, this year's event will take place in time for holiday gift-buying.  The venue of this year's festival will be the brand new Ft. Dalles Readiness Center, with state-of-the-art classrooms and plenty of space for the many featured vendors. While there are a variety of workshops attendees can register for, the featured Marketplace is open to the public and free to attend.

The Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival has found a reputation as the Gorge’s premier fiber event. The CGFF is produced by Sarah Keller, owner of Hood River’s LYS Knot Another Hat, and is held annually in the Columbia River Gorge. The festival is proud to offer world class fiber arts education and a small but exclusive vendor marketplace. Join us at the Ft. Dalles Readiness Center (402 E. Scenic Dr, The Dalles, OR) for three days filled with fibery fun. 
SRC: For more information about the event including registration, lodging, and a festival schedule, visit: 

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

5 Great Columbia Gorge Hikes for Fall

When summer ends, many think that hiking season is over. However, as autumn sets in, cloudy skies are matched with red, orange, and yellow leaves, and as the rain falls, waterfalls become more commanding. While there are a slew of hikes throughout the Gorge, Friends of the Columbia River Gorge has produced this list of 5 great fall hikes. From family-friendly trails to moderately difficult hikes, the Columbia River Gorge has something for everyone. 
1) Cape Horn Loop, Wash.: This moderately difficult 7.7-mile trail winds through a pleasant forest of coniferous and deciduous trees, emerging to numerous views of the Gorge including the best view from the Nancy Russell Overlook. Here, looking east is a mix of green pastures and amber leaves dotting the landscape. Continue along the trail taking you across a wooden bridge to tumbling Cape Horn Falls. 
2) Eagle Creek Trail or Wahclella Falls, Ore.: These two trails are a single entry because both follow creeks that provide excellent viewing of spawning salmon. From the parking lot you can view this seasonal spectacle The fun continues when hiking the trails. Both are of easy grade, but Wahclella Falls is more family-friendly (be careful of steep cliffs on the Eagle Creek trail). Also, Tanner Creek follows the trail closer on the Wahclella Falls hike. 
3) Klickitat Trail, Wash.: Autumn colors of shrub-steppe habitat and oak trees surround you on the golden eastern gorge hillsides, contrasting dramatically with the deep blue of the wild and scenic Klickitat River. Once a railroad bed, the Klickitat Trail is fairly flat as it follows the Klickitat River upstream for 13 miles from Lyle to Klickitat. Choose the length you're comfortable with for a pleasant out-and-back adventure. Feast your eyes on the salmon jumping up the rapids and maybe you'll be lucky to see the dip net fisherman! 
4) Latourell Falls Loop, Ore.: This 2.4-mile loop hike has it all! Two waterfalls, several wooden bridge crossings, views of the gorge, and lush green and golden foliage lining the trail. It has little elevation gain and makes for a great family outing. 
5) Hamilton Mountain, Wash.: This is a classic gorge hike rich in waterfalls, cliffs, deep forests and stunning views. The vine maples illuminate the forest this time of year on this 9.4-mile loop hike located within Beacon Rock State Park.
SRC: Read the complete article, and look for more gorge trails here:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Columbia River Fall Chinook Return Setting Records

This year's fall chinook run has been a good one. In fact, it has been setting records. The present passage count at McNary Dam on the Columbia River is over 456,000 salmon, and has broken the previous record of 454,000 passing chinook, set in 2013. The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) suggests that the success of this year's fall chinook can be attributed to a variety of factors, both environmental and human related. Environmentally, both ocean and migration conditions were favorable. Additionally, human efforts to improve fish habitat, implement harvest management practices, protect water flow, and restore chinook populations in the Snake River basin have also contributed to this record-breaking year. This milestone chinook run is important and rewarding for Columbia River salmon restoration efforts that CRITFC focuses on:
“Reaching this milestone is something that the region can truly celebrate,” said Paul Lumley, Executive Director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. “The success of this fall chinook run reflects the region’s commitment to healthy salmon runs and the collaborative spirit that has made it possible. While we can celebrate this year’s return, our protection and restoration work will continue. The lessons the region has learned in achieving the success we’ve seen so far will help us address upcoming impacts such as the predicted El Niño this winter and the long-term effects of climate change.”
The 2015 Bonneville Fish Count on CRITFC's website presently reads that over 938,700 have passed on their journey up the Columbia.

SRC: Read more about this record and fall chinook here:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

New Cruise To Be Offered on The Columbia River

Beginning on April 2, 2016 you will see a new cruise sailing the Columbia River. American Pride, a 150-passenger, authentic paddle wheeler, is moving from its present location on the Mississippi River, and making its debut on the Columbia River this spring.  American Pride will join the veteran Queen of the West cruise, and they will both sail the waters of the Columbia and Snake rivers.
The American Pride will boast the largest staterooms on the Columbia and the Snake. All suites offer expansive views (from anywhere within the stateroom) of the Columbia River Gorge’s lush landscapes, volcanic Mount St. Helens and brilliance of Multnomah Falls, on the route pioneered by Lewis and Clark over 200 years ago. There’s an abundant selection of all-inclusive onboard features: finely styled mahogany clad lounges, complimentary cocktail hours and locally celebrated musicians.
American Pride will offer 7 to 10 day cruises starting April, 2016.

SRC: For more information about American Pride and ticket information visit:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Success story: White-tailed-deer population rebounds

For decades the Columbian white-tailed deer has been protected under the Endangered Species Act under the classification of "endangered" along the Columbia River Gorge area. The population of the Columbian white-tailed deer has rebounded so successfully they could be reclassified to "threatened" in the northwest Oregon and southwest Washington areas. Learn more about this success story below.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service characterized the move as a success story, saying conservation efforts have helped bring the animal back from the brink. Columbian white-tailed deer have seen their numbers grow substantially since the 1960s, when they were first listed as endangered, in southwest Washington and northwest Oregon. A separate population of white-tailed deer in Oregon’s Douglas County was removed from the endangered species list in 2003, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The proposed downlisting of the deer won’t happen until next spring at the earliest, said Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Elizabeth Materna. The agency is in the midst of a 60-day public-comment period that ends Dec. 7, she said. After that, officials will consider the information they’ve received and evaluate whether it supports the move based on several factors, Materna said.
There are about 900 Columbian white-tailed deer around the Lower Columbia River. That’s a 10-year high, and about double the historic low point when the species was listed as endangered, said Paul Meyers, a wildlife biologist at the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge.
The population has seen sudden jumps and crashes in the past, which isn’t unusual for many species, including deer, Meyers said. The recent gains have been more gradual, he said, and that’s generally a good thing.
“This population increase looks a lot more sustainable than the last one,” Meyers said.

SRC: Learn more details about the Columbian white-tailed deer population rebound at:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bonneville Lock and Dam in the 1950's

The Bonneville Lock and Dam welcomes you from the 1950's. This video will educate you on the purpose and amazing history that has been built into the Bonneville Dam. Not only will you see how different video was in the 1950's but you might also notice how much of the Columbia River Gorge and the Bonneville Dam have not changed over the years. Take the family to visit to the Bonneville Dam for more information about today's Bonneville Lock and Dam.

SRC: This video was posted by OSU at:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Visiting Bridal Veil Falls State Park

Bridal Veil Falls is a great place to visit while in Oregon near the Columbia River Gorge. Bridal Veil Falls State Park provides you the opportunity to experience being behind the waterfall. This beautiful State Park has some ADA accessible hiking trails, restrooms and exhibitor information. Also provided at this park, but not ADA accessible are viewpoints and picnicking areas. There are two parts to Bridal Veil Falls State Park, upper and lower, both should be experience at some point in time. Learn more about visiting the upper and lower trails of Bridal Veil Falls below.
The upper trail takes visitors around the precipice of the cliffs of the Gorge. Sign boards along the trail point out distinctive native wild plants that grow abundantly in this area such as camas, lupine, bead lilly, trillium and bleeding heart. The trail is fenced beautifully with logged beams and wire to protect visitors along the viewpoint while maximizing every vantage point of the magnificent view of the Gorge. The famous geologic edifice known as the Pillars of Hercules, a 120-foot basalt tower once used as a training site for mountain climbing, can be seen best from the upper trail at Bridal Veil.
The lower trail at Bridal Veil takes the visitor downhill to the base of Bridal Veil Falls and is about a mile round trip to the falls and back. Although short, this is a steep little trail full of switchbacks and is not wheelchair accessible. Along the way are a few unwanted wild plants of this area -- such as poison oak -- so keep on the path. Do not attempt to walk along the bridge over the Historic Highway to view the falls. The road here is a narrow two-lane passage with absolutely no sidewalk. PLEASE view the falls from the trail.
SRC: Discover more about the Bridal Veil Falls State Park at:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Visiting the Vista House

Located at the edge of a cliff, overlooking the Columbia River Gorge is The Vista House. View the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge from the Vista House at Crown Point. It was built at the same time as Highway 30 (Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway) in 1916. The Vista House offers ADA accessible viewpoints, exhibitor information, and restrooms, as well as a non ADA accessible picnic area. Read below for the current and future schedule for visiting The Vista House.

Vista House Current Hours
 Vista House is open 7 days a week 10 am - 4 pm, weather permitting.

Upcoming Vista House Hours:
-Starting Monday November 2, 2015 Vista House will be open Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10 am - 4 pm, weather permitting

SRC: Find more information about The Vista House at:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

The Salish Ponds Wetland Park

Salish Ponds Wetland Park is a hidden gem in Fairview, Oregon. You could drive along all sides of the Salish Ponds and not even realize it. Unless you've lived or have visited The Lodges at Lake Salish you may not have known the lake was there. Salish Ponds Wetland Park is the perfect escape without having to leave the city of Fairview. Learn more about visiting the Salish Ponds Wetland Park below.
This city park offers a wide range of recreational opportunities: Fish around the west pond, walk along the nature trail that winds through the park and along the ponds, and view diverse habitats of wildlife and vegetation. There is easy access to the trails from the Reynolds School property, Community Park, or the Target parking lot. 

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Friday, October 9, 2015

Feeding the Fish at Bonneville Hatchery

Feeding the fish at Bonneville Hatchery is a fun way to spend the day. There is also picnicking, camping, boating, hiking, and more available to do at the Bonneville Reservoir. September is when the adult salmon begin to arrive at the hatchery, you will want to see them before the last week of October. Towards the end of October is when these salmon start spawning and then naturally die, not such a pretty time to visit them. Read more about the Bonneville Hatchery below.
Trout Pond
Caution: Trout can bite! Please do not tease or touch them!
Two ponds have Rainbow Trout in them. We do not raise trout here at Bonneville Fish Hatchery; these Trout are brought here for your enjoyment.
There are machines by the ponds where you can buy fish food for a quarter to feed the trout.
The money from these machines is used to keep the hatchery grounds beautiful for visitors.
Sturgeon Pond
There is one outdoor pond that has young sturgeon in it.
Sturgeon like to eat live things that have died! They eat their food off of the bottom of the pond.
The Sturgeon is a prehistoric fish and is a “cartilaginous” fish. This means they have no bones This is like a shark or an eel.
Sturgeon Viewing Center
Beyond the outdoor sturgeon pond there is a small white building that you can walk into. This is the Sturgeon Viewing Center, which was built in 1998.
Herman the Sturgeon is located in the Sturgeon Viewing Center and is approximately 10’ long, 425 pounds and over 60 years old.
SRC: For more information about Bonneville Hatchery visit:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Helpful Hiking Tips

In the Photo above is Skip Tschanz in search of the newest greatest hiking trail. He spent his summer hiking in the forest roaming the trails in the Columbia River Gorge and the Mount Hood areas. When someone spends that much time out hiking they are sure to have some helpful advice for inspired hikers. Check out his helpful suggestions below of how to keep your hikes safer and more enjoyable.
On the trail: Stay found, know where you are. Check your map at every fork in the trail. Walk a few paces in your new direction and look behind you so that you will recognize the trail you came in on.
As a matter of habit, every once in a while I’ll take a look back in the direction I am coming from. Here is another mistake that beginning hiker can make: Often hikers take a lunch break at their turn around point. They sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery, food and good company. Then they repack their stuff; and head off in the wrong direction; hiking away from their car, not towards it. More than a few folks have spent a cold night in the woods because they were busy gabbing, not busy thinking. If you get turned around in the Gorge; find Trail 400, it will always take you back to the highway.
Here goes the end of my random thoughts. Forgot your compass? An analog watch will make a workable substitute. Point the hour hand at the sun, and then draw a line between that and the 12 o’clock mark. That line will point north. If you have a digital watch just draw an analog watch on a piece of paper. Adjust your watch for standard time if it is set for daylight savings time.
How long will I have daylight? Stretch your right arm out, holding your hand horizontal so that your pointer finger is just below the sun.
You will have about 15 minutes for each finger between the sun and the horizon.

SRC: Find more helpful tips for preparing for a Hike

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Historic Highway Trail Work About to Begin

Plans to build a 1.2 mile section of bike and pedestrian trail is starting to be implemented by The Oregon Department of Transportation. Construction is scheduled to begin in December of 2015. Learn more about this amazing expansion connecting Cascade Locks with Hood River, along the Columbia River Gorge, below.
Most of the physical work is planned for 2016, to coincide with the highway’s centennial celebration — the first section of which was dedicated in 1916.
TRAIL portions on the Historic Columbia River State Highway path will be closed in late fall or winter as transportation agencies start construction on a 1.2-mile piece of trail between Starvation Creek and Lindsey Creek.
The Historic Highway, once dubbed “King of Roads,” spanned 73 miles from Wood Village to The Dalles but fell out of use with the construction of Interstate 84. Now historic groups and transportation agencies are banding together to restore the historic route as one continuous trail.
During construction, ODOT expects some lane closures on Interstate 84 — most likely the eastbound lane near Exit 55. Some popular areas on the path, including Hole in the Wall Falls, will be closed to visitors.
The Lindsey-Starvation Creek piece will mark the beginning of construction on the greater Columbia River Historic Highway Trail project, which plans to hook up pedestrians and bikers with a scenic pathway from Portland to The Dalles.
“It is an integral part of the Columbia River Gorge that hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy each year for its mosaic of uses and natural beauty,” said Eric Martin, chair of the Oregon Heritage Commission.
The Hood River County Planning Department approved ODOT’s application to begin trail work between the Lindsey and Starvation Creek portion of the trail in April.
The trail will halt at a dead end until the next 2.7-mile section of trail, running from Lindsey Creek to Wyeth, is built in 2016.
ODOT is seeking county approval on the Wyeth portion of the trail — Stallman said she dropped off the application last Thursday. She described this plan as more “extensive” than the previous application, and could take up to six months to review and approve.
Most burdensome of all trail work in Hood River County will be the Mitchell Point portion of the trail. 
SRC: Learn more about the Work About to Begin on the Historic Highway Trail at:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Magical History Tour

The poster for the Magical History Tour at Cascade Locks. (From Port of Cascade Locks)

Hop aboard the Portland Spirit Sternwheeler on Friday, October 9th in Cascade Locks for The Magical History Tour. This tour comes with live music, dancing, a silent auction and light dinner fare, benefiting the Friends of the Cascade Locks Historical Museum. Learn more about joining the Portland Spirit Sternwheeler for The Magical History Tour below.
 A benefit for the Cascade Locks Historical Museum located in scenic Cascade Locks, OR
Tickets sold at:  Lorang Fine Art, the cascade Locks Historical Museum and Hood River County Libraries
For questions or to donate contact Debora Lorang at 541-374-8007 or
SRC: Learn more about The Magical History Tour at:

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here