Oregon’s Historic Columbia River Highway Turns 100

Photo © CC Woo

Constructed between 1913 and 1922, America’s first scenic highway served thousands of travelers and took full advantage of the Columbia River Gorge’s natural beauty, including its waterfalls and amazing vistas, earning it the moniker of “the King of Roads.” Hailed by The Times of London as “America’s great highway,” the Columbia River Highway was officially dedicated on June 7, 1916, with a dazzling affair that drew the attention of the nation and the world. Mark your calendar now: A rededication on June 7, 2016, will mark the highway’s first 100 years.

The Historic Columbia River Highway is still known for its iconic style and innovative construction techniques, such as rock walls and bridges. Notable structures include Vista House and Multnomah Falls Lodge.

Today, the Historic Columbia River Highway & State Trail attract approximately 2 million visitors each year who drive, bicycle and walk for an unparalleled Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area experience. The road takes visitors past 16 waterfall hike trailheads, including the iconic Multnomah Falls, plus numerous other traveler destinations, such as Vista House and Rowena Crest.

A full calendar of Centennial Celebration events will be available at historichighway.org. For comprehensive information about visiting the Columbia River Gorge, go to crgva.org.