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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Gardner

Exploring Oregon: Columbia River Gorge

Updated: Sep 9, 2019

If you're planning a trip to Oregon, then you don't want to miss out on the INCREDIBLE scenic experience of the Columbia River Gorge. And one of the best parts is that it's all free.

Sometimes, I think we can take for granted what's right in our backyard. I was born and raised in Oregon ...I'm pretty sure this summer was my first trip out there.

Like whaaaaaat!?

This trip, I went with just myself, and I #exploregon There's something about adventuring alone that just soothes my soul. It really helps me to find myself and connect with nature.

Multnomah Falls

I went on this trip with the goal to see Multnomah Falls ...which people come from all over to view because it's the tallest waterfall in Oregon at 620 feet.

I didn't end up taking trail up to the top of the falls, but there's always next time.

When you park, there's a pathway that will take you underneath of the highway and on to the waterfall. I tell you this because I was very confused at first haha.

But just follow the herd of people that are always visiting and I'm sure you'll find it.

As I walked up closer, I took in the full and true beauty that is Multnomah Falls.

The towering falls has a walking bridge right in the middle of the tiers. When you walk across that bridge, it'll bring you to some pretty incredible views.

Then it leads you right to the pathway that you can take up to the top of the falls.

I've heard it zig-zags and it's pretty steep. I can confirm that while looking from the bottom of the path

...but I wasn't feeling the trek that day.

Vista House

Now, on the way back, I took the old Columbia Highway, which I did, one of the first places that caught my attention was the Vista House so I stopped to visit ...definitely a must-see of the Gorge.

This was a perfect day and the view was absolutely breathtaking, as you can see.

Now, going into the Vista House, there's tons of historical information with a really cool museum-like feel to it.

And if you're planning to go adventuring around to different hikes, I would recommend stopping here first.

There's a nice little info station inside the Vista House where I met a really cool older gentleman who was soooo knowledgeable about the trails and willing to answer any questions.

Lastly, but certainly not least wander around the back of Vista House ...and prepare to be WOW'd!!

Now, I will preface with the fact that I'm a lover of waterfalls so of course I tried to visit as many as I could on this trip.

Latourell Falls

This waterfall is right off the side of the road so no real hiking involved to get to the base of Latourell falls.

From farther away the waterfall looked kind of small to me.

But then as I walked further down the path, I started to feel the mist of the water on my face.

The sound of the flowing water started to become clearer and standing at the base of the waterfall, I could just sense the power of the water crashing down onto the rocks.

Gosh, I just love waterfalls. Don't you??

With Latourell Falls there's a short pathway or a longer trail that you can take to check out the viewpoint from the top of the waterfall.

I decided to take the shorter path this time. There's clearly a theme here.

This trip for me was purely about seeing as many waterfalls as I could and reuniting with myself

...and I didn't feel like hiking so I did what I wanted to do!

The nature views along the shorter pathway definitely did not disappoint with this cute little stream.

And the pool of water at the bottom of the Latourell waterfall looked so much cooler from above.

Bridal Veil Falls

My last stop of the day was Bridal Veil Falls which with the two tiers of water, looks like a lot like the name.

It's a nice easy jaunt down the trail. Nothing too strenuous. Although, the hike back up is a little more challenging because it's mainly uphill.

At the beginning of the trail towards the falls there's actually a fairly good-sized lookout area. I had brought my Bible so that I could get some spiritual time ...but it looks like God had different plans for me.

I ended up meeting a professional photographer who took this incredible photo above for me (I was trying to take a picture with the sun and failing pretty miserably).

We actually talked for hours on that ridge about life and still keep in contact to this day. Welcome to good ol' Oregon!

And I can't forget to mention all of the cool nature things that you get to see along the journey through to the waterfalls.

Flowing water and rocks are kind of my jam so I just HAD to take these pictures...

Little stream right next to the pathway before Multnomah Falls under this cool bridge/railroad tracks.

Aaaaand why not take a #selfie in front of this rock formation, right!?

Whelp, that's a wrap!

I hope you enjoyed seeing all that the Columbia River Gorge has to offer and that this will give you some inspo to visit the Great Pacific Northwest sometime soon.

Let me know down below in the comments about what your favorite sites are to visit at the Gorge or which ones you're going to try out!

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