Oregon Travel Council - Page 75

CENTRAL NORTHWEST COLUMBIA GORGE DISCOVERY CENTER & MUSEUM Located in The Dalles, this is the official interpretive center of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The museum features artifacts from the Ice Age, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the Oregon Trail as well as interactive exhibits which bring to life the cultural and natural history of the area. For more information, contact: Columbia Gorge Discover Center and Museum 5000 Discovery Drive The Dalles, Oregon 97058 (541) 296-8600 • www.gorgediscovery.org COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE NATIONAL SCENIC AREA Up to 4,000 feet deep, the Columbia River Gorge extends over 80 miles westward through the Cascade Range, serving as a natural border between Oregon and Washington. The gorge began to form between 12 and 17 million years ago. The highly varied elevation and precipitation throughout the gorge creates diverse ecosystems ranging from temperate rainforests to dry woodlands. The gorge is a federally protected National Scenic Area managed by the U.S. Forest Service. CROWN POINT VISTA HOUSE A T T R A C T I O N S • Oregon. The museum contains artifacts from early explorers and pioneers and offers an audio heritage tour of downtown Bend. For more information, contact: Des Chutes Historical Museum 129 NW Idaho Ave. Bend, Oregon 97701 (541) 389-1813 www.deschuteshistory.org MOUNT HOOD Mount Hood, estimated to be 11,240 feet at its peak, is located about 50 miles southeast of Portland, on the border between Clackamas and Hood River counties. This stratovolcano is considered the most likely to erupt in Oregon, though an explosive eruption is unlikely. Twelve named glaciers exist on the mountain. About 10,000 people annually attempt to climb Mount Hood; others trek along the Timberline Trail, a route built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps that circumnavigates the entire mountain. MULTNOMAH FALLS (Pictured Below) Multnomah Falls, located on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, tumbles an impressive 620 feet, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in the nation. Accompanying the waterfall is the famous Multnomah Falls Lodge which was built in 1925. A paved trail leads from the lodge to the Simon Benson Bridge, which offers stunning views of the lower cascade, and zigzags to the top of the falls. This attractions draws large crowds on summer weekends, so plan accordingly. PETERSEN ROCK GARDEN Petersen Rock Garden is the folk art vision of one man, and a tourist attraction that has survived far longer than its creator. Open every day, Petersen Rock Garden features a museum and gift shop. Visitors are in vited to wander the grounds until sunset. SMITH ROCK STATE PARK If you enjoy scenic views of deep river canyons or rock climbing, Smith Rock State Park is the place for you. There are several thousand climbs in the park. More than a thousand are bolted routes. We also offer miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. Along your trip through the canyon, you might see golden eagles, prairie falcons, mule deer, river otter and beaver. Due to the uniqueness and fragile aspect of the park, park rangers enforce the animal leash law and strongly encourage all park users to stay on trails. (oregonstateparks.org) REGION 5: CENTRAL NORTHWEST F E A T U R E D A popular tourist stop on the historic Columbia River Highway, the Vista House was built in 1916 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Vista House is located on Crown Point, a scenic lookout along the Columbia River Highway that offers spectacular views of the Columbia River. Reopened in 2005, the Vista House has been fully restored to its 1916 appearance. The top of the Vista House, accessible by stairs, offers views of Portland and Vancouver, Washington to the west and Beacon Rock, on the Washington side of the gorge, to the east. DES CHUTES HISTORICAL MUSEUM Dedicated to the history of Deschutes County, which encompasses Bend, Redmond, La Pine, Tumalo, Sisters, and Terrebonne, the museum is located inside the historic Reid School in Bend, WWW.OREGONTRAVELCOUNCIL.COM © Chuck Adams / Everlasting Treasures Photography 73