The Columbia River Gorge
is an area unique in the United States. While not as awe-inspiring as the Grand Canyon,
the Columbia River Gorge is still two-thirds as deep as its more famous cousin (4,000 feet vs. 6,000).
The western end of the Columbia River Gorge begins just east of the eastern Portland, Oregon suburb of Troutdale. In this section of the Gorge, a temperate rainforest ecosystem
is predominant. Over the next 80 miles, the environment transitions to dry grasslands
by the time you reach the eastern end of the Gorge around the area of the Deschutes River
and U.S. Route 97.
Because of this large area and great diversity, it's not really possible to visit just one isolated place and say that you've seen the Columbia River Gorge. There is so much to see that you could spend weeks or even months exploring it completely. And you're not going to get to know the Gorge very well by simply driving through it on Interstate 84!
No, you've got to slow down, get off the beaten path, and focus on one specific location at a time.
Since 2007 I have made four photo outings to different parts of the Columbia River Gorge, plus a couple of stops on my way up or down U.S. Route 97. The resulting pictures are scattered across four complete albums and parts of two other albums:
Here, for the first time, all of the photos I took on these outings are gathered into one conglomerate "super-album" — a total of 131 images which will give you glimpses at the varied beauty of the Colombia River Gorge region.
For further details about the stories behind the photos in this album, see the related articles: