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United States> Oregon> Hood River> Columbia River Highway State Trail

Pacific Northwest - Oregon

Columbia River Highway State Trail

( Nature’s Beauty / Parks )

A Karen Brown Recommendation
Hood River, OR  USA

If you’re up for more, however, cross the Bridge of the Gods again to return to the Oregon side and take I-84 east to Exit 64. Head south on 35, and turn left on Old Columbia River Drive. Follow signs to the Columbia River Highway State Trail (Senator Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead). This section of the Columbia River Highway stretches between Hood River and Mosier farther east. Once accessible to vehicles, it has since been transformed into a unique, public footpath running just over 4½ miles. You can walk or bicycle or roller skate as much, or as little, of it as you like. It’s relatively easy, well-paved, and graced by two “in-line” or “twin” tunnels, the Mosier Twin Tunnels, originally constructed in 1919 and 1920 to make it possible for the highway to pass through a steep basalt bluff. The West Tunnel is only 81 feet in length; the East Tunnel is 288 feet. Windows cut into the rock allow for terrific gorge views. This is a one-of-a-kind trail! Keep in mind that the Mosier Tunnels are closer to the Mosier end of the trail. If you prefer a short walk (about 2 miles round) to the tunnels and back, you can drive to that end of the trailhead instead (take Exit 69/Mosier, turn right at the end of the off ramp, then take your first left on Rock Creek Road and follow signs to the trailhead). It’s a great walk through lava beds and forest, all overlooking the gorge. Notice the signatures carved into the north wall of the East Tunnel, where in 1921 a handful of people found themselves snowbound for several cold November days.

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