Located in Hood River, Oregon, the Hotel is beautifully situated in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and just sixty gorgeous miles from Portland on I-84 exit 62. Should you be coming to us from Portland and have the time, may we suggest some points of interest for you to explore along the way? The following waterfalls, geographical points and overlooks are what captured the heart of the Hotel’s founder, Simon Benson, inspiring him to build a luxurious retreat for visitors and travelers to the Gorge back in 1921:
When the highway first opened in 1916, President Roosevelt praised its scenic grandeur and remarkable engineering. The Illustrated London News went on to call it "the king of roads." With its mossy stone walls and graceful viaducts winding past dozens of waterfalls, this All-American Road still reigns as one of the world's most glorious drives.
Just as the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom, the Vista House at Crown Point serves as the symbol of the Columbia River Gorge. In fact, the architect of the Vista House -- Edgar Lazarus -- and Emma Lazarus (who wrote the poem of the Statue of Liberty), were brother and sister. The building was designed to be a place of refreshment and enjoyment of the Columbia Gorge. The octagonal building with its copper dome now houses a museum, gift shop and interpretive display of historic and geologic points of interest in the Gorge.
(the visitor center is open March-October)
Heading into a mossy rain forest, a series of graceful figure-eight loops gently drops you 600 feet. Within five miles of each other, you'll encounter four dramatic cataracts —Latourell, Shepperd's Dell, Bridal Veil and Wahkeena falls. Each has a misty footpath to offer you a closer look.
Multnomah Falls is arguably "the granddaddy" of the 77 waterfalls on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. At 620 feet, only three falls in the nation are higher, and none are more beautiful. It attracts large crowds on summer weekends, so plan accordingly. A trail from famous Multnomah Falls Lodge (1925) climbs to the Simon Benson Bridge across the lower cascade, then zigzags to the top.
Bonneville Lock and Dam consists of several dam structures that together complete a span of the Columbia River between the US states of Oregon and Washington at River Mile 146.1. It is named for the Army Capt. Benjamin Bonneville, an early explorer credited with charting much of the Oregon Trail. While you’re there, check out the sturgeon and trout at the fish hatchery.
Cascade Locks is named for the locks that were built in the late 1800s to navigate boats past what were once dangerous rapids. Marine Park, a National Historic Site that includes the old canal and three lock-tender houses, is the starting point for many activities. Built in 1926, Bridge of the Gods crosses the Columbia River and is a part of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The bridge is named from a Native American Legend.