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8 great scenic drives

By: Matt Hickman on May 3, 2011, 8:44 a.m.
Sheppard's Dell Bridge

Photo: egazelle/Flickr

5 of 10

Historic Columbia River Highway

Location: Oregon

Length: 75 miles

Recommended drive time: Two days

Scenery: With enough state parks, waterfalls, mighty bridges and sweeping vistas to cause some serious rubbernecking, Oregon’s Historic Columbia River Highway travels through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area from Troutdale to The Dalles. Built between 1913 and 1922, the Historic Columbia River Highway was the first planned scenic roadway in the U.S. and is a national historic landmark. Remarked Teddy Roosevelt of the highway: “the most remarkable road engineering in the United States, which for scenic grandeur is not equaled anywhere.”

Highlights: Multnomah FallsCrown PointBonneville Lock and DamTom McCall PreservePortland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint

Refuel at3 Rivers Grill, Hood River; Cousins, The Dalles; Multnomah Falls Lodge, Corbett

Pull over (for the night) at: Columbia Gorge Hotel, Hood River; McMenamins Edgefield, Troutdale

Stretch your legs at: Wahkeena Falls picnic area

Cultural diversion: The Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, Wash.

Required listening: Elliot Smith, “XO”

Do you remember that town named … Bridal Veil?