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Outdoor Activities, Arts, History, Good Food and
Wineries, and Outstanding Scenery. . .It's All Here!!

The Columbia River Gorge is a beautiful and spectacular river canyon cutting  through the Cascade Mountain Range. It's 80 miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep with the north walls in Washington and the south walls in Oregon. Much of the Gorge is located within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

The climate of the Gorge ranges from temperate rainforest in the west, to sagebrush desert in the east. The Columbia River Gorge Hostel is located in the amazing transition zone between those two worlds. Our summers are mostly sunny and dry, with a strong and constant breeze, unmatched for water sports such as windsurfing, kiteboarding, and sailing.  And yet our spring rainfall and snowmelt produces an incredible display of wildflowers unmatched nearly any where else in nature. 

The high volcanic walls and rock formations of the Gorge create innumerable astonishing vistas and breathtaking vistas.  More than one hundred waterfalls plummet down the cliffs and plunge into the Columbia River. Three snowy volcanoes flank the Gorge: Mt. Hood to the south, Mt. Adams to the northeast, and Mt. St. Helens to the northwest. In short, the Gorge is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  

Historically, The Gorge was significant as the terminus of the Oregon Trail pioneer route and as part of the path of the famous Lewis & Clark Expedition. Native Americans have left their mark on the Gorge with their pictographs and petroglyphs, which are still visible today. 

Today, the Gorge offers outdoor enthusiasts perhaps the most diverse range of activities in North America. You can hike or backpack along the innumerable trails, marvel at diverse wildlife, catch the wind on the river with your sailboard or kiteboard, kayak or raft one of the many wild and scenic rivers that plunge into the Gorge, test your mountaineering skills against the high snowy peaks of Mt. Adams or Mt. Hood, ski and snowboard late into the season, dunk your head under a waterfall, gape at the terrible volcanic splendor of Mt. St. Helens, ride horseback across the range, mountain bike on gorgeous trails both technical and casual, bicycle tour for miles along dedicated bicycle-only routes that wind along mountain plateaus, cliffs,  and ravines, take your family for a swim on a sunny river beach, test your line and rod skills against some of the most rewarding freshwater game-fish in the world, and, at the end of the day, rest your weary muscles in a hot spring spa. (What more could you ask for?).

And the Gorge isn't lacking for the cultural connoisseur. The nearby Maryhill Museum of Art features a more inclusive collection of Rodin sculptures than you'll find at almost any metropolitan museum. In addition, Maryhill also sports a huge collection of exquisite and unique vintage chess sets, royal Queen Marie Romanian furniture and artifacts, the world renowned Theatre de la Mode Mannequins, an outstanding and comprehensive Native American heritage display, revolving displays of by local artists, and sculpture flower gardens with free range peacocks. 

Art galleries, museums, and pottery studios abound in nearby towns of Hood River and White Salmon. Some studios offer classes and encourage participation of visitors. Come and try your hand at glassblowing at the fabulous White Salmon Glassworks, or just watch the masters work their craft in shop's comfortable seating area. Or visit the Columbia Art Gallery for a whole range of classes and opportunities.  

For the wine lover, many local wineries offer lots of opportunity to sample some of the fruits of some of the most productive vineyards in the United States.  

There are plenty of good restaurants in the towns of Bingen, White Salmon and Hood River, from small, delightful taquierias and comfortable coffee shops to upscale dining experiences. Hood River and White Salmon offer a wide range of gift shops, gear rental shops, and specialty stores.  Hood River and White Salmon also offers all the essential services you'd expect--hospitals, car repair shops, banks, supermarkets, department stores, etc.

In short, it's all here, within a short drive from your base at the Columbia River Gorge Hostel!  



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All photography 2005by Jay Carroll Photography
The Columbia River Gorge Hostel
P.O. Box 155 Bingen, WA 98605
at the corner of Humboldt and Cedar
Phone (509) 493-3363 
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2005. All content by Paul William Gagnon. All Rights Reserved.