Historic Columbia River Highway

Hood River to Mosier
Historic Columbia River Highway

Roadbed: Paved
Distance: Approximately 4.6 miles
Grade: Flat to Mild
Hike/Bike: A perfect hike or bike trail. Easy path and minimum altitude changes.

The Historic Columbia River Highway was the first completed road built through the Columbia Gorge. Begun in 1913 and completed in 1922, the road finally linked Portland with The Dalles. The road was heavily used until it was replaced by I-84, the "watergrade" freeway in the 1950’s
Although some of the original highway was destroyed with the advent of the new freeway, dozens of fragments, representing nearly 50% of the original highway were abandoned and left to the undergrowth.
In the late 1990’s, funds were allocated to resurrect several portions of the abandoned historic highway and create trails for hiking and biking only.
Several segments, including the Moffett Creek to Tanner Creek; Tanner Creek to Cascade Locks and the Hood River to Mosier ones, are now complete and offer exceptional recreation to visitors.
One of the most scenic spots along the highway is the Mosier Twin Tunnels. Bypassed by the new watergrade freeway , the tunnels were backfilled and abandoned in the 1950’s until the restoration of these segments took place. Now strengthened with modern techniques and materials, these beautiful tunnels where once again open to the public and offer magnificent vistas of the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge.

West Approach: From the east end of Hood River bridge, follow the signs due south and turn left at stop sign onto historic highway. Go up the switchback road then about a mile to the parking lot. There is an excellent interpretive center (seasonal) and ample parking at the OPRD day use area. From there it is about three miles to the tunnels.

East Approach:
This is a much easier, faster and closer way to get to the tunnels. It is especially desired by those who just want to see the tunnels. From Mosier, follow the signs noting the Historic Highway. Go under the overpass and go about one mile to the Hatfield parking lot. There is an OPRD day use fee that you can purchase from the machines in the parking lot.

By Friends of Vista House
Hood River County Chamber of Commerce

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