Daily Archives: August 18, 2013

Mt. Hood and The Columbia Gorge

The Highest Point in Oregon; Mt. Hood

Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge and the Outdoor Playground – What More Could One Ask For!!!

Bonneville Dam

The primary functions of the Bonneville Lock and Dam are electrical power generation and river navigation. The United States Army Corps of Engineers built and manage the dam. The electrical power generated at the dam is distributed by the Bonneville Power Administration.

The Power House

Photo of the Workers that built the Power House in 1937.


During WWII, the Bonneville Dam was concerned about being a target for attack or sabotage. During the war the Corps employees painted all of the buildings green, including the roofs. Even the gravel and blacktopped roadways were painted in camouflage. The Corps installed concrete guard stations or ‘pill boxes’ with gun ports near the dam and powerhouse.

The Inside Workings of the Fish Ladder

The Bonneville Dam blocked the migration of fish, so the fish ladders were created to help native salmon and steelhead get past the dam to head upstream to spawn.

That is a real migrating fish.

These are lampreys – the vampires of the fish world!

The Outside Workings of the Fish Ladder

Bonneville Hatchery

I enjoyed experiencing and exploring the Bonneville Hatchery! The fish raised at the hatchery are Chinook and Coho salmon. There is also rainbow trout and white sturgeon. The tour of the hatchery is FREE, however; it is a working hatchery, so use caution and stay in areas designated for visitors. The hatchery started in 1909 and in 2009 celebrate their 100 year anniversary.

Interesting Facts:  The Bonneville Hatchery is one of the oldest hatcheries in Oregon and the largest in terms of fish production. In 1930, the hatchery expanded to increase fish rearing capability from 6 million to 11 million salmon.

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls is a waterfall on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the State of Oregon. The upper falls is 542 feet with the lower falls at 69 feet; 620 feet in total. The Benson Footbridge allows visitors to cross 105 feet above the lower cascade.

Mt. Hood and Government Camp

Government Camp is located at the 4,000 foot level of Mt. Hood’s southernmost slopes. I stopped into the Visitor Center and discovered that this area is one of the areas that has snow or makes snow year round. Hello! Summer Skiing and Snowboarding. The Timberline Lodge was a happening place for skiers as well as visitors. The town has that Bavarian-style that makes you want to stay indoors by the fire or get outdoors to explore and adventure!

Timberline Lodge

The Timberline Lodge was built in the late 1930s and sits at an elevation of 5.960 feet.

Interesting Fact:  The Timberline Lodge is noted in film for serving as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining.

Mt. Hood

Mt. Hood is an active volcano.

Hood River

Full Sail Brewing calls Hood River home. I wish I had the time to stop for a tour and a beer.

Hood River has the Columbia River Gorge, the Cascade Mountain Range and the Hood River Valley!

Interesting Facts:

  • The 15,000 acres of orchards produce approximately 45% of the nation’s winter pear crop.
  • Hood River aka the Wind Surfing Capital of the World.

Other Interesting Town Names in this Area: Boring, Rhododendron and Zig Zag. Estacada, Oregon is the Christmas Tree Capital. Odell, Oregon in the Hood River Valley has the Valley’s largest fruit packing and storage centers.

The Outdoor Playground

Brightwood, Rhododendron, Welches, and Zig Zag; the Villages of Mt. Hood and The Outdoor Playground. Lakes, Rivers and Forests – Let Me Run Free!

  • Walking, Hiking and Biking
  • Kayaking, Canoeing and Rafting
  • Sailing and Boating
  • Summer Skiing and Winter Skiing as well as Snowboarding
  • Wind Surfing
  • Parasailing and Hang Gliding
  • Swimming
  • Fly Fishing
  • Orchards, Wineries, Farms, and Wildflowers

(Photos by RSheridan)

The Possibilities are Endless!

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