Historic Columbia River Highway
The oldest scenic highway in the U.S. is a construction marvel that integrates asphalt path with cliff, river, and forest landscapes. Paralleling the interstate to the south, U.S. 30 climbs to forested riverside bluffs, passes half a dozen waterfalls, and provides access to hiking trails leading to still more falls and scenic overlooks. Completed in 1922, the serpentine highway was the first paved road in the gorge built expressly for automotive sightseers. The route is peppered with state parks. Eight of them are day-use only, with camping only available at Ainsworth State Park. Near the Dalles, an additional 15 miles of U.S. 30 are designated as part of the scenic byway, but the 22-mile western segment is the real draw.