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10 Must-See Water Access Points in the Columbia River Gorge

Introduction: Welcome to the Columbia River Gorge, a place of unparalleled natural beauty and adventure. With its majestic mountains, lush greenery, and sparkling blue waters, this scenic wonderland offers countless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. In this blog post, we will explore the 10 must-see water access points in the Columbia River Gorge, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and enjoy a variety of water-based activities.

1. Herman Creek: Our first stop is Herman Creek, where Kayak The Gorge is located. This protected bay on the East side of Cascade Locks offers a perfect starting point for your kayaking adventure. With easy access to the Columbia River, you can paddle along the calm waters and soak in the breathtaking views.

2. Rooster Rock State Park: Next on our list is Rooster Rock State Park, known for its sandy beaches and stunning cliffs. This popular spot is perfect for swimming, picnicking, and even windsurfing. Take a dip in the refreshing waters or simply relax on the beach and enjoy the panoramic vistas.

3. Beacon Rock State Park: Beacon Rock State Park is a must-visit for hikers and kayakers alike. The park’s namesake, Beacon Rock, is a towering monolith that offers a challenging hike with rewarding views at the top. After your hike, head down to the water and launch your kayak for a peaceful paddle along the river.

4. Multnomah Falls: No visit to the Columbia River Gorge is complete without a stop at Multnomah Falls. This iconic waterfall is a sight to behold, cascading down from a height of 620 feet. While swimming is not allowed in the falls, you can still enjoy the misty atmosphere and take stunning photos from the viewing platforms.

5. Wahclella Falls: For a more secluded experience, make your way to Wahclella Falls. This hidden gem is tucked away in a lush canyon and offers a picturesque setting for kayaking. Paddle through the calm waters and marvel at the beauty of the surrounding cliffs and dense forest.

6. Horsetail Falls: Horsetail Falls is another breathtaking waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge. With its unique horsetail shape, this waterfall is a favorite among photographers and nature lovers. Launch your kayak nearby and explore the area, taking in the sights and sounds of this natural wonder.

7. Bridal Veil Falls State Park: As the name suggests, Bridal Veil Falls State Park is home to a stunning waterfall that resembles a bridal veil. This picturesque spot is perfect for a leisurely paddle, allowing you to get up close to the falls and experience their beauty from a unique perspective.

8. Oneonta Gorge: Oneonta Gorge is a hidden gem that offers a truly immersive experience. This narrow slot canyon is filled with lush greenery and a crystal-clear creek. While kayaking is not possible in the gorge itself, you can hike through the canyon and enjoy the serene atmosphere.

9. Hood River Waterfront Park: Located in the charming town of Hood River, the Waterfront Park is a hub for water sports enthusiasts. Launch your kayak from the park and explore the Columbia River at your own pace. After your adventure, relax on the grassy lawns and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this lively waterfront.

10. The Dalles: Our final water access point is The Dalles, a historic city with a rich cultural heritage. Launch your kayak from the riverfront and explore the area, taking in the stunning views of the Gorge and the surrounding landscape. Don’t forget to visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center to learn more about the region’s history and natural wonders.

Conclusion: The Columbia River Gorge is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a multitude of water access points to explore. Whether you’re kayaking, swimming, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty, these 10 must-see water access points will provide you with unforgettable experiences. So grab your kayak, pack your sense of adventure, and get ready to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Columbia River Gorge.

a body of water with a mountain in the background

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