Oregon: Bonneville Dam & Crown Point

Bonneville Dam

On Saturday, June 8, we headed out to the Columbia River Gorge again. On our previous visit, we didn’t get a chance to see either the Bonneville Dam or Crown Point. The crowds that day were just too bad.

We originally intended to head straight to Crown Point, but it was rainy, so we headed directly to Bonneville Dam. By the time we pulled into the Visitor Center, the rain had disappeared and blue skies were appearing.


We had a nice conversation with the volunteer about the dam and volunteer opportunities for full time RVers. Turns out he and his wife love doing visitor center work and had spent several months previous to Bonneville Dam at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, AZ.

After our conversation, we headed to the fish ladders.

Pretty cool seeing all that water flowing down the ladder. If you looked really closely (but not in this picture), you can see the fish going from step to step. We have video of that, so you’ll see it soon!

Once we were done, we headed down to the parking area for Bradford Island Recreation Area. While we saw a couple of people with cameras, most people parking here were fishing along the shoreline. Those dots of color on the shoreline are people on the very steep slope/rocks fishing for shad.

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Horsetail Falls

On our way to Crown Point and Vista House, we stopped at Horsetail Falls. The parking is conveniently located across from the falls, so this can be a fairly quick stop…unless you are a photographer or videographer. 🙂

Horsetail Falls sign
Horsetail Falls

The videographer at work.

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Crown Point and Vista House

We continued down Historic Hwy 30, passing by Multnomah Falls and few other falls, since our destination was really Crown Point and Vista House. Outside of Multnomah Falls, the Vista House is my favorite viewpoint on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge.

Because we were headed west on the historic highway, we came around the back side of Vista House. Such a gorgeous view!

Vista House in the distance, with the sign in the foreground.

The weather was even better than expected, considering it was cloudy and rainy when we originally drove down I-84 earlier in the day.

The interior of Vista House is pretty interesting. Lots of windows, lots of light on sunny days, and swooping staircases.

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Portland Women’s Forum viewpoint

No visit to Crown Point and Vista House is complete without going to the women’s forum viewpoint. This viewpoint is also known as Chanticleer Point.

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