6 Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge separates the states of Oregon and Washington. The word gorge is another name for a canyon. It is a deep valley between hills or mountains. A gorge usually has high walls and a river running through it.

The Columbia River Gorge is 4,000 feet deep in some places. It is 80 miles long. It starts at the Deschutes River in the east. It ends near Portland in the west. There is a road on each side of the river. There is also a railroad on one side.

It is very windy in the Gorge. Winds are often 35 miles per hour. In the summer, people like to go windsurfing near the city of Hood River. (Windsurfing uses a surfboard and a sail.) It’s also a good place to fly a kite. In the winter, there are many snow storms and ice storms. Sometimes roads in the Columbia River Gorge are closed because travel is dangerous.

One special place is called Crown Point. It is a small park about 15 miles from Portland. An old road climbs to 733 feet above the river. Visitors can see miles up and down the river. 

Another important place is called the Bridge of the Gods. Long ago, falling rocks made a natural dam in the Columbia River. Humans crossed the river on the rocks. Later, the river washed away the rocks. Native Americans tell many stories about this place. They say that the gods destroyed the rock bridge because humans fought. Today, the rocks in the river are the Cascades Rapids. This is a dangerous part of the river for boats.

Comprehension Questions

Writing Question

People in Oregon love to do things outside. Write 3 or 4 sentences. Say what you like to do outside.


“Bridge of the Gods (Land Bridge).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Jan. 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridge_of_the_Gods_(land_bridge). Accessed 25 Aug. 2018.

“Columbia River Gorge.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 30 July 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_River_Gorge. Accessed 25 Aug. 2018.

“Crown Point (Oregon).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Aug. 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Point_(Oregon). Accessed 25 Aug. 2018.

The image “Columbia River Gorge” by Bala from Seattle, USA (Bleeding SkiesUploaded by X-Weinzar) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons.



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Seven Wonders of Oregon Copyright © 2018 by Timothy Krause is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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