This winter will mark one year since we last visited the Columbia River Gorge. This place is truly one of a kind. The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon that stretches over 80 miles between the borders of Washington and Oregon. Here, you can find over 26 scenic waterfalls, amazing kite/wind surfing locations, and miles of hikes into the deep Pacific Northwest forests.
If you don’t know already, this area was devastated in the Eagle Creek Fire in September 2017. Nearly 50,000 acres were burned (click here for a burn map) and the disaster cost $20 million in firefighting and had a $3 million loss for businesses nearby. Many of our beloved hikes and trails in this area are closed until 2019 for restoration.
Last year, we got an opportunity to come to Portland and visit our friends. We explored Wahclella Falls and many of the waterfalls on the old highway. While I would usually post about tips for a hike or places to see in the area, this part of the Columbia River Gorge is inaccessible. Therefore, I will dedicate this post to sharing with you the ways you can help conserve the forests in your own backyard. I want us to start a conversation on how to be good stewards of this earth, ways you can preserve nature, and ways you can donate or get involved in your favorite national/state parks to keep our green land protected for years to come!
In Memory Of The Columbia River Gorge
(How To Protect and Conserve Your Favorite Forests + Areas)
Be A Good Steward In Nature
This is a simple and easy one to implement. Treat the outdoors like you would treat your own home. You wouldn’t throw trash on the floor and leave it, would you? When you get into a mindset of the forest/beach/park being YOURS, you will build a sense of pride for it and want to keep it great condition. Here are a few things to remember:
- Use the “Leave No Trace” method and enjoy nature responsibly.
- Try minimizing disposables + trash you bring out with you. Read this post for zero-waste camping.
- Multi-day excursions? Pack reusable supplies and even consider a pee-rag (whaaaat? Read this.)
- Keep on designated trails and avoid unnecessary harm to plants and trees.
- Pick up litter on the trail and take it back with you.
Get Involved with Local, State or National Parks
Do you have a beloved national park near you? Simply type in “get involved/volunteer + your favorite park” to bring up tons of resources on how you can get involved and volunteer. Here are some things you can do to participate:
- Clean up the coast by getting a group of people together to gather trash on the beach.
- Monitor different animal species to track various patterns.
- Be a Camp Host and assist park rangers during campground seasons.
- Apply for an internship. Get involved and gain experience!
Keep Updated On The Columbia River Gorge Restoration
- Volunteer Here to restore trails and get involved with stewardship of the Eagle Creek Area.
- Support local businesses that are still open in the area!
- This website has up to date information on trail closures, links to the latest articles about current news, and ways to interact via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Hikes Around/Near The Columbia River Gorge
Some of our favorite places may be temporarily closed for restoration, but there is still plenty to and see nearby!
To The East:
- Rowena Crest
- Maryhill Stonehenge. (Read our post about it here!)
- The Painted Hills – a 4-hour drive from Portland
- This article shares hikes and trails that are open in the area.
To The West:
- Cannon Beach, Oregon
- Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City
- Cape Disappointment State Park, Washington
- Portland, Oregon
Click on our interactive Washington and Oregon maps below for more ideas of places to explore on your next adventure!
Have you been to the Columbia River Gorge? What is your favorite trail? What trail are you excited to hike again in the future?
MORE PACIFIC NORTHWEST ADVENTURES:
Want more inspiration? Follow our Pacific Northwest Board for more travel ideas!