Oscar and I have visited Portland and the Columbia River Gorge several times, but only recently did we discover the Scenic Byway that runs parallel to the freeway.
Unfortunately we discovered it on an ugly, rainy, very cloudy, very foggy day, so our views of the gorge were extremely limited (fortunately we still saw lots of awesome waterfalls that day, which the rain only made better.) I insisted that we return to the Columbia River Gorge on a sunny day sometime.
We ended up coming down to go camping here on August 21st, and what stunning views beheld our eyes. Wow!!!
The above shots were taken here at Chanticleer Point,
though the Vista House at Crown Point featured above is the more popular lookout. This building also goes underground too, so it's a lot bigger than it looks.
What's interesting is that we had not actually intended to come here. We wanted to spend a weekend hiking to the Enchanted Valley of 10,000 waterfalls in Olympic National Park.
It's just stunning! I have no regrets about coming here instead of Olympic National Park.
click this link and scroll down to the bottom pictures to see what it's like in Spring). This discouraged me a bit. Though I'm a waterfall lover, I didn't realize that they dried up so much in August. I'd assumed they were strongest in Spring and were weakest in early winter. I'd seen good waterfalls in the summer, so I figured that's when they'd be at about middle flow. But late summer is actually the lowest time of the year for water flow.
It almost looked like an extremely tall shower. I loved the fingertip-like way it splashed down on these rocks.