Cascade Locks Things to Do
Over the last 25 years, various parts of the old Columbia River Highway have been put back into service as walking and biking trails. Today, parts of this trail are still broken into several pieces.The section of the old highway going west from Cascade Locks is one of those sections.This section runs briefly along an Interstate 84 freeway ramp,...more
This is where all the salmon coming up the river end up if they happen to chose the right side of the river. We visited during the heart of salmon run and were treated to the full gamit of catching the fish, stripping their eggs, fertilizing their eggs and putting the now adult fish on ice for food. We also watched the tagging of the fingerlings....more
There are ponds with trout and salmon and other fish but really the highlight of them all is the sturgeon pond. Here are several White Sturgeon. Variously known also as Pacific, or Columbia River Sturgeon they are the large bottom dwelling fish of the river. There is a viewing window below the pond so good views of the fish are available. They can...more
In a non-descript trailer little Chinook salmon fingerlings are each counted and marked individually to identify them according to when and where they were hatched and raised. There were thousands of them and five or six employees snipping away. They were more than willing to explain what they were doing and why and it was fascinating to watch for...more
This viewing pond is where you can go down some steps into that little "house", and look into this pond from under the waterline. Under where I was standing was were the really big sturgeon was hiding out. Of course, it was very difficult to photograph without flash-less camera.more
This mallard duck is a female. She is smaller than a drake, and as you can see a pretty average looking brown and white duck. In this species it is the male that gets to preen and be beautiful! Also in this section I have an image of a mallard drake with it’s lovely emerald-green head a gorgeous plumage. These two mallards were a pair, and from...more
The mallard might be the most common duck in North America, but it is sure a beautiful bird. Mallards don’t seem to mind people, and like seagulls and starlings are quick to eat what people throw them. So I found a couple of mallards at the fish hatchery at the Bonneville Dam. It’s easy to tell the males from the females. Mallard drakes have a...more
At the Bonneville Dam near Cascade Locks, you can view the salmon and other varieties that travel up the Columbia River. This picture was actually taken at the attraction on the Washington side. One time when we were there a huge sturgeon was stuck in the fish ladder on the otherside in Oregon. This picture was taken in the winter.more
Cascade Locks Hotels
Cascade Locks Restaurants
You will find a number of online reviews of this establishment. Some of them are OK, while others of them are rather grumpy. To understand the Cascade Inn you must understand that it must survive the winter months here. In the off-season this means the restaurant portion of the establishment closes up around 8 at night, and usually that means...more
This institution at the far west end of town, and almost under the Bridge of the Gods, has been around for decades.They describe themselves as a "cafeteria" arrangement, but that is only part of the story. You do have to order from a range of items on the menu. Sometimes they will bring it out to you, if there are enough people to serve that way,...more
For as long as anyone I know can remember, and as long as I can remember (going all the way back to my first trip to the Columbia River Gorge around 1981) East Wind has always been the place to go for ice cream.The value for quantity of ice cream for the price paid is one of the best deals in Oregon, even now, after all these years.The biggest...more
Cascade Locks Transportation
This bridge crosses the Columbia River. It connects Washington (SR 14) and Oregon (I-84) at Cascade Locks, OR.
It sure seems that a popular day trip for the people in the Portland area is to drive out to Multnomah Falls and Bonneville Dam, cut across on this toll bridge and go down SR 14 in Washington to I-205.Related to:
- Road Trip
Cascade Locks Shopping
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Along Cascade Locks' primary street, you will typically find several streetside stands, in the parking lots of places, and otherwise very easy to find.
The most common location for them to set up shop is the small parking lot directly under the "Bridge of the Gods" bridge.
The local Native American families have been fishing from platforms over the water for generations, and they continue to do exactly what they have always done. Photo 2 shows one such platform in Marine Park in Cascade Locks, so you can be the fish are usually very fresh.
What to buy: Fesh fish, smoked salmon jerkey and other fish products directly out of the river, and directly from the Native American family that went through the work of getting it out of the river for you.
What to pay: You can try to bargain, but most of the time people don't.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
Cascade Locks Local Customs
Every year, for most of December, you can find Trailhead Park, at the entrance to the Bridge of the Gods, awash in decorations for the season. Many of these are animated in some way or another, and some of them are unique creations for only that particular year.Sadly, most people only enjoy them by driving past them at a high rate of speed (much...more
I can't take the credit for this tip title, as "Bridge of the Gods, Mountains of Fire" is a title of a book relevant for those wanting more information about the Columbia River Gorge.There are several Native American legends regarding a natural bridge across the Columbia River that was once at this location. Typically, the legends involve two young...more
3 Hotels in Cascade Locks
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Cascade Locks Off The Beaten Path
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One might rightly assume that the first railroad in Oregon was in the Portland area, since after all that was where most of the population was. However, that was only partly the case.
The first "railway" (if it can be called that) here was a simple series of carts pulled by horses to get freight and passengers around Willamette Falls in Oregon City. It did run on rails, but it wasn't exactly a true railroad.
A similar, but much longer railway was built at Cascade Locks, and eventually the portage railway here became a fairly substantial operation. Not exactly a long distance railway, by any means, but it did have fully enclosed passenger cars and a reasonable assortment of freight cars, and traveled a distance measured in miles rather than yards.
In the 1850s, the Oregon Pony became the first steam locomotive delivered to Oregon, for operation on this river portage railway, and remained in operation until around 1905. It was then put on display at Union Station, and for a while was on display at the Lewis & Clark Exhibition in Portland (a "World's Fair" type of event).
Eventually, however, it wound up back home in Cascade Locks.
Here, it is on display in a park near the remains of the river locks that once doomed this little locomotive to a life of obscurity, as without the locks the portage railway around the very rough rapids in the river would have continued until the Bonneville Dam was completed.
Unfortunately, the display enclosure makes it very difficult to view the locomotive. It is possible to see all the parts, and to get a reasonably up-close look at the machine, in terms of trying to photograph it the enclosure is quite difficult to work around.
The locomotive is a "gypsy" style locomotive with two cylinders driving a gear shaft at the front of the locomotive, and the reduced gearing driving the front wheel. This style remained fairly popular in the Pacific Northwest for a number of decades, particularly among logging operators. Bigger and heavier and faster standard style locomotives were quickly put into service as they became available and as the track was rebuilt to accommodate them.
The locomotive is located in Marine Park. You will find the entrance to Marine Park to be a narrow paved road that goes sharply down hill from the main road through town, on the north (river) side of the city. There is a very sharp curve just before going under the railroad line, so large vehicles will have their work cut out for them getting through here. The display structure is to the left on a grassy mound just after you pass under the railroad line.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Cascade Locks Favorites
We went sturgeon viewing at the fish hatchery at Bonneville Dam. Rather than describe the huge fish, I've included this sign. If you're interseted, you can click on it. They have a huge sturgeon in the viewing pond at the hatchery. Not to give any lunatics ideas, but a few years ago my brother said someone broke in at night and stole an even...more
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