The panoramic view of the Gorge from Crown Point is bound to take your breath away; with visibility as far north as Mt. Rainier in Pierce, WA (about 70 miles) and as far east as Mt. Jefferson in Wasco, OR (about 90 miles) and a breadth of scenery as the Columbia snakes it’s way from east to west surrounded by a wealth of green and the purple mountain back drop. I’ve driven up to Crown Point many times in my life, and it never fails to impress me.
Due to closures for renovations that have gone on periodically throughout my lifetime, I’ve not had the chance to tour the museum until this year. Historic Highway 30 has also been undergoing construction to make it safer and more easily passable; in a place like North West Oregon, it is a continuous job. Although the sky was overcast, the photos turned out wonderfully and shows the Gorge as we most often see it throughout the year, it‘s truest beauty. Of course, being a local helps, as I’m accustomed to the “gloom” of a cloudy, damp day.
A delightful gentleman dressed in attire from the early 1900s stood and gave information at the door.
“I am the Parks and Rec version of a Wal-Mart greeter,” he told us as he posed for his photo in front of the south entrance of Vista House. He proceeded to tell me that travelers have been stopping at Crown Point since the 1800s, while the building itself was built in 1916. Within Vista House, I was enamored with the architecture. Marble and stone and brass flow throughout this newly refurbished building, in all its traditional glory. It underwent five years of construction and re-opened for public viewing in 2005. There is free apple cider in the lowest level of Vista House, as well as many fascinating displays and an art gallery hallway. I was not able to experience what I heard referred to as “The Secret Tunnel,” so I am eagerly anticipating another trip to Vista House in the near future.Viewing hours for Vista House as of right now are 10am – 4pm daily (dependent on the weather) and will be extended to 6pm later in the year. Crown Point is likely one of the most popular stopping points on Highway 30, along side Multnomah Falls, but there are numerous sights in store on a trip down this small winding road. Waterfalls, trails, and photo opportunities that are post card worthy no matter what your skill level awaits you!
For more information about Crown Point & Vista House, you may contact them at (503) 695-2230.