Skip to main content

See also:

Spring flowers and camping are both blossoming in the Columbia Gorge

Yellow Bells near Catherine Creek on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge.
Yellow Bells near Catherine Creek on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge.Kathleen Sweeney

With April drawing to a close, Spring flowers throughout the Columbia Gorge are going through their seasonal rotation. A Sunday drive could take you to Wahkeena Falls, slightly West of Multnomah Falls on Highway 30. Here, in early Spring, there can be Trillium in bloom. If you prefer, you could continue East to The Dalles and take a tour of the Rowena Plateau, famous for its fields of Balsam Root, a prolific yellow flower similar to a daisy that can cover most of a field. (You would need to get back on I-84 eastbound to get to that area, then take the Rowena or Mosier exit). On the Washington side, Catherine Creek does its part to keep plenty of flowers in bloom for people to enjoy. During March, purple Grass Widows were blooming along with Yellow Bells, and with May coming up, new flowers will be making an appearance.

Grass Widows in bloom at Catherine Creek
Grass Widows in bloom at Catherine CreekKathleen Sweeney

If you wish to spend some time in these areas, there are campgrounds that open before Memorial Day. Ainsworth Park, slightly East of Multnomah Falls on Highway 30 opened during March and Memaloose near Mosier is open as well.

To get to Highway 30 waterfalls and Ainsworth Park, go East on I-84, take Exit 28, Bridal Veil. This will put you on Highway 30. It is well signed. If you need additional directions, you may wish to stop at Multnomah Falls if there is parking available and go into the Visitors' Center. There is also an excellent Brunch there on Sundays.

To get to Catherine Creek go East on I-84 to the town of Cascade Locks, exit 44. Go over the Bridge of the Gods, pay the one dollar fee, and take a right on Hwy 14 in Washington, then go past Stevenson and Bingen. After about 4 and a half miles, turn left on Old Hwy 8 (County Road 1230) and go about 1 and a half miles. There is a universal access trail to the right and the trail to the Arched rock to the left.

To get to Memaloose go East on I-84 from Portland for about 70 miles. At that point follow the signs because you are there.