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US30 Rowena Crest s(u)

The historic Columbia Highway, or better - what's left of it, runs between Hood River and Rowena. The southern part between Hood River and Mosiers is a popular multi use trail. It reaches about 400ft above the river. This page is about the northern part between Mosiers and Rowena. It reaches a little higher, just high enough to give me an excuse to make an elevation profile. This is a small summit, but also a very scenic area, so a little climbing brings a lot in the visual department.

1.(100ft,mile00.0)START-END EAST: Mosier, low point near Columbia River
2.(740ft,mile05.5)TOP: highest point
3.(680ft,mile06.7)turoff on right to Rowena Crest viewpoint
4.(140ft,mile09.1)START-END WEST: jct US30 - I84
5.(80ft,mile09.8)START-END WEST ALTERNATE: low point in a State Park on Columbia River Rd


From West. From Mosiers the road climbs gently with a view of the gorge most of the time. Perceptually there are two summit points. The profile shows that the first one is a little higher. There is an interesting viewpoint before you reach the first summit point, looking out on an island with a simple, yet clearly visible monument on it. I don't imagine it gets to many visitors. An informational sign informs that it was used by native Americans to bury the dead, and that it was already mentioned in Lewis and Clarke's journals.

From East. (described downwards). The most comprehensive view point along the way comes shortly after what feels like the second summit. From Rowena Crest you catch the first glimpse of the Columbia downstream, as it continues its large meanders into much drier country. "Glimpse" is the understatement of the year. The view stretches from the Dalles 90 degrees to the north, to the two bridges over the Klickitat River, which from up here look like the perfect N scale railroad display. The view continues on the other side of the road to a farm house that sits on staircase of lava steps, like it was on a display case. Once in a while a UP train runs the length of this vista, traversing several tunnels, separated by long stretches of racing the waves of the Columbia, breathing life into this magical miniature display.

The way down uses a number of ramps and switchbacks. It gives the whole ride the feel of a small mountain pass, even though the real climb is really extremely small. The road continues along the river to the Dalles, but the profile turns left and goes to Mayer State Park, which is the perfect picnic spot and lends itself to more river gazing, this time from close-up.



( < Seven Mile Hill Road s(u) | US30 historical: Chanticlear Point > )
US30 Rowena Crest x2: Hood River > several miles around Hood River, including west as far as Ruthton Park <> Historic Columbia Highway east  <> Mosiers <> US30 Rowena Crest s(u) <> turnaround point Mayer State Park with a few extra loops around Rowena: 47.1miles with 3100ft of climbing in 3:47hrs (VDO MC1.0 m5:13.8.18).