Highway 14 Drive
Along The Columbia River
Hwy 14 east of of Maryhill to Plymouth/I-82
Most drivers heading to points east out of Portland, Oregon will take I-84, which follows the Columbia River on the Oregon side of the river until it reaches Boardman, where it turns southeast towards Pendleton and Boise. That's fine if you want to get somewhere fast. If instead you want to enjoy the scenery of the Columbia River valley and follow the route of Lewis & Clark, the better way east is Highway 14 on the Washington side.
The more scenic stretch is between Vancouver and Maryhill, Washington, where the road passes through the Columbia Gorge. But there are a number of nice views between Maryhill and Plymouth, where Highway 14 meets I-82. Once you reach I-82 you can head south to I-84 to continue on to Pendleton and Boise or to return to Portland.
Columbia River and Mt. Hood (I08A0373)
Mt. Hood, the highest point in Oregon, is located about 60 miles southwest of Maryhill, but the bluffs above the Columbia provide some great views of the mountain.
John Day Dam (T13A0091)
Located only about 10 miles upstream from Maryhill, the John Day Dam and locks span the Columbia River, creating 76-mile-long Lake Umatilla. At 110 feet, the lock at John Day Dam has the highest lift of any lock in the United States.
Transportation along the Columbia River (T13A0101)
The Columbia River Valley has long been a transportation corridor. Today a coal train passes on the Washington side of the river. A barge heads upstream in the river itself. I-84 follows the Columbia on the Oregon side.
Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge (T13A0111)
The John Day Dam flooded out some wetlands, so new wetlands were created upstream. It is one of the few wetlands in this area, so it is a critical stopover and nesting site along the Pacific Flyway.
While you're in the area, check out these sights: