Crown Point – Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Crown Point provides an incredible eastward view of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. On the site is Vista House, a beautiful, historic stone structure and visitor center. During fair weather, the views west, north and especially east into the heart of the Columbia Gorge are outstanding. Vista House was built in 1916-1918 as a memorial to Oregon pioneers and as a comfort station for those traveling on the Historic Columbia River Highway.  The octagonal stone structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in the National Geographic Society’s 2001 “Save America’s Treasures” book. The visitor center at Vista House, operated by the nonprofit organization Friends of Vista House, is devoted to interpreting the natural history and geology of the Columbia Gorge, Lewis & Clark’s journey through the Gorge, and the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Crown Point is a basalt bluff, a good example of the unique volcanic geological history of the Columbia Gorge. It’s a perfect site to interpret the Ice Age Floods as they exited the west end of the Columbia Gorge, just overtopping Crown Point at 733 ft. elevation, before exiting the Gorge and spreading out into the Willamette Valley. Vista House, considered the “Jewel in the Crown” of the Historic Columbia River Highway, is one of the mandatory stops on the waterfall route and one of the most photographed sites in the entire Columbia Gorge.

  • Visitor center on site
  • ADA accessible
  • Trained guides available
  • Interpretive signage

Get more information on this area from

National Geographic