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The Historic Columbia River Highway was designed by Samuel Lancaster and constructed between 1913 to 1922. Its purpose was not merely to provide an east-west transportation route through the Columbia River Gorge, but to take full advantage of every natural aspect, scenic feature, waterfall, viewpoint and panorama. When bridges or tunnels were designed, they stood by themselves as artistic compliments to the landscape. The Columbia River Highway served millions of travelers and became one of the grandest highways in the nation. When transportation needs required faster and larger roads, sections of the old highway were bypassed. By 1960, a new interstate highway had replaced nearly all of the older road. The four-mile stretch of old highway between Hood River and Mosier, including the Mosier Twin Tunnels, was closed, filled with rock and abandoned. In the 1980s, new interest in the old scenic highway began to resurface. Lost sections of highway were identified, unearthed and studied for potential renovation. Some portions of the original route were covered by I-84 when it was built. An ambitious restoration began with the removal of rock from the Mosier Twin Tunnels. Restoration took several months. When workers were done, several surprises were unearthed, such as graffiti dating back to 1921 (when drivers were snowbound for several days). The highway is owned and maintained by ODOT; the state trail is managed by the Parks and Recreation Department. In 2000, the highway was designated a National Historic Landmark, and in 2002, the state trail was designated a National Recreation Trail.
Annual day-use attendance: 436,078
Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail - Tooth Rock Trailhead FAQ
UAS IN STATE PARKS IN THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE
UAS shall be limited and/or prohibited in Oregon State Parks in the Columbia River Gorge by reason of the following:
1. Interfere with other, established forms of recreation.
2. Endanger a natural or cultural resource. (This includes disturbance of sensitive wildlife.)
3. Pose a risk to people or property.
ALLOWED PROPERTIES when following UAS GUIDELINES
Visitors following these UAS Guidelines are allowed to fly UAS in the following Oregon State Park properties in the Columbia River Gorge:
• George W. Joseph State Natural Area
• Dalton Point State Recreation Site
• Mitchell Point (Wygant State Natural Area, Vinzenz Lausman Memorial State Natural Area, Seneca Fouts Memorial State Natural Area)
• Mayer State Park (East, West, and Middle)
• Post Canyon (Wygant State Natural Area, Vinzenz Lausman Memorial State Natural Area, Seneca Fouts Memorial State Natural Area)
UAS are allowed seasonally, between October 1 and May 31, in the following Oregon State Park properties:
• Dabney State Recreation Area
• Rooster Rock State Park (ALLOWED ONLY WEST of the main office restroom)
• Benson State Recreation Area
UAS are prohibited in the following Oregon State Park properties in the Columbia River Gorge:
• Rocky Butte State Scenic Corridor
• Lewis and Clark State Recreation Site
• Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint
• Crown Point State Scenic Corridor
• Rooster Rock State Park (PROHIBITED EAST of the main office restroom, allowed seasonally WEST)
• Lower Latourell Falls (Guy W. Talbot State Park)
• Shepperd's Dell State Natural Area
• Bridal Veil Falls State Scenic Viewpoint
• Angel's Rest Trailhead
• Ainsworth State Park
• Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail (Including: John B. Yeon State Scenic Corridor, Bonneville State Scenic Corridor, Toothrock Trailhead, Bridge of the Gods Trailhead, Hatfield West Trailhead, and Hatfield East Trailhead)
• Wyeth State Recreation Area (Undeveloped)
• Starvation Creek State Park
• Viento State Park
• Koberg Beach State Recreation Site
• Memaloose State Park
• Memaloose Overlook
• Rowena Crest
UAS are prohibited between June 1 and September 30 in the following properties:
• Dabney State Recreation Area
• Rooster Rock State Park (All areas)
• Benson State Recreation Area
SPECIAL USE PERMITS
UAS may be authorized in “Prohibited” Oregon State Park properties under agreed upon conditions, with a valid Special Use Permit signed by the park manager. 14 days of notice are required. Special Use Permits may be considered for reasons such as scientific research, natural or cultural resource mapping, search and rescue, marketing, facility inspections, and/or similar activities.
SPECIAL USE PERMITS FOR FLYING UAS
Request permits at the following locations:
Rooster Rock State Park Office, 503-695-2261
Viento State Park Office, 541-374-8811
Once permitted, please follow the “Columbia River Gorge Oregon State Parks: UAS Guidelines” stated below and carry your Special Use Permit on you when flying your drone in parks.
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE OREGON STATE PARKS: UAS GUIDELINES
Know Where to Fly
• UAS may only be flown in areas and during dates listed as “Allowed” in the “UAS in Oregon State Parks, Columbia River Gorge: Park Listing and Guidelines” and with a signed Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Guidelines.
• UAS must be flown away from any structures, trees, or overhead obstacles.
• Flying must comply with all FAA regulations and guidance. http://www.faa.gov/uas/
Protecting Wildlife and the Environment
• Do not fly over or near wildlife. Intentionally disturbing animals during breeding, nesting, rearing, or other critical life functions is not allowed.
Fly Safely, Stay in Control
• Keep your UAS in your sight at all times.
• Keep your UAS away from populated and noise-sensitive areas such as campgrounds, trailheads, and visitor centers.
• Remain 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property including but not limited to parking lots, trail heads, restrooms, picnic shelters, park offices, park shop yards, park utility buildings, and heavily traveled roadways.
• Do not interfere with other recreational users; yield to people who were there before you.
• Obey all privacy laws.
Following these guidelines does not transfer liability or responsibility for safe UAS operations from you as the UAS owner to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department or the State of Oregon. The immunities provided by ORS 105