Vista House: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

Sea to Summit Tour

The Columbia River Gorge NSA , including Vista House, falls under the administration of the US Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. When in Oregon, we toured the gorge with Sea to Summit tours. We met our guide Shahn by Pioneer Square in Portland and loaded into a comfortable minibus for our full day tour.


Shahn drove us along the Historic Columbia River Highway, stopping at numerous waterfalls and other picturesque places. The tour culminated with a stop at the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. Shahn kept us entertained during drive time and at each stop with the history and anecdotes about the places we saw. We never would have fit all of this into one day if we’d tried to do it on our own, and my husband would have been cranky from all the driving and trying to find parking. I highly recommend seeing the area with Sea to Summit.

Vista House

We stopped first at the Vista House at Crown Point. This historic observatory sits on a bluff 733 feet above the Columbia River. Architect Edgar M. Lazarus designed it as an octagonal, Art Nouveau structure. It was built in 1916 and has views up and down the Columbia River from its perch on the Cliff.


The interior boasts fine marble throughout, even in the restrooms. Stairs lead up to an observation platform at the base of the dome. We enjoyed the views, visited the gift shop and then were off to our next stop.

Columbia River Gorge Posts

  • Vista House
  • Latourell Falls
  • Multnomah Falls
  • Horsetail Falls
  • Bonneville Lock and Dam

Location: 40700 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019
Designation: National Register of Historic Places
Date designated/established: Built 1916, NRHP 1974
Date of my visit: August 27, 2016