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Bridge of the Gods

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Bridge of the Gods (Jeff Statt)
Bridge of the Gods from the Ruckel Creek Trail (Jim Sifferle)
Historical artifacts in a park near the base of the bridge (Jeff Statt)

Description

The Bridge of the Gods spans the Columbia River in the town of Cascade Locks, four miles upriver from Bonneville Dam. It is a toll bridge operated by the Port of Cascade Locks. The toll, as of 2016, is $2 for passenger cars and light trucks traveling in either direction (You can buy a $20 coupon book which allows for 20 crossings, $1 per crossing with a coupon). The bridge was originally constructed by the Wauna Toll Bridge Company, and opened in 1927. When Bonneville Dam was built, the bridge was raised and lengthened to account for the higher water levels.

For Oregon hikers, the bridge offers easy access to several hikes in Washington such as Hamilton, Table, Wind, and Dog Mountains. Of note, it is also part of the Pacific Crest Trail, and the lowest point in the entire trail system.

The bridge is named after a geologic formation that is thought to have dammed the Columbia River at this same location. When the area is seen from the tops of viewpoints like Table Mountain or Wauna Viewpoint, it's not hard to imagine the landmasses on the Oregon and Washington side having been connected. Scientists believe that the land bridge was formed when the front faces of Table Mountain and Greenleaf Peak collapsed, possibly between 1500 and 1760: current speculation centers around a relationship with the last great Cascadia earthquake in 1700.

The name "Bridge of the Gods" comes from a Native American legend, which is described nicely on the Port of Cascade Locks website.

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.