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Kaiser Viewing Tower

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Kaiser Viewing Tower, Marine Park (bobcat)
Interpretive sign, Henry J. Kaiser Shipyard Memorial (bobcat)


At the Henry J. Kaiser Shipyard Memorial, you can read the interpretive signs at the small kiosk: after Pearl Harbor, what is now the Columbia Business Park was one of seven west coast shipyards that were mobilized to speedily construct vessels for the war effort. Workers from around the country flocked here for the $10 an hour wages. After beginning with freighters (“Liberty Ships”), the yard soon began producing Casablanca-class aircraft carriers and other combat vessels.

You can climb the Kaiser Viewing Tower to get wide-ranging views up and down the river, from the I-205 Bridge to the east to Tomahawk and Hayden Islands to the west. On a good day, Mount Hood stands out on the eastern horizon and Mount Jefferson is visible to the south. Directly west of the tower, you’ll see a row of launch bays dating to World War II. There’s also a beach area below the tower.

There's a $5/day fee to park here as this is a very popular boat launch site. If you're just exploring the vicinity, it's better to park for free at Marine Park and walk to the tower.

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