Welcome to the NO WIND page where non_sailing people can find things to do
in the Gorge. There are lots of activities and here are a few pictures and
some hisory to give you an idea of what is there.
Before the freeway was built along the Oregon side of the river, the Old
Columbia River Highway was built with the idea of showing off the beauty of
the Gorge. Parts of it are now being restored and open to the public
One such place is the Mosier Tunnels:
The following information is quoted from "History of the Columbia River
Valley from The Dalles to the Sea" by Fred Lockley. This quote comes from
Volume 1 page 844.
In Hood River County the gorge of the Columbia widens out again above the
Cascades, producing some of the grandest and most rugged scenery to be
encountered in the world. At one point five miles east of Hood River City
it was found that the most economical construction would be a tunnel through
solid rock for a distance of 400 feet. To have build over the point of rock
using the maximum grade of 5 per cent would have required an additional mile
road. The State appropriated $50,000 to construct this section of highway,
4,500 feet in length. Topographical conditions were right for a tunnel with
windows cut out to the face of the rock cliff. A 200 foot viaduct of
reinforced concrete was planned for the west approach. The tunnel portal at
this end is short, the highway entering the face of a rocky nose. At the east
end the portal excavation is more than 100 feet long. There are five windows
in the tunnel, each window being approximately 20 feet long and 19 fet high.
The tunnel required very careful work on the part of the contractor, the
specifications providing a bonus for carefulness in excavating the tunnel and
window sections. The tunnel cost complete $14,472.85; its actual length is
390 feet, giving a cost per lineal foot of $37.30. The concrete viaduct
approach at the west end cost complete $8,550.30, its total length being 280
feet and its cost per lineal foot $41.10. This high unit cost was due to the
great length of supporting columns reqired.
This tunnel, it is claimed, excels the Axenstrasse on Lake Lucerne in
Switzerland. The windows are protected by concrete railings and are recessed
to provide ample room for tourists to stand and view the Columbia River 150
feet below and the rugged shores of Washington on the opposite side.
Hood River county voted a $75,000 bond issue which was used in grading six
and one-half miles of highway in places where no road existed. The completion
of these sections made it possible to open the Columbia Highway to traffic in
During a snow storm in 1921 a group of people were trapped in the tunnel for
a considerable length of time. They carved their names in the rock with the
dates. Take a look at this mini tour: