The Columbia River Gorge is a spectacular river canyon cutting through the volcanic rock of the Cascade Mountain Range. As the only sea-level river flowing through the Cascades, the Columbia is both a natural wonder and an important transportation corridor.
For many years, the Gorge has been the focus of public attention because of its unique natural features, its offering of a variety of opportunities for public recreation and its critical contribution to the economy.
Recognizing this interest, Congress passed an act creating the 292,000-acre Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. It was signed into law by President Reagan in 1986.