Description - Just as the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom, the Vista House serves as the symbol of the Columbia River Gorge. In fact, the architect of the Vista House -- Edgar Lazarus -- and Emma Lazarus (who wrote the poem of the Statue of Liberty), were brother and sister.
- Millions of visitors driving from from Portland through the Columbia River Gorge don't realize the full impact of its beauty until they come around the bend near Corbett at exit 22 and see the famous building on the top of the cliff to the right. This is Crown Point and the building is the Vista House.
The Vista House was built in 1916 at the same time as Highway 30 (what is now the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway, and the only way to reach Crown Point). The building was designed to be a place of refreshment and enjoyment of the Columbia Gorge. The octagonal building with its copper dome now houses a museum, gift shop and interpretive display of historic and geologic points of interest in the Gorge (the building is open from March-October).
It has survived many years wear and tear from millions of visitors and pounding gales of the east wind (sometimes measured here at 110 mph). The future of the Vista House is now in the hands of the Friends of the Vista House, who are trying to raise over $2 million for a long-overdue restoration.
Vital stats: There is no fee to use this park. For information, call 1-800-551-6949 or (503) 695-2261.
Recreation - Crown Point offers picnicking, historic buildings, a museum, historic and interpretive displays, interpretive displays, and opportunities for viewing scenery.
Climate - Climate in this region changes with elevation. The area receives a high amount of precipitation. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April in the form of rain at the low elevations and as wet heavy snow in the higher elevations. Winter temperatures are normally cool at the lower elevations and cold at the higher elevations. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent and does not stay on the ground for long. Late spring, summer and early autumn bring the best chance for clear, sunny days and bring moderate temperatures.
Crown Point is located in the Columbia Gorge, along the Historic Columbia River Highway, 11 miles east of Troutdale.