These remnants of the Columbia River Highway’s history echoes a time of great adventure, slow travel, and mesmerizing views. The Columbia River Highway once came through these cliffs back in 1921. There were 2 tunnels that originally were built through this high rock point to allow for travel. It was a popular highway then turned byway, then turned trail. It gave fabulous views of the Columbia River and the Gorge. The architects of the tunnels took their inspirated from the Axenstrasse along Lake Lucerne, Switzerland. But regardless of the sound design, these tunnels were plagued with troubles, especially rockfalls and automobile accidents. In 1954 they build the replacement road at water level along the river, and these tunnels were abandoned and fell into disrepair. The replacement road became Interstate 84. In 1995 the tunnels were re-opened for tourist byway access, and then converted to the Historic Columbia River Highway Trail, completely restored. It was opened to hikers in 2000 as a 4 1/4 mile hiking trail. Panoramic scenic overlooks, picnic tables, and paved trails appease the regular day-visitors to this hotspot along the Columbia. Great views of 18 mile island can be seen very nicely from several vantage points along the trail. THere is an etching of a message scratched into the rock past the sencond window in 1921 by a hunting party that was trapped there from snow fall in the past.
Originally called “Chicken Charlie’s Island”, this little island is a scenic wonder along the Columbia River that is nearly 10 acre large island on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. It can be seen from Interstate Highway, milepost 174. It is located approximately a half mile from Mosier, Oregon. It is believed to have hosted a chicken ranch on int in 1904 owned by the Reither family. In 1915 it was inhabited by Charles Reither who lived on it until his death in 1963. It is a privately owned small rocky island that hosts navigational lights and was an island referenced by Meriwether Lewis during the Lewis and Clark expedition. It is pretty rocky, barren and remote. It hosts douglas firs, willows, wildflowers, cherry, blackberry, and a little sandy beach. There is a three story wood frame house on it that was privately built in 1969. It was later renamed “Eighteenmile Island” by the USGS in 1934. In 2007 the island and house was for sale to the amount of 1.4 million. Great views of the island can be seen from the Mosier Twin Tunnels hiking trail along the Historic Columbia River Highway.
A charming littler artistic town, Mosier is most popular for the Mosier Twin Tunnels hiking trail. The area was first settled by white Euro-Americans in 1854 and became a city in 1914. They built a post office here, then the Mosier School in 1920, which later became a charter school known as the Mosier Community School in 2003. The town is approximately .64 square miles. It is downstream of the 18 mile island and was along the Columbia River Highway long ago. Today, the 96 oil car derailment that caused a natural disaster on June 3, 2016 has placed Mosier on the map.