There’s no dramatic gorge here in the far-eastern reaches of the Columbia’s Oregon-Washington border flow. Between the great bend at Wallula gap and the canyon housing the John Day River, the Columbia languidly (thanks to dams) drifts through a monotonous landscape of sun-parched low-lying hills of sage, wheat, and grapevines. But this section of river is also ecologically important (and threatened), providing habitat for scores of species. Hikers need to get to know it, and thanks to this new trail they can now explore a much-overlooked region. Watch for rattle snakes.
© Craig Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.