Tooth Rock and Wauna Point
- Easy (to Tooth Rock viaduct)
- 2-mile loop
- 130 feet elevation gain
- Open all year
- Use: hikers, bicycles
- Moderate (to Wauna Viewpoint)
- 4.8 miles round trip
- 900 feet elevation gain
- Difficult (to Wauna Point)
- 10 miles round trip
- 3250 feet elevation gain
When engineer Samuel Lancaster laid out the original Columbia River Highway in 1913, he decided not to tunnel through Tooth Rock, a basalt shoulder of Wauna Point that juts out over the river. Instead he perched the narrow roadway on a perilous-looking viaduct, a half-bridge clinging to the cliff’s face. The resulting viewpoint was so impressive that Model T drivers often stopped to gawk—and were sometimes rear-ended by the next car.
Today, Interstate 84 roars through a modern tunnel in Tooth Rock’s base. But high above, the fragile old viaduct has been restored for hikers and bicyclists as part of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. For an easy 2-mile loop, take this paved path across the viaduct and return on an unpaved upper path. For a longer hike, continue up to 1050-foot Wauna Viewpoint. For the best view of all, tackle the tough hike to 2160-foot Wauna Point itself.
Start by driving Interstate 84 east of Portland …
For a backpacking trip, try the …
This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington.