Hikers and sightseers flood the Columbia River Gorge on Labor Day

Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 5:01 PM PDT
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MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - Hundreds of people took advantage of great weather on the unofficial last day of summer to explore the trails and sites in the Columbia River Gorge.

An official with Oregon State Parks said 400 permits were sold on Labor Day to access certain parts of The Gorge. Labor Day was one of the busiest days of the summer with locals and tourists looking to spend the day with mother nature.

Anna Dodds is visiting Oregon from Arizona with her family and she said they decided to hike Angel’s Rest.

“It’s been nice weather, it’s gorgeous, it’s great people around here not too bad at all,” Dodds said.

Dodds said the trails were busy with people but her husband, Brandan said the view at the top was worth the hike.

“You could see almost everything up there. It’s amazing,” Dodds said.

Portlander, Vanessa Serrato, also took advantage of the day for a hike up Angel’s Rest too. She said she was trying to soak up the last little bit of summer before it’s over.

“I really did notice that it was a diverse amount of people up there,” Serrato said. “I do credit the fact everyone feels like it’s a great day to do a hike. It’s nice and sunny. We have the day off so might as well enjoy it.”

After Labor Day, permits will no longer be required to access trails and waterfalls in certain areas of The Gorge. An official with Oregon State Parks said they’re discussing about whether or not to have permits next summer, but he did say it was effective in keeping congestion down on old Highway 30.

The Gorge was also the center for more than a dozen trail rescues this summer. Tragically, the area also claimed the lives of two hikers. In August, a woman fell 100 feet off a trail 1.5 miles south of Multnomah Falls. She did not survive. Then five days later, a body was discovered at the top of Angel’s Rest. Officials said the 20-year-old man from Tualatin died accidentally.

Even with tragedy in The Gorge this summer, people like Serrato said they enjoyed every minute of it. Especially with a late start with a bit of rain in the beginning.

“It was really enjoyable I got to go the coast a lot, do a lot of hiking, and all of the above so really soaked up a perfect Oregon summer,” Serrato said.