Sights Beyond the Columbia River Gorge

While it's hard to step away from the breathtaking beauty of the Columbia River Gorge, the surrounding area is full of other remarkable, not-to-be-missed gems.

For starters, the oldest apple tree in the Northwest, planted in 1826, lives in Vancouver’s Old Apple Tree Park.

Just outside of Goldendale is the St. John the Forerunner Greek Orthodox Monastery, home to 20 nuns who make the sweetest, flakiest baklava, soaked in a syrup of honey from local beekeepers, as well as jams, candles and lotions.

Skamania County was declared a Sasquatch refuge in 1984 due to the hundreds of reported Bigfoot sightings in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, which is also the site of ice caves and of natural, lava-flow-carved bridges.

If it has been too long since your last ration of sea biscuits, or if your wagon wheel needs repair, step back into the mid-19th century at Fort Vancouver and experience reenacted fort life, complete with bakers, blacksmiths and more.

The Columbia River is the seventh longest in the U.S., and the Gorge contains the greatest concentration of waterfalls in North America.

—Amanda Zurita