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Visit the Gorge with tips from ReadySetGorge.com

In time for centennial celebrations of the historic Columbia River Highway, three local agencies have come together to enhance the visitor experience along the ever-popular scenic route.

The Oregon Tourism Commission, doing business as Travel Oregon, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the U.S. Forest Service have introduced “Ready, Set, Gorge,” a new trip-planning resource.

ReadySetGorge.com takes visitors to a Travel Oregon webpage devoted to touring tips, including public transportation options and ways to enjoy the myriad of events marking the highway’s 100th anniversary this year.

A natural border between Oregon and Washington, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is a national treasure. Cultural, historical and recreational attractions as well as scenic vistas including waterfalls, wildflowers, basalt cliffs, lakes, streams and rivers — are interspersed among nearly 300,000 acres. With close proximity to the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area, the Gorge draws more than two million visitors each year, with destinations including Multnomah Falls, Crown Point and Rooster Rock State Park receiving a considerable share of those visitors.

To alleviate issues associated with traffic, parking and trail use, “Ready, Set, Gorge” provides resources to improve access as well as tips to encourage environmental stewardship.

“’Ready, Set, Gorge’ is a guide to seeing the Gorge the way it was always meant to be seen,” said Kristen Stallman, National Scenic Area coordinator at ODOT. “We encourage visitors to take advantage of new transportation options — including transit, shuttles, carpools and cycling — that make it fun and easy to see the region without having to drive their own cars. We also recommend off-peak travel and planning ahead to ensure an enjoyable and smart trip.”

Visit ReadySetGorge.com to learn more.

— The Review, Tidings