Permits now required to drive in parts of Columbia Gorge

CORBETT, Ore. (KGW) — Permits are required now through Sept. 5 for drivers planning to visit the waterfall corridor along the Historic Columbia River Highway.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) said the timed-access permits are part of a pilot project aimed at reducing the number of cars through the popular area, particularly near Multnomah Falls.

The permits are required for personal vehicles traveling between Bridal Veil and Ainsworth State Park. The permits cost $2 and are required seven days a week between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Visitors can buy permits online two weeks before their visit date.

Permits will be checked near Exit 28 at Bridal Veil and Exit 35 at Ainsworth State Park.

RELATED: ODOT to require waterfall corridor permits to drive in parts of Columbia Gorge during peak season

ODOT said there will also be a limited number of same-day, free permits for places like the Gateway to the Gorge Visitor Center in Troutdale and the Cascade Locks Historical Museum.

Aside from the waterfall corridor permits, timed-use permits are also required during the same time period for people who use the Interstate 84 parking lot to visit Multnomah Falls.

“The Columbia River Gorge is one of Oregon’s most iconic and popular destinations,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann in a news release. “But for both residents and visitors the traffic congestion has contributed to frustration and long waits. With this permit pilot program our goal is to provide easier access while improving the safety and experience for those traveling through the Gorge’s majestic beauty.”

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