One of Astoria’s most unique tourist features is the Astoria Column. Built in 1926 to commemorate important historical events around Oregon, it sits on top of a hill at a unique vantage point that encompasses beautiful mountains to the south, the mighty Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Columbia River, City of Astoria, and the inspiring Astoria-Megler Bridge.
In addition, there is a bit of education here too.
“In 1804-06, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led about 40 soldiers and boatmen on an epic journey. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned this “Corps of Discovery” to find a route to the Pacific Ocean through the newly acquired Louisiana territory. Along the way, they mapped the land, recorded it’s resources, and contacted its native inhabitants.
The landscape has changed since Lewis and Clark explored it: rivers have been dammed, forests cut over, prairies plowed under, and roads built to the horizon. Although remnants of wilderness still exist, imagine this land as Lewis and Clark first saw it two centuries ago.”
This sign has a duplicate down on the waterfront in Astoria.
“The Corps of Discovery traveled thousands of miles and endured many hardships to reach the pacific ocean in mid-November 1805. The last sixteen miles down the Columbia River took ten days because of bad weather. The explorers huddled among the rocks and driftwood along the river’s north shore for nearly three weeks before crossing over to establish winter quarters at Fort Clatsop. “It would be distressing to See our Situation, all wet and Colde,” lamented William Clark. Scouting expeditions searched for food and signs of trading vessels. These scouting parties were the first members of the expedition to see the mighty Pacific. The locations of two campsites along the Columbia’s north shore may be seen from this vista: McGowan and Megler. Fort Clatsop (not visible) is located to the southwest across Youngs Bay on the Lewis and Clark River.”
Among the afore mentioned sights, we have Saddle Mountain to the south.
To the North, one of my favorite bridges to view, and to drive over, the Astoria-Megler Bridge.
This bridge has the distinction of being the longest continuos truss bridge in North America.
Over all this is a great little park that gets very busy. Parking is $1, but the ticket is good for a year. You can also buy little balsa wood gliders from the gift shop for $1 each and through from the top of the Column. On a good day they’ll float on the wind for quite some time and will go quite a ways.
To get to the park, simply follow the pictures of the Column painted in the middle of the streets in Astoria. They’ll lead you right to the road into the park.