037 Ruthton Point to Hood River (Milepost 2016 - Section H)

Columbia River West to Ruthton Point
Ruthton Park. Hood River, Oregon. April 25, 2013

Hood River County 8, Hood River, 1931 - CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Page 016 - Township 3 N. Range 10 E., Hood River, Clifton, Ruthton, Sonny
Atlas: Hood River County 1931
State: Oregon
Metsker Maps 1931
Item # US1314922
Historic Map Works.

View From Ruthton Point (2013)
Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH). Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. April 30, 2013.

USGS. OR-Hood River. 1926. (detail)CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Whomever was coloring the highway on some of these earlier maps, well... They were a bit sloppy. But this is a very close detail on a very large map. Anyway, the red line that is supposed to be the highway needs to be ignored, the actual road is there, though.  The red line actually follow the later US 30 "water route" and the Interstate alignments fairly closely.

USGS. OR-Hood River. 1929. (detail)

USGS. OR-Hood River. 1957. (detail)

The original alignment almost certainly lies under the westbound lanes of the freeway east of Ruthton Point. Approaching Hood River, though, there was significant regrading and new road construction with the construction of the improved US 30 "water route," as seen in the 1957 map above. Most of the original highway wandered through the regraded area under the new highway and its frontage roads. However, it did swing north near the Columbia River Hotel and Wa Gwin Gwin Falls (though the creek itself was significantly re-routed with the regrades), and the outline of the original alignment seems to suggest itself in the curve of the buildings west of the hotel on the 1957 map.

USGS. OR-Hood River. 1994. (detail)

Google - Hood River West - 2010 (v.006)
Google Earth Imagery Date: July 18, 2010

Ruthton Point to Ruthton Park and Possible old overlook - Lidar

ODOT: Milepost 2016 Reconnection Projects - Phase Two - Section H - Ruthton Point to Ruthton Park: 

Milepost 63-64


Trail Segment Highlights
LENGTH: 1.7 miles
2014 COST: $6.0 million

Level of difficulty:
Easy to Moderate
slopes not exceeding 5%
• An improved trailhead for sixteen cars at Ruthton Park in Hood River
• Scenic views of the Columbia River from Ruthton Park
• A new restroom at Ruthton Park
• Improved access to overlooks
• Scenic views from Ruthton Park
• Historic Ruthton Point Overlook and Viaduct
• Future connection to other recreational resources

Ruthton Park Trailhead Description:
• Existing County Park
• Existing parking area
• Great views of the Columbia River
• Picnic areas

Trailhead Amenities:
• Reconfigure parking area to provide for better traffic flow and turnaround
• Provide bike and hike trip staging area
• New overlooks with interpretive signage
• Improve trail access through the site
• Provide trail information, directional signage

ODOT: Milepost 2016 Reconnection Projects - Phase Two - Section H - Ruthton Point to Ruthton Park

Funding (As of May 2013):

Environmental: Complete
Engineering: $.8 Million Needed
Construction: $4.7 Million Needed
Total Funds Needed: $5.5 Million

Source: ODOT

ODOT: 2009 Plan - Segment 11 - Ruthton Point to Ruthton Park, Hood River:


This section starts with Ruthton Point, an intact section of the old highway offering spectacular views to the Gorge (Photo 11A). In the early 1990s, ODOT restored the historic viaduct, walls and railings. From Ruthton Point east, the trail traverses steep slopes adjacent to Interstate 84. A soil nail retaining wall is the preferred construction method except in one steep section, where a viaduct is required. The trail then follows the shoulder using soil nail walls and parallels Interstate 84 to the west end of Westcliff Drive. Here ODOT is working with a private developer and Hood River County to incorporate the trail into future redevelopment of this property (Section A/A). The trail is placed on an existing retaining wall above Interstate 84. Then it crosses over Westcliff Drive and into Ruthton Park (Photo 11C). Here, during the site reconnaissance for this study, we discovered a short but intact section of historic pavement. The trail follows the old route through to the parking lot at Ruthton Park. ODOT is working with Hood River County to develop plans to improve Ruthton Park as a HCRH trailhead. From Ruthton Park, hikers and bicyclists can access the city of Hood River by way of Westcliff Drive.

ODOT: 2009 Plan - Segment 11 - Ruthton Point to Ruthton Park, Hood River

CLICK HERE to continue exploring the highway

CLICK HERE to continue exploring the highway