Year of 2017

Ferns in the Columbia River Gorge

The 80-mile-long Columbia River Gorge acts as a natural border between Oregon and Washington state. Following the course of the river, the landscape goes from open grasslands in the east to lush, temperate rainforest in the west. In the rainforest portion, rainwater and spray from numerous waterfalls often stream through the tree canopy to soak the ferns that cover the forest floor.

The gorge typically experiences abundant rainfall, but the summer of 2017 was unusually dry, and in September a forest fire blazed through the Eagle Creek area, destroying around 50,000 acres. Eventually the forest will recover, but damages are still being assessed.

The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Up to 4,000 feet deep, the canyon stretches for over 80 miles as the river winds westward through the Cascade Range forming the boundary between the State of Washington to the north and Oregon to the south. Extending roughly from the confluence of the Columbia with the Deschutes River in the east down to the eastern reaches of the Portland metropolitan area, the water gap furnishes the only navigable route through the Cascades and the only water connection between the Columbia River Plateau and the Pacific Ocean.
Columbia river gorge from crown point
Looking east up the Columbia River Gorge, from Crown Point in Oregon, USA.