Will your RV travels take you through the Columbia Gorge this summer? Looking for something fun to explore via bicycles or hiking? Then add the Mosier Twin Tunnels to your “To Do” list. They are historic, scenic and rate 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor along with being the #2 of 8 things to do in Mosier, Oregon.


Mosier Tunnels

When the original Columbia River Highway was built through the Mosier, Oregon area in 1921, it was necessary to build two tunnels to get through a high rock point. The tunnels were modeled after those near Lake Lucerne in Switzerland with graceful arches and “windows” affording views over the river. However, the tunnels and nearby cliffs were always a source of trouble along the highway. Rocks often fell and blocked the road and even fell on cars in the early 1950’s.


View From the Tunnel Window

In 1954, a new highway (now Interstate 84) was opened closer to the river at water level and the tunnels were abandoned. The tunnels were back-filled with rock, left impassable and soon forgotten. By 1995, work began to reopen the tunnels for tourist use as part of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. This involved the removal of the backfill, rebuilding of the roadbed, repaving the road and adding concrete sheds to protect users from rocks.


View Along the Trail

Today you can enjoy the same curves, stonework railings and sweeping vistas enjoyed by early motorists nearly100 years ago by hiking or biking the trail. In spring and summer you will be treated to wildflowers as well.


Wildflowers Along the Trail

Many hiking websites list a trip to the tunnels as a 9 mile round trip journey which would discourage some from visiting. However, that is the distance from the more popular west trailhead. If you start from the east trailhead, it is an easy 1.8 mile round trip which makes for a short hike or easy bike ride.


Mosier Trail Map

Getting there:

Take the Mosier exit (Exit 69) off I-84. Turn south towards Mosier, after crossing over the bridge spanning the railroad tracks, continue about 100 yards taking the first left on Rock Creek Road which circles back under the bridge along the tracks. Drive about three quarters of a mile to the parking lot on the left.

You will find the east trailhead at: N45° 40.922 W121° 24.464 Those with a disabled parking placard are allowed to park right at the trailhead, parking for others parking is located just up the road at: N45° 40.829 W121° 24.538  If you will be visiting with your RV arrive early as parking is limited.

A State Park day pass is required to park at the trailhead, which can be purchased online here.

Click here for more information on Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.

Camping: 

Nearby Memaloose State Park offers full hookup sites:

The closest RV Park to the tunnels is Bridge RV Park & Campground located in White River on the Washington side of the river. The park features full hook up sites ranging from 40′ to 80′ in length.

Other often overlooked camping options when exploring attractions along the Columbia River are recreation areas under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), or sometimes just referred to as the Corps of Engineers (COE). Click here to view a previous entry on camping with the COE.

Dave Helgeson
Author: Dave Helgeson
Dave Helgeson is the MHRV Show Director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.

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