This year, starting in May, various agencies in Oregon are banding together to create a new permit system for cars wishing to travel to the “Waterfall Corridor” of the Columbia Gorge. The idea is to prevent overcrowding, and spacing people out across the timeframe where the waterfalls get the most visitors.
It’ll be $2/car, but really, it’s gonna be a lot more hassle than anything. Getting a permit always sounds like such a daunting task, and for many, it’ll be dissuasive. Nobody who has the gas to reach the corridor is not going to be able to swing $2, but the thought alone will deter people from going.
Selfishly, I think it’s great. I don’t like the big crowds. I don’t like having to walk a mile along the highway from the only parking spot I could get to get to the entrance to the trail, and then having to wait in line for some of the narrow paths. I don’t like people very often, and I dislike what people tend to do to natural areas even more, so this is great news for me.
BUT… it’s one of the only free things you can do. And not everybody should have to spend money to enjoy the free things in life. And for my money… the Columbia Gorge is THE premiere beauty of the world. I’ve never seen anywhere that holds as much natural beauty as that stretch of land, and nobody should be denied that for any financial purpose. Even if it’s only $2.
~Jake from 98.7 The Bull