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Oregon State Parks

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Mt. Hood and the Gorge Region
Viento State Park
Viento State Park © RebeccaPollard / CC BY 2.0
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Cascade Locks, Oregon   97014
(lat:45.6974 lon:-121.6676) map location

Phone: 541-374-8811
Toll Free: 800-551- 6949
Appropriately enough for a park in the blustery Columbia River Gorge, the park's name, pronounced vee-EN-toe, is Spanish for wind. Just an odd coincidence, actually. In this case, the Viento comes from the first letters of three railroad tycoons - Villard, Endicott, and Tollman -who put the first railroad in the area. Where a railroad station once stood is now the home of one of the Gorge's best kept secrets: Viento is a great place to camp! With modern campsites, Viento almost always has a spot available when other campgrounds in the area are full. No reservations are accepted; camping is first-come, first-served. On weekends in the summer, rangers provide interpretive programs. A fully-accessible restroom is located here. Viento is next to a working railroad line and crossing. Visitors and campers can expect to hear train horns throughout the day and night. Interstate 84 also borders the park. Please call the park office at (541) 374-8811, for more information.

Viento has a day-use area with easy access to the Columbia River and some of the best windsurfing in the Gorge. There's a great picnic area right next to a wonderful, babbling creek - just right for skimming stones and soaking sore feet.

A one-mile trail from Viento to Starvation Creek takes you along a section of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Now a hiking trail, there hasn't been auto traffic here in more than 50 years. If you get a chance to visit, imagine an old Ford Model T twisting around the corners!
History of the Area
Located in the Columbia River Gorge, this natural area was established as a state park by Oregon's government during the 1930s. The name of the site is derived from two words: "vie" and "ento", which are Spanish for wind and east respectively - an apt description considering its location.

The land on which it sits has been inhabited for thousands of years, with Native American tribes such as Chinook using these lands long before European settlers arrived. In fact, many artifacts have been found within its boundaries that date back to prehistoric times.

During construction under President Franklin D Roosevelt's New Deal program in 1933-1942 period, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers built several structures including picnic shelters made out of native stone along with other amenities like restrooms and trails throughout the parkland. These facilities were designed to blend seamlessly into their surroundings while providing visitors access to nature without disturbing wildlife habitats or damaging delicate ecosystems.

Over time additional improvements were added; campsites equipped with modern conveniences became available making overnight stays more comfortable than ever before.
1. Tent Camping: There are 56 tent sites available within the park, each equipped with picnic tables and fire pits.

2. RV Camping: The park also has 15 full-hookup sites that can accommodate recreational vehicles up to 40 feet long.

3. Group Campsites: For larger groups or family gatherings, there is one group campsite which can hold up to 25 people at once.

4. Hiker/Biker Camps: These campsites cater specifically towards hikers and bikers who are traveling through on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.

5. Yurts/Cabins: While Viento state park does not have yurt or cabin accommodations itself, nearby Memaloose State Park (about ten miles east) provides these facilities if you're looking for something more comfortable than traditional camping.

All campsites come with access to restrooms and showers as well as easy access to hiking trails throughout the surrounding area including Starvation Creek Falls trailhead located right inside this campground's day-use parking lot!

Enjoy fishing in the Columbia River, abundant with Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. A boat ramp is available for use.

Viento State Park offers picnic tables and fire rings. Enjoy a meal amidst beautiful views of the Columbia River Gorge.
Biking enthusiasts can enjoy the park's paved trail, which is part of a larger 73-mile route. Be aware that this path has sections with heavy traffic and requires caution.

Mountain bikers should note there are no dedicated off-road trails within the park boundaries.

The nearby Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail offers an alternative for cyclists seeking less vehicular interaction but it does have steep inclines in parts.

Remember to always wear appropriate safety gear when biking, as some areas may be challenging or hazardous due to terrain conditions.

Cyclists must adhere strictly to all posted signs and rules while enjoying their ride through these scenic routes.
1. Viento Bluff Trail: A moderate 0.6-mile trail that offers stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge and surrounding forest.

2. Starvation Creek Ridge Loop: This challenging 3-mile loop takes hikers through dense forests, past cascading waterfalls, and up to panoramic viewpoints overlooking the gorge.

3. Mitchell Point Overlook Trail: An easy half mile hike leading to a viewpoint with sweeping vistas of both Oregon's Cascade Range and Washington's Mount Adams in clear weather conditions.

4. Historic Highway State Bike Pathway: Although primarily used for biking, this paved pathway is also open for hiking offering scenic riverfront views along its entire length within park boundaries.

5. Wind Mountain Hiking Trails: These trails are located near Viento State Park but not directly inside it; they offer more strenuous hikes reaching higher elevations with breathtaking overlooks on top of Wind Mountain.

6. Vortex Half Mile Interpretive Walk: It's an educational walk suitable even for families or beginners featuring interpretative signs about local flora & fauna as well as geological features around.

7. Starvation Cutoff Short Route: As name suggests it cuts short distance from main starvation creek ridge loop making overall journey easier while still providing access to some beautiful spots like waterfall view points etc., ideal if you have less time at hand or looking out for lighter physical activity day-outing option.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 8 Trains, trains, trains
park review stars; one to five The campground itself is nice, but it borders the train tracks, and at least 8 trains went by during the night that we stayed, and I only got about 5 hours of sleep. It may look deceiving because during the day we were there only 2 trains went by, but I guess train traffic picks up significantly at night.
January 24 Good camp sites and neat area
park review stars; one to five We hosted there several months. One of our favorite places.
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Nearby Hotels

1. Start by heading east on Interstate 84 from Portland.
2. Continue driving for approximately 60 miles until you reach Exit 56 towards Wyeth and Hood River.
3. Take this exit and merge onto Historic Columbia River Highway (also known as US:30).
4. Follow the highway for about half a mile before turning right into Viento State Park.

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Oregon State Parks