Near Mosier in Wasco County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Rowena Crest - The Rowena Loops
Today, engineers use high resolution satellite photography and advanced computer modeling software to design roads.
Gazing down upon the graceful, winding Historic Columbia River Highway, it is easy to forget how challenging its construction was in the early 20th century. One of the first modern paved thoroughfares in the Pacific Northwest, it traversed a rugged landscape from water level to breathtaking heights above the river.
Despite the extreme terrain, engineer John A. Elliott determined that the Highway's eastern section should be built in concert with the gentle turns and grade of its western end as designed by Samuel C. Lancaster. Here, echoing the loops at Crown Point and Hood River, the road climbs a rise, encircles this overlook, and then loops downward in graceful, sweeping S-turns along the cliff face.
From the Sandy River to the Rowena Bluffs, the Historic Columbia River Highway is a continuous ribbon of curves that snake from near sea level to breathtaking heights above the Columbia River.
The Highway's design standards, inspired by engineers Samuel C. Lancaster and John A. Elliott, required maximum grades of 5 percent and minimum turning radii of 100 feet. In some locations, where steep terrain could not accommodate these standards, engineers
“Grades, curvatures, distance and even expense were sacrificed to reach some scenic vista or to develop a particularly interesting spot… Although the highway would have commercial value in connecting the Coast with the eastern areas, no consideration was given the commercial over the scenic requirements. The one prevailing idea in the location and construction was to make this highway a great scenic boulevard surpassing all other highways in the world.”
John A. Elliot
Location. 45° 40.938′ N, 121° 17.956′ W. Marker is near Mosier, Oregon, in Wasco County. Marker can be reached from Historic Columbia River Highway (U.S. 30) east of Historic Columbia River Highway (U.S. 30). Touch for map. Marker is located within Oregon's Mayer State Park, at the Rowena Crest Viewpoint, overlooking the highway loops. Marker is in this post office area: Mosier OR 97040, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rowena Crest - Ice Age Floods (within shouting distance of this marker); Memaloose—Island of the Dead (approx. Memaloose Rest Area Oregon Trail Kiosk (approx. 2.2 miles away); Memaloose Overlook (approx. 2.6 miles away); Mosier (approx. 4.7 miles away); Bennett House (approx. 7˝ miles away); Vogt Hall (approx. 7.7 miles away); St. Peter's Church (approx. 7.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mosier.
Also see . . .
1. Historic Columbia River Highway - 100 Years of the Poem in Stone.
This upper stretch of the Rowena Loops hugs the rock cliff just below Rowena Crest Viewpoint. Engineers resorted to using loops where the terrain would otherwise require a very steep grade. The road loops back and forth on a gentle grade down from the crest instead of steeply dropping over a shorter distance. (Submitted on January 4, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Exploring the Asphalt Ribbons of the Pacific Northwest.
A twisty little bit of narrow two-lane weighing in at just under 15 miles, this highway climbs up and down the side of Rowena Crest with a trio of three separate sets of curves. It closely follows the landforms of the Columbia River Gorge and is in the firm tradition of Oregon DOT’s historic (Submitted on January 4, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Man-Made Features • Roads & Vehicles • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 12, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 4, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 100 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 4, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.