Columbia River Gorge
Though geologically yet another province of the far-flung South Cascades of Washington and Oregon, the Gorge flows as a separate, spectacularly scenic entity in its own right through in the rich natural tapestry of the Pacific Northwest. The River of the West carves its own great breach through the Cascade Mountain Range to finally spill out into flood-prone lowlands on its way to mother ocean.
Vertical volcanic walls of the gorge were repeatedly and catastrophically carved by the largest floods yet discovered. More than 40 times, a thousand foot wall of water backed up by giant glacier tongues in Western Montana ripped their way down through the ancient Columbia River valley, truncating the tributary streams and leaving them hanging from side canyons far above, and plummeting to the mother river in one of the finest collections of waterfalls known anywhere on the planet.