"Oregon Gateway to Gorge and Local Shopping" Troutdale by glabah

Troutdale Travel Guide: 26 reviews and 48 photos

This photo shows old downtown Troutdale, which is a fairly small area along the old Columbia River highway. It is completely dwarfed by the new, relatively unattractive commercial area along Interstate 84. In the background you can see the forested knoll overlooking Lewis & Clark state park. Parts of downtown Troutdale are still in commercial distress: the building on the far right (mostly out of the photo) is an abandoned old gas station - old enough to have a brick driveway that has never been paved. In a different location it might have been turned into a historic attraction, but here, right now, it has yet to see any restoration effort - or even the more typical demolition and conversion to other development.

For many years Troutdale was ignored by most tourists. The old downtown area stood neglected for a long time, while most traffic went by on nearby I-84.

The development of the large new factory outlet stores meant that much of old Troutdale lost its pure historic nature, but on the other hand it also brought in visitors.

Today, Troutdale's downtown still lacks the huge number of visitors that it has the potential to attract. The factory outlet stores have a huge potential to be used as a springboard to help the rest of the community. Alas, to date, they have not been used as such and remain an isolated parking lot, for the most part.

Great Views, Interesting Parks, Small Wilderness

A few small but interesting wilderness areas are scatted about this city.

Other local parks include Sunrise Park, which features a wonderful view of Mount Hood and the forests to the east.

By far the biggest attraction is the Columbia River Gorge, to which Troutdale is basically Oregon's gateway. However, most people don't bother stopping in Troutdale but instead head straight through to the gorge.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Close to Interstate 84 and Columbia River Gorge. Interesting small downtown area with some unique shops.
  • Cons:Cold wind blasts out of Columbia River Gorge most of the year. Noise from the highway. Most people miss the downtown shops due to huge Factory Outlet complex by Interstate 84.
  • In a nutshell:Great stopover or overnight place on your way into the Columbia River Gorge, but no major attractions in and of itself.
  • Last visit to Troutdale: Aug 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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