The number of people walking the Bridge of the Gods has gone up a lot

Holly C. Howell of the Port of Cascade Locks sent us this wonderful email about the increasing popularity of walking across the Bridge of the Gods. What fun! It’s definitely an outstanding way to check out the Columbia River Gorge. With millions of people visiting other attractions in the Gorge every year, we’ll be surprised if these numbers don’t continue to go up! That’s part of the reason we’re focused on adding a pedestrian walkway to this famous landmark.

Holly writes:

This summer we are recording significant increases in pedestrian traffic on the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks, Oregon!

We suspect that we have the fair weather, the growth of Portland’s population, effective Gorge regional tourism marketing, the recent success of large running & walking events, the PCT, Reese Witherspoon, Cheryl Strayed, and/or the ‘Wild’ effect to credit for the dramatic increase in pedestrian traffic between 2014 and 2015.

Here are the last few months, for comparison last year vs this year: 

  • May 2014: 82
  • May 2015: 544 (462 increase = 563%)
  • June 2014: 172
  • June 2015: 718 (546 increase = 317%)
  • July 2014: 221
  • July 2015: 1,001 (780 increase = 352%)
  • August 2014: 271
  • August 2015: 1,311 (1,040 increase = 383%)

Keep in mind that we can only record data for the folks who are paying $0.50 each way to cross on foot (anecdotally, some start from the Washington side and turn around half way without paying).

Other notes – these are crossings (so the actual number of pedestrians is a smaller number because an out-and-back walker hypothetically pays twice). And PCT thru-hikers are not charged to cross, so they are probably not captured in these figures.

Thanks to Brittany Berge in our front office for pulling these numbers.

Are you looking for fun and unusual activities to do in the Columbia River Gorge? Check out the Bridge of the Gods, the Pacific Crest Trail and other things featured in our free guide to the PCT in the Columbia River Gorge.

Bridge Walk 2015 was a huge success and brought lots of people out to walk across the Bridge of the Gods.

Bridge Walk 2015 was a huge success and brought lots of people out to walk across the Bridge of the Gods.

Author: Jack "Found" Haskel

As the Trail Information Manager, Jack works to connect people to the PCT. He's involved with a wide variety of projects that help the trail, the trail's users and the community that surrounds the experience. He has thru-hiked (Pacific Crest Trail in 2006; Colorado Trail in 2008; Continental Divide Trail in 2010) and is an obsessed weekend warrior.