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Columbia River Gorge


Mr Kaswa
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Hello,

 

I'm heading into the gorge for a few days of caching and train chasing and I'm trying to see if I have correctly deciphered the various passes that might be required.

 

- The Washington State Discover Pass is good for all state owned/managed lands, and the pass is required to park in these areas. Day/Annual passes available.

 

- Oregon does not have a State park/lands type pass, but some sites have pay parking where I can either pay to park or buy a day pass, or I can pick up an annual/day pass before going to the park.

 

- The National Forest Service requires a pass at any of their trailheads and picnic sites on either side of the river. Any of the interagency/national park passes would work, or I could get a Northwest Forest annual pass, or the national forest day pass before going.

 

-Any BLM or BoR recreation areas would be covered by the interagency passes but do not have any passes of their own? I'm not sure if there even are any sites nearthe gorge, or if there are, if they would actually require passes.

 

I think that covers all the likely situations, but I would appreciate a locals once over.

 

Thanks.

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Hello,

 

I'm heading into the gorge for a few days of caching and train chasing <snip>

 

What are you chasing where?

 

Just the regular trains on either side of the river. Probably between Hood River and Biggs Junction, approximately, and their rough equivalents on the Washington side.

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- The Washington State Discover Pass is good for all state owned/managed lands, and the pass is required to park in these areas. Day/Annual passes available.

 

Technically the Discover pass, is an access pass, vs a parking pass.. meaning you need one regardless of whether you stop, or park.. Typical places where you'll need this are state parks, fish and wildlife preserves and the like.

 

- The National Forest Service requires a pass at any of their trailheads and picnic sites on either side of the river. Any of the interagency/national park passes would work, or I could get a Northwest Forest annual pass, or the national forest day pass before going.

 

I see the Northwest Forest Pass as more of a parking pass.. you don't need it when transitioning NFS land, but you do if you park.. it's also useable for some per-person sites, such as the Johnson Ridge Visitor Center at Mt St Helens. but only for a single person. If you camp in campgrounds within NFS land, the site fee suffices for the requirement and a pass is not required as long as your at the campground.

 

-Any BLM or BoR recreation areas would be covered by the interagency passes but do not have any passes of their own? I'm not sure if there even are any sites nearthe gorge, or if there are, if they would actually require passes.

 

Correct.. no fees or passes required at BLM sites that I am aware of.. also, both the state and feds, have a number of free days.. so check their respective websites.. maybe you could save some money by planning your trip on days they offer free access.

 

Here's a link to the Discover pass FAQ.. if you scroll down the page about a third of the way, you can see the free dates for 2014

Edited by robd0gg
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I rolled into a store on the Washington side of the gorge that was listed as selling both the national forest pass and the Discover pass....

 

They tell me that they have never done one before, so I am fairly patient with them...

 

One employee knew of the machine but didn't know how to use it.

A second insisted on trying to scan my drivers license!?

The second kept asking a third for help, but the third would just keep leaving after each question.

Finally after about 15 minutes they got the Discover pass figured out.

 

Then I reminded them of the National Forest Pass.....

 

Employee one still doesn't know what to do and is now smartly helping the customers from behind me with a different register.

Employee two tries to fiddle with the machine again and finally asks employee three for help.

Employee three knows that there is just a stack of them over there ---->

 

Now it is time to ring me up...

Discover pass = $35

NFP = Doesn't scan with the little scanner thing.

Employee two fiddles with the touch screen register screen then finally asks for help from three.

Three insists that two look it up on a sheet of codes for things that don't work with the scanner.

Three finally senses that I am about to walk out the door, leaving all the passes and various sugary snacks behind, and decides that she can just enter '$5 no tax' into the computer after all.

 

25 minutes :(

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A second insisted on trying to scan my drivers license!?

 

 

You should never let ANYONE scan your license EVER !!

 

Poorly stated by me. She insisted, I refused.

 

Some places that sell the Discovery Pass insist on your Social Security Number.

 

NEVER NEVER NEVER give that to anyone either.

Edited by FunnyNose
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